Delta Pride combines events for LGBT awareness

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On Oct. 16, the Delta Pride Club brought awareness to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) bullying by combining the celebration of Spirit Day and National Coming Out Day.

Chalk outlines of bodies drawn in the quad represented gay youth who took their own lives because of bullying.

To commemorate them, Delta Pride handed out purple bracelets. The following day, Delta students were asked to wear purple.

“A few of our previous board members were bullied. Walking on campus, you get the smirks,” said Chris Sandoval, Delta Pride president.

He defines bullying as more than physical, such as verbal assaults and use of derogatory words.

This semester no bullying incidents have been reported against the 12 current Delta Pride Club members.

“I guess it’s becoming more natural for people to see, or accepting to see two girls and two guys holding hands,” Sandoval said. “We have members here who are in a relationship and they’re affectionate towards each other. I haven’t seen anything that belittles them.”

Although the acceptance of the LGBT community on campus is growing, past and present Pride members have had negative coming out experiences when telling their families.

Relatives have turned their backs on them, being forced out of their homes, and even being disowned.

“Unfortunately it happens,” Sandoval said. “I think it’s easier to come out to your friends. There’s more of a connection with people you can relate to, more than your family.”

With National Coming Out Day, Pride has been relied on more as a support system.

“We rely on each other. When we’re down, we pick each other up,” Sandoval said.