The Pride spreads awareness on LGBT community at Hudson Valley

Shannon Scala, Guest Contributor

Russian President Vladimir Putin banned the distribution of pro-gay propaganda to minors, but students at Hudson Valley do not worry about being criminalized for voicing their support or for passing out educational pamphlets about the LGBT community.

The Pride Alliance, or “The Pride” for short, is a club designed to provide support, education and awareness for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) students. The Pride is open to everyone, and many of their members are straight and come from high schools that offer gay/straight alliance clubs. The Pride currently has five members. Membership varies each semester.

Members provide informational tables around campus during LGBT holidays, bake sales and fundraising to try to give back to the community, but The Pride needs more power to hold the events they did in past years.

Meetings are held on Mondays in room 107 of the administration building at 2:00 p.m. to discuss LGBT current events happening locally and nationally. Students can focus on the positive ways they can spread diversity.

Members support and team up with The Pride Center of the Capital Region founded in 1970 and is the oldest continuously run LGBT community center in the country. They hold hold events and provide counseling, community education and youth support.

Members will be sponsoring the lunch for The Pride Center of the Capital Region’s “Safe Space Training.” The training is geared toward the staff and faculty of Hudson Valley campus to educate them on LGBT terms. Training will be held at Hudson Valley in April. More specific details about the event will be available in the future.

The Pride Center of the Capital Region just opened a new education room and need books for it.  Members wanting to help received a list of titles and are going to purchase some of the books.

Advisor DeAnne Martocci founded The Pride Alliance 12 years ago. Two students came to her because they wanted a club for the LGBT students on campus. When asked if there was resistance when the club first started, Martocci said, “No, these days everybody is pretty accepting.”

“I am comfortable with people with different backgrounds and believe every voice needs to be heard. The other piece is that I am a lesbian, so I can identify with what they are going through,” said Martocci.

In past years the club has had anywhere from 20 to 30 members and has been able to do variety shows, team up with different clubs to support each other with activities and visit different classes to share LGBT training, or their personal stories about student experiences in the LGBT community.

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