LGBTQ Resource Center holds Pride Parade

By Katie Pohlman

PUBLISHED AS A PART OFMANEATER V. 79, ISSUE 53

An estimated 300 participants showed their support Wednesday.

Students and faculty encircled the fountain outside the MU Student Center Wednesday, waiting for the Pride Parade to begin.This year’s parade marks the second Pride Parade hosted by the LGBTQ Resource Center. The parade began at noon and lasted about 50 minutes.

Participants marched around MU’s campus from the Student Center to Francis Quadrangle and back to Kuhlman Court, where the parade ended. Marchers were each given quarter sheets with chants printed on them. As the parade made its way around campus, the participants chanted in unison phrases like, “Whomever we may be, we want equality,” and “Two, four, six, eight, equality in every state.”

“It’s a great deal of fun (to be in the parade),” junior Laura Herrera said. “I get to walk with my friends, my partner and, this year, my partner’s mom. It’s such a positive atmosphere.”

Sophomore Chris Gothner said this year was his first time walking in the parade. He said being involved in the LGBTQ community inspired him to walk.

Gothner said he thinks the parade is a good way for LGBTQ students to show the campus that they are people just like anyone else.

“The parade shows them that we’re not in the closet anymore,” he said. “It shows them that we are your friends, neighbors, classmates. That’s really important.”

This year’s parade was bigger than last years, LGBTQ Resource Center Coordinator Struby Struuble said. She estimated that there were around 300 participants.

The participants were much more involved this year as well, making their own signs and T-shirts to bring to the parade.

Struble said the Pride Parade shows how supportive and inclusive MU is toward its students.

“We have a ton of allies on campus,” Struble said. “The parade gives the participants a sense of Mizzou pride and inclusiveness.”

Struble said she is glad to see growing campus support for the LGBTQ community. She said when she was an undergraduate, there was no parade and she felt very little support. But she said she is glad to see the views of campus and its students changing.

Struble said there is still a ways to go.

Junior Kat Seal said she participated in the parade for her first time this year because she thinks it is a good way to expose other students to the LGBTQ community.

“I know about (the LGBTQ Resource Center), but other students might not,” she said. “The parade is a good way to show them that there is a large, thriving group out there.”

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