This week is the first time Progress LGBTQ+ Pride Flags will be flown this widely and prominently at NIU, Molly Holmes, director of the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, said.
The Progress LGBTQ+ Pride Flags are on display from Monday to Friday outside the Holmes Student Center to show the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center’s efforts of including and valuing the LGBTQ+ community at NIU.
Students are welcome to take pictures with the flags and post them using the hashtags: #NIULGBTQ and #NIURaisingPride. All Protecting the Pack COVID-19 safety measures apply for this event, including masks and social distancing measures, according to the Progress LGBTQ+ Pride Flags at NIU event calendar.
“It really started with our graduate research assistant that works at the GSRC and our speaker’s bureau really wanting – I think in these times we’re all really disconnected and socially distanced – to find some visual representation of NIU LGBTQ+ students,” Holmes said.
This flag display is a symbol of the work that has been done historically to get the public to this point, and also its continuing work, Holmes said.
“Certainly, flying the progress pride flag is progress and is exciting but so are the systems that we’ve put in to ensure that LGBTQ+ students see themselves reflected in the classroom, in policy, in some of the systems where they can indicate their proper name, and in the resources that exist such as the LGBTQ+ floor and the gender-inclusive restrooms,” Holmes said.
Graphic designer Daniel Quasar redesigned the Pride Flag in 2018 by adding black and brown stripes to represent marginalized LGBTQ+ communities of color, along with pink, light blue and white, which are used on the Transgender Pride Flag.
There will be a virtual panel where NIU LGBTQ+ students will share their experiences and do a Q&A from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Pre-registration is required and can be done by clicking the link on the Students Speak: LGBTQ+ at NIU’s event calendar.