LGBTQ+ Office Celebrates Bisexual Awareness Day

Pamela Young, Reporter

In celebration of Bisexual Awareness Day, the LGBTQ PLUS office held a tabling event Sept. 21 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Memorial Student Center lobby. Bisexuality Day is nationally observed on Sept. 23 by members of the bisexual community and their supporters.

Students were able to briefly learned about the history of this day and received their own custom-made bisexual awareness button.
The LGBTQ PLUS office also displayed facts about the sexual identities and orientations of many celebrities and historical figures who identify as bi.

Bisexuality Day was first observed in 1999 and organized by Wendy Curry of Maine, Michael Page of Florida and Gigi Raven Wilbur of Texas.

Shaunte Polk, the program director for LGBTQ Plus office, said the event is meant to raise awareness of issues and stereotypes faced by the community.

“We celebrate this day to bring awareness to the stereotype that has been given and placed on a community that has been long-stereotyped,” Polk said. “We want to bring awareness to this group and to be able to let those individuals know that it’s okay to be who they are.”

Polk said when she started at Marshall in 2003 the topic of homosexuality was not something people discussed openly.
“As the years have progressed on, we have had students who have come to our campus and have said ‘hey I’m gay and I’m proud’, and that’s something you wouldn’t have seen in the past,” Polk said. “I am a strong advocate and I think Marshall has done a good job of making sure that we are inclusive of those people.”

Emily Bowen, the graduate assistant for the LGBTQ Plus office, said she’s loved the changes that have happened on campus for the LGBTQ community in the last few years.

“We now have this accepting community, a support group, and our new office downstairs,” Bowen said. “I’ve only been gone for a year and a half, and I returned to this whole new environment. I love being here now.”

Bowen said she is happy with Marshall’s progressiveness in terms of the LGBTQ plus community.

The next event will be a Safe Space Training from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 28 in Drinko Library Room 402.

Pamela Young can be contacted at [email protected].