The Clarion Call report
Clarion University Allies celebrated Bi Visibility Day on campus this past Sunday, Sept. 23. The celebration was an all-day event. Members showed their pride and support by wearing the colors of the bisexual pride flag, including pink, purple and blue.
Allies continued to celebrate on Monday, Sept. 24 outside of the Carlson Library. Members made miniature bisexual pride flags and gave them out to students and staff on campus. Sierra Nicholes, a co-president of Allies, said, “Our bisexuality day involved spreading information about bisexuality and bisexual visibility. We also celebrated with small bi flags so that individuals could support or show bisexual pride.”
Allies has been an active organization at Clarion University for many years and it holds many events each semester to show pride and support for people in the LGBTQ+ community. The organization’s upcoming events include the annual Coming Out Day where members invite students and staff to put their handprints on the apple in the midst of campus, either as a way of coming out or to support the community that has already come out or has yet to build the courage. In addition, Allies is hosting Spirit Day, which involves members painting LGBTQ+ flags on rocks and placing them around campus; students who find these rocks will receive prizes from Allies.
“Clarion is a small town in rural Pennsylvania so having a campus smack dab in the middle of it that’s full of diverse individuals of all races, backgrounds, sexualities, etc. is such a beautiful thing to be a part of,” said Carson Williams, a member of Allies.
Bi Visibility Day is not just a holiday that is celebrated at Clarion University. Bi Visibility Day was established on Sept. 23 in the year 1999. The purpose of the day is to call the bisexual community and any supporters to spread awareness and celebrate the history, culture and community of bisexual people. More information about Bi Visibility Day and/or about Allies can be found at weekly Allies meetings, which are held on Tuesdays at 5 p.m. in Harvey Hall. Similarly to Bi Visibility Day, there are many other days, weeks and even months that are dedicated to different types of sexualities and rights, including International Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31, Lesbian Visibility Day on April 26, Pride Month in June, Human Rights Day on Dec. 10 and many more.
Every summer, pride parades are held in different areas all over the world. The purpose of these events is to show pride and support, spread awareness and even fight for rights, such as same-sex marriage.
Kameryn McGee, a Clarion University student who attended the parade in Pittsburgh this past summer, said, “Being at my first pride was one of the best days of my life. I was surrounded by all of my favorite people in the world and met a lot of great people. I’ve never felt more comfortable with who I am as a person than when I was there because the atmosphere was unbelievably inviting. I will never forget it and I can’t wait to go next year.”
As time goes on, the LGBTQ+ is growing rapidly, thus becoming more accepted by society. According to statistics on sexualdiversity.org, there are roughly 9 million Americans who identify as LGBT and more than 650,000 same-sex couples. Many years ago, it was not common for people to openly confess their sexualities because it was unwelcomed by the majority of people. As a result, these celebrations did not exist. The history of these struggles is what makes it so important to spread awareness and show support for the LGBTQ+ community.