Angela Demas is a student in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities majoring in the arts and humanities with a minor in sociology, graduating this December. Demas is the vice chair and public relations coordinator for The Alliance of Queer and Ally Students – one of the oldest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and two spirit organizations in Michigan that began in the 1970s.
Pride Month means everything to me. This is the month when my community comes together in celebration and where we take pride in who we are. We unite at pride events to celebrate and uplift each other. At MSU, we celebrate pride month during April as more people are on campus. During this month, LGBTQIA2S+ organizations across campus put on pride events as well as offer students a space to celebrate themselves and each other. These events mean a lot to students, faculty and staff at MSU as we come together as a community.
As a student at MSU, I have joined organizations that focus on helping and providing support to communities. Being the vice chair and public relations coordinator for The Alliance of Queer and Ally Students has given me the platform to advocate for the LGBTQIA2S+ community and uphold equality among students at MSU.
Through our work in Alliance, my fellow executive board members and I hold a wide range of events as well as provide a safe and inclusive space for our community at MSU. We also serve as a voting representative at the Associated Students of Michigan State University and Residence Halls Association assemblies so that LGBTQIA2S+ voices can be heard at student government meetings. I am forever proud of the work we have done and will continue to do through Alliance.
During the fall and spring semesters, we put on events through Alliance that focus on our LGBTQIA2S+ history. We engaged with our community by learning about the progression of the LGBTQIA2S+ movement and remembering the important historical figures who have significantly helped our community. We watched a documentary together about Marsha P. Johnson, an American gay liberation and AIDS activist, who greatly contributed to the LGBTQIA2S+ rights movement through her work. We learned more about the origins of pride with the Stonewall protests. We would not have pride events and be where we are today with LGBTQIA2S+ rights without the Stonewall rebellion. During the month of June, we plan to do more by sharing information about pride and supporting our community. It is important to be there for each other, especially during this time of celebration and love.
Regrettably, our community continues to face instances of hate and bigotry. We are witnessing the impact of various legislation affecting our community in states across the country. Additionally, we are deeply concerned about the alarming rise of violence and discrimination, including the targeted violence against transgender individuals, which is having devastating consequences nationwide. We all have a responsibility to protect one another and stand up against hate. This is something I strive to do every day through my work in Alliance. I will keep advocating for the rights of the LGBTQIA2S+ community. For Pride Month, remember that love always triumphs, and hate will not prevail as long as we unite together and support one another.
MSU is committed to uplifting and supporting our LGBTQIA+ Spartans. Our community is coming together to support The Gender and Sexuality Campus Center’s Unconditional Love Fund, which provides flexible assistance to students during times of need.