Karaoke and laughter wafted down the halls of the Student Center. Looking into the room, there were instant calls to stay and sing along. After a night of amusing vocal antics, invites to the next scheduled gatherings ensued.
This was an event put on by the UVU Spectrum Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer/Questioning Intersex and Straight Alliance. That rather lengthy name was created to include everyone at the university who feels marginalized for their sexuality or is friendly and accepting of those with various sexual lifestyles.
The club has teamed up with UVU’s suicide prevention team/hotline to create an “It Gets Better” video for The Trevor Project. This project helps those struggling with their sexual identities in a straight world learn how to cope and not commit suicide. This sort of help for those in need of an understanding community is one of Spectrum’s main goals.
In its first incarnation over fifteen years ago, the school’s gay and lesbian club was known as Freedom Rings after the rainbow rings often worn as a symbol of homosexuality and unity. Today, there is more acceptance of bisexuals and the transgendered and much less fear for members to come out to the rest of the student population.
Current co-chairperson, Ronnie Sorensen, stated, “As a recently ‘come out’ bisexual woman, I’ve been very well received by the club and its members.”
Pink T-shirts saying “UVU: I’ll Be Me” can be seen worn proudly around campus by both male and female Spectrum members. Walk down any main hall to view “We Are Gay UVU” posters of Spectrum students willing to come out to the student body in order to promote the rights of others like themselves.
Several members marched in Utah’s Gay Pride Parade and will walk again for the Utah AIDS Foundation’s Walk of Life on the 17th. Anyone can sponsor Spectrum’s effort to raise funds for the 23rd annual Walk of Life by going to www.utahaids.org/walk
Spectrum co-chairpersons Ronnie Sorensen and Tom Hawkins are also raising funds to bring the famous transgendered comedian, Ian Harvie, to perform at UVU. He has appeared on national TV and his comedy routine focuses on different aspects of identity and the reactions of society to being one’s true self.
More information on UVU Spectrum LGBTQI/Straight Alliance and upcoming
activities can be found on Facebook or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.