An anti-LGBTQ preacher on campus and the recent anti-LGBTQ survey at Anna-Jonesboro High School have inspired students at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale to hold a Saluki Pride Rally on Wednesday, Nov. 3, at 1 p.m.
“This rally was motivated as a reaction to recent anti-queer messaging at the Anna Jonesboro High School campus and anti-queer messages on our own campus several weeks ago,” said Dianah McGreehan, a member of the Saluki Pride Network. “We want to be louder and prouder than the hate and embrace the Pride our Salukis hold for our LGBTQ community members.”
The rally will bring together members of the network along with the Student Multicultural Resource Center, SIU Student Trustee, the Rainbow Cafe LGBTQ Youth Center, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, the student government, and SIU’s Graduate and Professional Student Council.
“Attendees will hear the voices of a variety of students and campus leaders and be able to raise their own voices…signs…and flags in support,” McGreehan said.
“For some LGBTQ+ students, SIUC may be the first or only affirming home they have had,” said Issac Ludington, Saluki Network president. “It is essential that we as students, staff, and community members stand up for the welcoming campus we have developed and ensure it is not a place where hate is welcomed.”
“Growing up, I was ashamed of my sexuality and scared of others opinions and reactions,” said Shaylee Clinton, SIUC student trustee. I don’t ever want anyone to feel the way I did, and many others have. I will do everything to create a safe environment for ALL students at SIU.
SIU’s Carbondale campus was named one of the most LGBTQ-friendly campuses in the country back in June.
The rally joins the lineup of the day’s events for Solidarity Week, including the Safe Zone and Allyship Seminar at 11 a.m. and the Night of Noise at 7 p.m.
“Our main message is that love and support will always be louder and prouder than hate,” said McGreehan. “We want SIU to collectively raise its voice in support our LGBTQA+ community and show our Saluki Pride.”
The Saluki Pride Rally starts outside Faner Hall on SIU’s campus from 1 to 2 p.m.