Story Contributed by Madison Harakles '21, Gay Path Alliance President
In mid-November, the members of the Gay Path Alliance gathered together to virtually discuss the outcome of the 2020 Presidential Election. This meeting served to give students a safe space to voice their opinions and emotions surrounding Election Week. In such uncertain and stressful times, the Gay Path Alliance leadership knew that their club members would appreciate a moment to vent and feel supported.
The conversation began with unpacking the emotions that Election Week had brought up. Every student agreed that while it was exciting to get to vote for President for the first time, the importance of the election caused anxiety. Students shared that they had struggled to sleep during that week as they felt their basic human rights were at stake. For many, this stress turned into immense relief upon hearing of President-elect Joe Biden, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ victory. While about half of the club had made the choice not to watch the victory speeches in order to take a break from politics, those who did watch reminisced on the excitement they felt upon seeing a woman of color on that stage, and hearing the President-elect include the LGBTQ+ community in his address.
This led into a discussion around how to communicate with close friends and family members who voted differently. Many students shared how frustrating and hurtful it can be when people they love choose not to prioritize the protection of rights for LGBTQ+ people. We discussed educating family and friends through calm, empathetic conversation as a positive way to attempt to maintain relationships, as well as setting boundaries when the line between politics and morals is blurred.
Gay Path Alliance advisor, Bay Path's Dean of Academic Support Services and Assistant Coordinator of Title IX Peter Testori, wrapped up the conversation by asking, “What’s next?” It was widely agreed that students are interested to see how President-elect Joe Biden will handle COVID-19 procedures once he is sworn in. The club also discussed the work that still needs to be done regarding police brutality and the Black Lives Matter Movement.
The Gay Path Alliance was proud to hold such an impactful event in an extremely unique, and important moment of history. We are planning to have more conversations moving forward for club members to express themselves in a safe space, as well as entertaining and educational events for the Bay Path community.
For more information on the Gay Path Alliance, contact club President Madison Harakles at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gay Path Alliance is a club striving to create a safe and comfortable environment for those part of the LGBTQ+ spectrum and those who are allies to those on the spectrum. We welcome all, and hope to educate the campus on what it means to be LGBTQ+.