SAGA Celebrates LGBTQ+ History Month
Wednesday, October 17, 2018 was a dark, cold, and dreary day in Alpine, Texas. But at the Ritchey Hotel and Saloon, the air was warm and full of rainbows as Sul Ross’s Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA) hosted “Across the Spectrum: A Human Library.”
Crowds gathered at the Ritchey Hotel for “Across the Spectrum.”
A Human Library is designed to build a positive framework for conversations that can challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue. At Across the Spectrum, Sul Ross students placed became “Human Books” who told their stories and provided information about the LGBTQ+ community to nearly 100 people, from both the university and the surrounding region. SAGA members also decorated colorful posters and placed trivia facts around the room to highlight different identities across gender and sexuality spectrums. Those in attendance also had the opportunity to ask questions about the LGBTQ+ community in an open and judgment-free space.
The evening, however, was more than just an educational one as SAGA raised over $225 in donations for The Trevor Project, a non-profit organization that works to prevent LGBTQ+ teen suicide. Across the Spectrum is also one of several events organized by the Sexuality and Gender Alliance in observance of LGBT History Month in October. For National Coming Out Day on October 11th, SAGA posted a colorfully decorated closet door, framed by a 300-balloon rainbow arch, outside of the University Center for Sul Ross students to metaphorically “come out of the closet” as members and allies of the LGBTQ+ Community on campus. On Monday, October 29th, SAGA will host a Halloween Movie Night by showing Rocky Horror Picture Show and hosting a costume contest.
SAGA students set up a rainbow balloon arch and a closet door for National Coming Out Day, Thursday, October 11, 2018.
The students of SAGA say that they plan to continue their work on and off campus to increase visibility, awareness, and acceptance for our LGBTQ+ population. In the month of November, the group will be reaching out to local businesses to create a Yellow Book—a list of local businesses and establishments that do not discriminate—to ensure that the campus and local LGBTQ+ community is included and safe in Alpine, Texas. This comes at an important time, as the Trump Administration has announced its intent to add a caveat to the non-discrimination policies of The Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) next month. The new rules would allow for-profit businesses and federal contractors to discriminate against employees and customers based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, with additional implications for intersex communities.