‘We’re Not Going Anywhere’: GLC Celebrates Pride Week, Emphasizes Visibility at BC

Many of last year’s events for Pride Week focused on advocacy, according to Wells Arkins, but after listening to feedback from the queer community, GLC decided to shift gears this year.

“The theme for Pride Week is just celebration and like showing people at BC we’re here, we’re queer, we’re proud, and we’re not going anywhere,” Arkins, chair of the GLBTQ+ Leadership Council (GLC) and MCAS ’23, said.

GLC’s annual Pride Week—held from on Oct. 11, National Coming Out Day, through Oct. 15—celebrates the queer community at BC with five days of interactive events, Arkins said.

GLC falls under the Division of Diversity and Inclusion (DI) in UGBC. According to the website, DI addresses diversity concerns on campus in the hopes of cultivating a welcoming and inclusive BC community.

“Advocacy is still at the core of what we do and it’s so important, but someone said, ‘why do we spend so much time focusing on the hardship of being queer on this campus and not just celebrating,’” Arkins said. “So that’s really the goal of this week.”

Since Pride Month is in June, it is important that students have the opportunity to celebrate pride during the academic year, according to Aidan Seguin, co-legacy coordinator and MCAS ’25.

“Having something during the academic year to make sure that people are reminded that we still can have pride even when it’s not pride month is really important,” Seguin said. “Having a week centered around National Coming Out Day is really important.”

The week, which consisted of several on-campus activities, began with a kick-off brunch on O’Neil Plaza. Other events ranged from reflection sessions with Campus Ministry to GLC’s monthly Lambda dinner as well as several art events, including a crafting day in the Vanderslice Hall Cabaret Room.

Pride Week creates space for the queer community at BC, which Nathan Schirtzinger, general coordinator of GLC and MCAS ’24, said can otherwise be hard to find.

“It’s very hard to feel like there is a place for queer students on this campus just with the nature of it being a Catholic university,” Schirtzinger said. “Events like Pride Week and just generally GLC’s presence on campus does a lot to be like, ‘No, there are other queer people here [and] this is a place where you can be queer, even if it’s not always easy.’”

Aneesa Wermers, vice chair of GLC and LSEHD ’23, said the week helps queer students at BC celebrate themselves.

“​​[In] my personal experience there aren’t many queer-friendly spaces and finding a place where I can be like fully myself,” they said. “So the whole idea of pride is celebrating who you are and embracing every part of yourself.”

Rowah Ibnaouf, CSOM ’25, stopped by the Kickoff Brunch on Tuesday morning and was surprised to see a pride flag on the O’Neill Quad.

“Honestly, it caught my eye because they had pride flags on the table itself, and that just isn’t something you really see at BC,” they said. “It’s almost shocking … to see a pride flag on campus.”

Visibility for queer students at BC is essential, Ibnaouf said, because without it, people may “shut down” an important part of themselves when they should feel safe to explore their identity in college.

“I think it was really important that GLC did make it so visible, especially early on in the semester in places [with] a lot of students like right on the O’Neill quad first thing in the morning, and [hosted] their events all over campus so that people of all grade levels could easily engage in everything,” Ibnaouf said.

Seguin said the turnout to the events has been fantastic. Despite some rainy days, he said, the energy for the week stayed the same.

“For others, I hope that they see queer people and they see us thriving at BC and that they know that we’re not going away and that we’re here and we’re full members of the BC community,” Arkins said.

Arkins said he hopes that Pride Week continues to grow every year and brings visibility to the LGBTQ+ community at BC.

“For queer people, I hope that everyone feels seen, and heard and visible and celebrated and loved on campus,” he said.

October 16, 2022