LMC Pride Alliance mixer builds community

Event draws students to safe space


Sofia Morelos

LD Green (left) presents to the Pride Alliance audience several sketches they made for “Journey to the Enchanted Inkwell.”

Sofia Morelos, Staff Writer

The LMC Unity Center, the student club Pride Alliance and the offices of Student Life and Equity and Inclusion co-presented an art event for Trans Inclusion and Queer Joy, a hybrid celebration May 3 in the Student Union Unity Center and on Zoom. 

The social mixer was catered by Panera with sandwiches, salads, drinks and snacks for everyone to enjoy as they mingled and watched a video designed to create a positive representation of the LGBTQ+ community. 

A 20-minute scene from “Journey to The Enchanted Inkwell,” a story written by nonbinary English faculty LD Green with illustrations by former LMC student Ana “Vee” Valdez was performed by Kelechi Ubozoh as queer nun “Charlot” and Salaams as the genderfluid swashbuckling nun “Etude.” 

“Journey” is a passion project developed during Green’s sabbatical last fall. While they adapted it as a screenplay, they’ve already written the story into a graphic novel, with artist Valdez. The two have been working side-by-side to put the project together. 

Green explained the story is an allegory for modern-day bigotry against trans people set in medieval Europe with female knights who are “terfy” (trans-exclusive radical feminists). The bigoted knights work in conjunction with the patriarchal monks against heroes Charlot and Etude.

Green and many of their friends face a difficult time culturally, politically and socially so they crafted a story with queer characters to create a more positive representation of the LGBTQ+ community — and a happy and safe space away from the discrimination they are all fighting against. 

But despite the hardships, Green said being nonbinary means having joy, which gives them strength to stay strong and persevere.

“Joy is so important and that’s so much what brings resilience,” they said.

Green originally approached the Pride Alliance — a club providing information, support and community for gay, lesbian, bi, trans, queer, and questioning people in the LMC area — with an idea to get the event started. 

The turnout was more than expected, with about 20 or so people watching the presentation and engaging in conversation during a Q&A.

“I feel so supported,” Green said, explaining that librarian Cameron Bluford brought queer and trans books, and “checking them out to students was, like, so sweet. I didn’t expect that.” 

To students Michele Escalante and Kimmy Baires, the event built a better sense of community in which you can be you. 

Escalante appreciated the opportunity to meet up with more people.

“You’re able to kinda get a sense of like, this is a time where you’ll be able to see others, break out of your shell a little bit and have a nice time,” Escalante said.  

Baires valued the level of comfort the event provided.

“From personal experience, it’s for a way to be able to feel comfortable expressing yourself around people that are identical to you or similar to you,” Baires said. “And it’s basically a safe space to people ’cause out there most people, you really can’t be yourself.”

For the most part LMC is a safe space for its queer and trans residents, although some say there are ways in which the college could become a better ally.

According to LMC Associated Students President Jeffrey Bui, there is a lack of priority in helping to represent the LGBTQ+ students from the administrative and management team. 

“Not to, like, point fingers … but I feel like I never really get approached in terms of that identity,” Bui said. “But you know it’s not a one-way street, I haven’t specifically talked to them about it either.”

Bui added that there are faculty, staff and administrators who are intentional in their support, but some claim to be allies yet aren’t doing much besides that.

“I’ve heard of instances of some faculty not respecting pronouns,” Bui said. “I’ve had, like, a counselor who teaches a class here who said that they didn’t understand pronouns, so they were just not going to respect that student’s pronouns. And in general, like, I feel that it’s always hit or miss whether or not that happens.”

Another issue that Bui highlighted is the lack of requirement to be an ally, or at least to be aware of some of the concepts to help students feel safer on campus such as diversity training for gender, pronouns, and sexuality. 

“I’ve been told that, for academic freedom … they can’t force the faculty or staff to take those courses,” Bui said, adding that is an example of a “way that the administration is not very supportive.”

But overall, Bui said that the Trans Inclusion and Queer Joy event created a space where the LGBTQ+ community is visible, and it tells the campus that, “we’re here, we exist.”