GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — This month marks an important time of awareness for members and allies of the LGBTQ community. Now, Nine on Your Side is taking a look at a special resource here in town working to make sure those in the community are supported.
“It’s made me a lot more confident in who I am and the way that I see myself and the community,” said Catherine Lynn an Animation Student at ECU.
That confidence coming from the support students and staff are receiving from the Dr. Jesse R. Peel LGBTQ Center on ECU’s campus.
“So, while our primary mission is serving campus we understand we play a role, as do many other departments at ECU, in reaching the community and we try to do that as best we can,” Mark Rasdorf a Sr. Associate Dir. ECU Intercultural Affairs.
The center, which is the largest of its kind in the UNC system, is working to help inform students and parents on the resources available to them.
Mark Rasdorf oversees the center. He says this month is an especially important month as they work to acknowledge the ways in which rights and awareness have been brought about for the LGBTQ community.
“June is the traditional month of celebrating LGBTQ pride and that commemorates the Stonewall riots in New York which really kicked off the modern movement for LGBTQ equality in the United States,” said Rasdorf.
Noting that the work they do goes hand in hand with that if other marginalized communities.
“And all of us look at intersectional social justice so we here in the LGBTQ center, we are hopefully creating opportunities both for engagement and education where folks can show up in the fullness of who they are.”
Students also explain that the center has become a second home to them and that they feel at ease knowing their university stands with them.
“It made me view ECU much more as my home away from home than I had before. It really made me feel like I am a student here at ECU,” said Catherine Lynn. “The people who work here I don’t think I’ve ever had as many close friends as I do now because of them.”
Saying that with the school’s support, it makes the campus feel more accepting of people from all different backgrounds.
“I know that from the students that we work with and faculty and staff who are looking to come to work at ECU the fact that there’s a vibrant LGBTQ center and send a message of support to prospective folks be they students, faculty or staff,” said Rasdorf.
Starting this month, the center will now be offering free pride flags just like this for any students or staff who want to stop by. ECU will also be shining the pride colors on the letters outside of the student center at the end of this month to show their solidarity.
Click here to learn more about the center and the work they do.