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The Growing Membership of Pirates for Pride

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The Growing Membership of Pirates for Pride

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I run through the rain in the direction of the Old Carriage House, a box of food clutched in one hand and an umbrella in the other. My shoes are soaked through and I desperately hope that someone will be there to unlock the doors and let me in. The red door with “Korouva Milk Bar” painted on it in white script opens with a squeal and a groan as I push myself out of the rain. The tiny little cafe is cold and idle, with only the two baristas and a stray student. It’s shocking to see the quirky and colorful room so devoid of life, when I know that it will be packed to the brim with students–students who make up the warm and loving community that is Pirates for Pride.

Pirates for Pride is a community-based organization on campus where students discuss LGBTQ+ related issues. In recent years, the membership of the club has skyrocketed as more and more students attend meetings and participate in Pride sponsored events. A standard meeting is typically a discussion based around a proposed topic. More often than not, attendees propose their own topics and direct where the discussion goes. It’s never limited to only LGBTQ+ issues, like the LGBTQ+ community and their relationship with religion, but anything students feel strongly about and want to talk about, like dress codes in schools. Students aren’t afraid to speak up and everyone is encouraged to contribute. It’s a welcoming community, more like a family than a club, and everyone is given a voice.

A few years ago, this wasn’t always the case. In 2016, Pirates for Pride consisted of a handful of first-years who didn’t have any idea what to do and nothing to go off of. They rebuilt the organization from what it used to be, transforming it into the inclusive community it is now. Looking back on it, one of the original members remarked,”That tiny meeting seems surreal now…”. It’s amazing to think about how the membership of Pirates for Pride grew from six people to fifty in three short years.

When asked about the growing popularity of the club, many of the original members credited it to the sense inclusivity and community within the organization. In this current political climate, it’s not unusual to think that people would flock together for a sense of solidarity and safety. This isn’t exclusive to just LGBTQ+ individuals either. A fair amount of members identify as straight, but the feeling of alliance draws in many to the community.

This growing attendance is a sign of hope for many in Pirates for Pride. Many of the original members expressed the hope that the club will continue to grow, even after they graduate. The increasing awareness of Pirates for Pride on Southwestern’s campus is a good sign for the future of the club. As the communities’ membership grows, so can their presence of love and support.

If you are looking to get involved with Pirates for Pride, or the greater LGBTQ+ community, meetings are held in Korouva Milk Bar on Thursdays at 5:30 pm. There are also a variety of events coming up, like the Homecoming Drag Brunch, or the Dragcula Ball. Professors can also be more involved by emailing ingram3@southwestern.edu and getting Lavender Spaces trained. Pirates for Pride is open to anyone who wants to be involved, regardless of your orientation.

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