Trigger Warnings: Murder of Black People, Mentions of Su*cide and Su*cidal Ideation
Black lives matter. This statement was trending in May and June, remember? Black lives have always and will always matter. So why does it take murder for us to say that so passionately?
You may be wondering why I started a statement about CUAllies with Black lives matter. The reason is simple. There is no liberation for the LGBTQ+ community without liberation for the Black community and vice versa. Fannie Lou Hamer, a Black disabled badass activist once said, "Nobody's free until everybody's free." If youâve been to the Brookland Busboy's and Poets, you may have seen this quote painted on the wall above the bar. I believe it firmly, and I live my life by it.
I am a bisexual non-binary CUA student. I attended for musical theatre from 2015-2020, and I am taking a class through the department of music performance this semester. When I started at CUA, Allies couldnât even meet on campus. We met every week across the street in the Barnes & Noble Cafe. I didn't have many friends at school. My girlfriend at the time wasnât even living in the country, so I was often in my room on Skype when I wasn't in one of my classes.
Allies was the only club I frequented while I was an undergrad student apart from a year on the board of CenterStage. I still remember my first Allies meeting. We talked definitions. LGBTQPIA+... I hadnât heard of anything past the Q before. I was new to the community as I had finally come out as bi to myself over the summer and bi to the world in December when I changed my relationship status on Facebook. I never wanted to come out. But I had to, because if I never did, I would be hiding the parts of myself that I love the most.
I was afraid to be a student at a Catholic university. I grew up going to church (albeit Protestant ones), singing in the church band, going to youth group retreats, and doing service trips. I was the perfect Christian girl... Well, I tried to be. Something never sat right with me about the church's views on sex and gender. But I felt like I had to be there to be "saved," so I shut up and repressed my views and myself.
CUAllies saved me on multiple occasions. Allies gave me a space to educate myself on my own existence--a plight many never have to endure. It gave me an outlet and a group of friends who didnât have to struggle to "get" me. It gave me a reason to stay at a school where I never felt like I fully belonged.
I took a term withdrawal halfway through the first semester of my senior year. I wanted to die, and I didn't like that. I took time away to do an intensive outpatient program, get a job, and work on me. Did you know that, according to The Trevor Project, 40% of LGBTQ+ young people "seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year"? That more than half of transgender and non-binary youth "seriously considered suicide in the past year"? When I left school, my friends from CUAllies were some of the only people who checked on me.
Whether you "believe" in being gay, trans, or queer, you cannot deny that students, staff, and faculty at CUA identify under the LGBTQ+ umbrella. To deny that, is to deny rights for a significant portion of the population. Jesus, God, Allah... whatever higher power you believe in, they love all people. Show your love for all people by supporting CUAllies in becoming an official student organization. Thank you.