This month the Triangle Alliance is busy with Gaypril activities that are being put on by the Stonewall Center that included everything from movie nights to hosting a spectacular drag show, but that isn’t all. This past Friday they also participated in the event called the Day of Silence. The Day of Silence is a day in which participants remain silent in a display of the voicelessness that often precedes bullying and hatred that is targeted at the LGBT*Q+ community. The event was started by GLSEN more than 25 years ago in Virginia and has since gone not just nationally, but globally. To find out more information about this events visit GLSEN’s Day of Silence FAQs page.
The Triangle Alliance started in the early 1992 after Oregon failed passed proposition 9 which stated that any state funded organization could not use its resources to help sponsor anything supporting homosexuality among other things and as such the club was originally named After 9. The club endured a large amount of ridicule during this time, including vandalism. Thankfully as the campus evolved so did the acceptance of the club, but one thing it did not change is the club’s open, respectful and accepting atmosphere. The club this term meets in Ackerman 141, Thursdays evenings from 5 to 6 p.m. and is open to everyone.
An average club meeting starts with introducing each member and answering a silly question. It then moves on to educating the club about the the terms that can be used in the community as well as words that could be possibly offensive to others. Then comes a little bit of fun and games followed by a chance for members to talk about themselves and how there life is going. This club is really designed to get people out of there shell and create a supporting network to allow those who are still finding themselves feel more comfortable with who they are.
Let us take the example of the club president John. This year is his senior year, but other than just academics his experience here at WOU has been a learning experience. He was originally from the small conservative town of Klamath Falls, Oregon and part of the reason he chose WOU was because he felt safe being himself here. Having conflicts with the club schedule his freshmen year John went when he could and finally ended up really connecting after joining the WOU drag show the end of his freshman year. He is now the club president and volunteers at the Stonewall center and invites everyone to come visit.
If you would like to join the Triangle Alliance you can contact them though email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on their facebook page. Even if you aren’t one to join a club or can’t fit it into your busy schedule the Stonewall Center is located on the first floor of the WUC (next to Abby’s house) is there to help you get informed, connected and have a safe place to be yourself. Just know that no matter who you are, you are always welcome at WOU and at the Stonewall Center. Your story is one of many diverse stories that make our campus unique.