By Elizabeth Sekkes
For many Bridgewater State University students, it has been a difficult journey to make throughout the last four years toward graduation.
Many obstacles presented themselves, causing the amiable endeavor of earning a bachelor’s degree to be no easy task. To the GLBT student community, this sentiment could not be more true.
Whether GLBT students were forced to deal with unsupportive and even dismissive parents or health insurance hassles due to their GLBT identity as they worked toward earning their degrees, many GLBT students will experience relief once their degrees are finally handed to them, after a long and complicated upward climb.
To honor these students who have worked hard for their degrees despite some unfortunate circumstances which they had to face, on Tuesday, May 6, the GLBTA Pride Center is hosting a special Lavender Graduation Ceremony, which honors the struggle and achievement of GLBT students.
The event will be held in the Dunn Conference room from 12-1:00 p.m. GLBT allies are also welcomed and encouraged to attend and participate in the event.
Lee Forest, the Director of the GLBTA Pride Center, said the Lavender Graduation is a time to honor all graduating seniors, but especially those from the GLBT community.
“Lavender Graduation is a very intentional ceremony that recognizes the challenges of all students to reach the achievement to graduate,” Forest said. “But it also shines a purposeful light on the unique and additional challenges faced by GLBT students.”
Daja Taylor, a sophomore communication studies major who is attending the Lavender Graduation ceremony, said she is looking forward to the meaningful event.
“I’m really excited to go,” Taylor said. “It’s going to be the second time that I’m going. I think it’s a really affirming event for our LGBTA students and faculty on campus.”
Forest said the Lavender Graduation event is a wonderful opportunity to unite all graduating students on campus.
“It’s a community celebration because it opens a space for GLBT students and their allies to come together in solidarity and celebration,” Forest said.
Students participating at the event will receive a Rainbow Stole, and any students who have achieved a GPA of 3.5 or higher will also receive a certificate of academic achievement that has been signed by Bridgewater State University President Dana Mohler-Faria.
While the Lavender Graduation Ceremony is not an official graduation commencement, it is a special time for GLBT students and their supporters to commemoratively celebrate their academic achievement.
Forest said the Lavender Graduation event is a profound time for students to ponder their pasts and their futures as members and allies of the GLBT community.
“Like all endings, it’s bittersweet,” Forest said. “There are goodbyes and there’s reflection of all the hard work and effort that got you there today. And there’s a looking forward to future possibilities.”
Elizabeth Sekkes is the News Editor at The Comment. Email her at email@example.com.