Pride Week returned to Colby on April 9-16, 2022 after a year-long hiatus.
Kevin Craig ’24 helped organize many of the events. “After the Steering Committee graduated in 2021, the Bridge went through a period of stasis until this Pride Week,” he explained. “As a CA, my ARD was part of the Bridge and encouraged me to use my event planning experience as a CA to put together a Pride Week, so the Bridge didn’t officially go under this year.”
With the added support of the administration and various student groups, the Bridge was able to host a wide variety of activities and events for the community this past week.
“The support I’ve received administratively has really been amazing,” said Craig. “Nathan [Baird] in Campus Life has been such a help with the Drag Shows and in logistically supporting the events this week… Kate Smanik and Dining have also really helped with some of the programs I have planned… Most of the students I’ve interacted with are also really thankful and supportive.”
Pride Week events included a drag show, movie screening, queer community building circle, and queer lunch.
Kimanie Brown ’24 helped organize the Drag Show. “At first, it was hard to determine if the Bridge still existed considering that the group was inactive, but with the help of SPB, SGA, and the new Bridge club, I didn’t find many setbacks with creating the events like the Drag Show, for example,” she said.
Craig also reflected on his experience with the Bridge and the importance of continuing the Pride Week tradition here at Colby.
“I think that there’s a general lack of community because there aren’t really great social spaces or events for LGBTQ+ students to connect in, and there’s only so much that the Bridge can do with its current resources,” he said. “I remember going into the Bridge room in Fall 2020 which was my first semester, and crying because I had never encountered a visible space for people like me. I can’t imagine how difficult navigating Colby was for first-years this year who didn’t get to experience that visibility the Bridge had last year, and so this week is really trying to make up for lost time.”
“The fragility of the Bridge with leadership graduating and the isolation that is rampant among the queer community really exemplifies why Pride is so important here,” Craig continued.
Pride is an important opportunity for queer students at Colby to feel safe, heard, and supported.
“Pride week… helps us take a break from what is normal at Colby, and it allows us to foster change for people that may feel invisible on campus,” explained Brown. “The goal of pride week is to cultivate queer spaces for people to be themselves, and embrace others who may have had similar experiences like them. It’s a celebration of people, love, color, and everything gay.”
“Pride week is important because it allows for Colby students to showcase and cherish a really important part of their identities, as well as support their peers in the LGBTQ+ community,” said Brunda Katikreddy ’24.
“I think members of the lgbtq+ community are often overlooked on campus and pride week can help to create awareness and foster conversations,” agreed Bridget Grant ’24.
In future years, Craig hopes the College can continue to expand Pride Week.
“I know COVID is still limiting, but I think because the community is so small here at Colby, that being able to interact with LGBTQ+ peers at Bates, Bowdoin, and U Maine would address some of the isolation that is really rampant,” he explained.
“I would love to see a newly elected Steering Committee with creative, new ideas plan together to start strongly next year with more events than just Pride Week,” Craig added. “On the interpersonal level, queer students should be recognized for the difficulty that is navigating Colby by allies, and queer students should really support one another more. We’re an incredibly diverse community with countless different backgrounds, but we do share an identity in queerness, so being there for each other would go such a long way.”
~ Maura Thompson `24