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Students celebrate during the College’s Pride Week

Miller Library looks a little different this week. The usually plain columns are now decorated, each adorning a different colored fabric. It resembles a large rainbow, or in this case, a large pride flag. The new decorations were the second event that The Bridge put on to celebrate Pride Week here at the College.

Pride Week is a celebration of LGBTQ+ self-love, self-acceptance, history, legal rights, and — most of all —­ pride in being who they are.

While it started in the United States, it has grown so that there are events internationally that bring communities together across the globe. The most notable part of Pride Week is Pride Parades, which take place in cities across the world and see millions of attendees.

Pride celebrations typically take place inJune to commemorate the Stonewall Riots of 1969, which was a pivotal time in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights. The celebrations can sometimes serve as demonstrations to get legal rights, such as same-sex marriage, but more often than not, they serve as a community coming together to celebrate who they are.

While the College’s Pride Week took place earlier than the global one, as it had to take place while students were still on campus, it did not lack any of the energy or festivities that the celebrations in June have.

To start off, the College hosted a drag show that featured several professional Drag Queens as well as several student performances. This event was followed by a week of activities, including the aforementioned decorating of Miller Steps, succulent plotting, a screening of “Call Me By Your Name,” and ended with a Queerty, or the queer dance party.

These events were put on by The Bridge, Colby’s club for LGBTQ+ students and allies.

The Colby Echo spoke with Kevin Craig ’24, who organized Pride Week and credited his experience as a Community Advisor for how he was able to put it all together.

“After the Steering Committee graduated in 2021, the Bridge went through a period of stasis until this Pride Week. As a CA, my ARD [Area Resident Director] 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. I already plan the now semesterly drag shows as dorm events, so I just built the rest of the week off the Spring Show,” Craig said.

He also discussed why Pride is so important to celebrate at Colby.

“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. Colby is such a heteronormative space, and what queer community there is can be unfriendly, competitive, or awkward, which is why it’s so important to come together-especially when there’s been so much homophobia on campus this year. 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 me trying to make up for lost time,” Craig said.

While there has been good turnout for most of the event, and much support from people on campus, Pride Week has not been welcomed with entirely open arms.

“Most of the students I’ve interacted with are also really thankful and supportive of what I’ve done, but I have received pushback from Yik Yak and upper-class students,” Craig said.

Despite push back, Craig hopes that his actions to both make The Bridge more visible this year and make Pride Week happen will be just the beginning of a more active LGBTQ+ community on campus, where students feel seen and know that they have a community.

“I also wanted to focus on mostly social programs with high visibility to plant the seedlings for next year and try to get buy-in, since even that wasn’t a guarantee and I didn’t want my efforts for naught,” he said.

Pride Week might be over this year, but that does not mean that The Bridge will be inactive moving forward. The club is part of the Pugh Center all year and is there for any students who are looking for a community.

Make sure to look out for more Bridge events and get excited for Pride Week next year, which is sure to be bigger and better. After all the work Craig put into Pride Week this year, The Bridge is just getting started and is planning to be more visible in future years.

~ Mairead Levitt `25

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