Dosomething.com reports that 42 percent of people who are LGBT say they are living in an unwelcoming environment. The new LGBTQ Club Spectrum wants to aid in changing this statistic.
Spectrum is a group created in 2017 on the campus of FAMU. It was made specifically for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer plus students in order to raise awareness about the culture, history, rights, beliefs, and roles of the LGBTQ+ community.
The club also aims to eliminate ignorance, stereotypes and stigmas about this community to make Florida A&M University a more accepting and open campus to LGBTQ+ students, faculty, and staff.
“Spectrum is a safe place for the LGBTQ + students here at FAMU. When I first got to FAMU I was searching for friends who had something in common with me. After seeing Spectrum at the involvement fair, I knew that this was the right club for me to join,” said Nyah Williams, vice-president of Spectrum.
Having a specific club like this on an HBCU campus is important because it has been said by many that homosexuality in the black community is frowned at and looked down upon. Just recently, Philadelphia native Maurice Willoughby committed suicide due to bullying because he was having relations with a transgender woman.
“Us being on an open campus as LGBTQ+ people, a camaraderie of students who share the same trait is a good thing for us. Everyone has their dance troupes, their modeling troupes, their fraternities and sororities but what about us? This is why Spectrum is here. It is a safe house for the people of the LGBTQ+ community,” said Kennedy Williams, a member of Spectrum.
Over the past few years, the LGBTQ + community has been making people aware of their homophobia. Celebrities like Kevin Hart, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan and Azealia Banks have been homophobic on social media and have even missed out on prominent opportunities due to their insensitive comments.
“We not only hold events on FAMU’s campus, but we collaborate with FSU as well. We hold events with them to ensure that everyone continues to stay informed about what is going on in our community and to make sure the people in the LGBTQ + community are mentally, physically, and emotionally OK,” said Williams.
On both FAMU and FSU’s campus, Spectrum kicks off unorthodox events like mental health awareness, group therapy, and yoga sessions in order to get more exposure on campus.