Pride Perspectives: Yendi Neil on being an Ally and Encouraging Equality
June is Pride Month, a special time to celebrate the LGBTQIA community and honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. This month, the College of Sciences is sharing stories and experiences about what Pride Month means to students and campus leaders who are active in LGBTQIA organizations at Georgia Tech.
"Although we must be apart this summer, we are thrilled to join in celebrating Pride Month together online, this year,” says Susan Lozier, College of Sciences dean and Betsy Middleton and John Clark Sutherland Chair. “Through listening and lifting up these perspectives, resources, and ideas, we connect in allyship and celebration with our vibrant LGBTQIA+ community across campus, the city of Atlanta, and beyond."
More 2020 Pride Perspectives:
- Pride Perspectives: New LGBTQIA Resource Center Director Tegra Myanna Shares Insights, Advice, and How to Get Connected
- Andrea Welsh on Grad Pride, Friendships, Feeling Connected
- Victoria Pham on the Power of Community, Remembering History, Supporting Students
Yendi Neil (she/her/hers) is a fourth year psychology major with a minor in international business, language, and culture. Her area of research is industrial/organizational psychology, and she works as a research assistant for the Attention and Working Memory Lab and Work Science Center. She is also a peer coach in the Georgia Tech Counseling Center.
Q: How would you describe the environment within the College of Sciences as it relates to supporting LGBTQIA students?
Within the College of Sciences, I would describe the environment being safe and encouraging. Many of the professors are trained in the Safe Space program. The professors take in consideration to address students with politically correct labels and pronouns. The College of Sciences also makes sure students are aware of resources available on campus.
Q: What does it mean to be an ally, and how can other students be allies?
To me, being an ally is taking the time to understand people’s differences within the community and support the community and equality. An ally does not necessarily need to be a part of the community itself. Other students can be an ally by joining in the conversation. Joining campus organizations like Pride Alliance, or attending campus events, is a good first step in learning more about the LGBTQIA community. Students can also be an ally by donating towards non-profit organizations like GLAAD and the Trevor Project, and advocating for equality.
Q: What can people within the College of Sciences, and Georgia Tech as a whole, do to support LGBTQIA students?
People within the College of Sciences, and Georgia Tech as a whole, can educate themselves to better support LGBTQIA students. There are resources on campus available for students like Safe Space to understand the community. People can also attend campus events and tabling events. Joining the Pride Alliance gives people the chance to connect with other allies and LGBTQIA students allowing conversations to occur.
Q: What has your experience within Pride Alliance been like?
Personally, I have not joined Pride Alliance, but I have been to their tabling events on campus and know a few of the members in the student organization. My experience has been overall positive. Having the opportunity to meet more people with a like mind set and learning more about the LGBTQIA community firsthand has encouraged me to become a member. Having this understanding of differences makes navigating in and outside of the workplace easier, and respecting others’ identities in the future.
Q: Why do you think that it is important to celebrate Pride Month?
I think it is important to celebrate Pride Month because it celebrates everybody’s differences and individuality. It also unites allies and members of the community. It brings attention to the want and need for equality and celebrates people’s identities.
Meet Tegra Myanna, Georgia Tech LGBTQIA Resource Center's new director.
Interested in learning more about Pride Month and how to be an ally? Visit the LGBTQ+ Experiment Website (external link, recommended by a current Georgia Tech student).
More Pride Month Features: