A man once asked the question “What does it all mean?” while looking at a double rainbow. Well, CW Post has its own rainbow and its message is straightforward. The Rainbow Alliance is a club on the CW Post campus that offers a safe place for students who are lesbians, gay, bisexual, transgendered and questioning their sexual orientation. The club’s overall purpose is to create a sense of comfort and tolerance around all sexual orientations.
Rainbow Alliance President Jermita Sanders has strong goals in leading the club. “I started the first meeting of the semester by telling everyone in attendance that our goal for this semester is to make everything bigger and better! So our plans for this semester is to just make our programs more elaborate and over the top and to get as many students to come to our program as possible.”
On the way to that goal, Rainbow provides several events to put itself out there on campus and make homosexuality more widely accepted. One event is a fashion show featuring people dressed in drag called “The Ultimate Drag Race.” Another is “Homosexuality After Dark” where homosexual sex is discussed in a group setting.
“We are also planning to have our gay wedding next spring where we simulate a gay marriage in hopes of spreading awareness of issues of homosexual marriage,” said Sanders. This past summer, the state of California overturned its ban on gay marriage after a United States Supreme Court ruling. New Jersey’s proposal to legalize gay marriage was voted down by state senators. The same proposition was turned down by New York State in December of 2009.
Rainbow held “Coming Out Week” in late October this year. Sanders said, “The theme of coming out week this year is “the ultimate alliance” so we will be cosponsoring all of our events with other campus clubs and organizations.” To commemorate the event, the Rainbow Alliance set up the annual “Coming Out Door” in Hillwood Commons, where people could come out of the closet.
The Rainbow Alliance is more than just homosexuals and bisexuals. It thrives on support from heterosexual students as well. “We also welcome straight students who would like to be allies and would like to come and learn about homosexuality.”
Sanders explained, “I want to help to put on more educational programs so our student body can learn about what it is like to be gay and how homosexuals have sex , or how we are not be able to get married or to not be able to serve in the army because of who you love.” According to a 2001 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 76% of gays, lesbians and bisexuals believe that there is a wider acceptance of homosexuality in the United States. However, 74% said they had faced discrimination and 32% claimed that they had suffered physical abuse because of their beliefs. “I want to kill the stigma of the rainbow alliance being “the gay club” and to make it an overall alliance.”
The Rainbow Alliance meets every Tuesday at 7:30pm inside Hillwood Commons and is open to all students.