On Oct. 23, at 1p.m., the Taylor Center for Equity and Inclusion, in collaboration with the Wellness Center, held the first annual Rainbow Run/Walk as a part of LGBTQ+ History Month celebrations on campus. This particular run was focused on transgender health issues.
The start and finish was located in the central quad outside of Buntrock Commons. Many runners dedicated their race to a specific transgender individual who had died, writing their names on race numbers in memorium. The 5K loop went through the center of campus.
Local Northfield drag queen Mrs. Moxie, who has been collaborating with the Taylor Center this semester, was the MC of the 5K. She opened up the race and cheered on runners throughout. The celebration included music playing on a loudspeaker, a balloon arch, and fruit, water, and granola bars waiting for runners or walkers when they finished.
Participants dressed in colors shown in the LGBTQ+ inclusive flag, complemented with pronoun pins and pride stickers supplied by both the Wellness Center and the Taylor Center.
Associate Director of Multicultural, Gender and Sexuality Jessica Cameron was instrumental in planning the event. “I was looking for something that would help bring attention to and amplify the [LGBTQ+] community while also engaging everyone,” Cameron said.
A central component of the race was a table dedicated to signing petitions and writing letters to legislators for LGBTQ+ rights. Passersby were able to participate in petition signing even if they hadn’t participated in the actual run.
“It was really inspiring to see people on campus — students, faculty and even prospective students and their parents engage in our event. It makes me hopeful that we’ll have many more events like this that involve even more people on campus,” said Wellness Center Student Coordinator Ruby Skrien ’22.
Along the loop, there were signs up that gave important statistics and information about transgender health. For example, one sign read, “29% of transgender people reported that they had to teach their healthcare provider about transgender health issues.” There were also extensive information cards on transgender health resources. These are still available in the Wellness Center.
“I was hoping that students would feel a larger sense of community to see members of the LGBTQ+ community as well as allies come together to honor lives,” Cameron said. “I was hoping that students would also learn, and engage with the work — being an ally also means that you take action,” Cameron said.