This LGBT Pride Month Is More Important Now Than Ever

This LGBT Pride Month Is More Important Now Than Ever

The fight rages on.

It's Pride Month! Which if you're not familiar, June marks the LGBT history and celebration where thousands of cities will host parades and other events for the LGBT community; it's basically like gay Christmas. However, the LGBT has faced many obstacles within the past year since the Pulse Nightclub Attack and the Trump Administration. But as they have done in years past, the LGBT community isn't going down without a fight.

Monday, June 13 marked the one year anniversary since the Pulse Nightclub Shooting in Orlando, Fl. The day was full of ceremonies and services to honor the victims and families of the 49 killed and 50 injured in the attack. Since the attack, the LGBT has recognized and expressed their condolences at every Pride event following that day. Florida Governer, Rick Scott, declared Monday "Pulse Remembrance Day" and ordered all flags at half mast.

Sunday, protestors took to the D.C. streets as a political march rather than the typical celebration. Protestors demanded that President Trump takes more action in protecting the LGBT community. President Trump has remained silent on LGBT issues, even though his party traditionally disagrees with them. Earlier this year, President Trump rolled back on Obama-era protections for transgender youth in public schools. Now, thousands of trans-children face harassment and potential violence as they are forced to use the restrooms that do not coordinate with their gender identity. Trump has also become the first president in years to not publically dedicate June as Pride Month. Trump's silence along with Vice President Mike Pence's anti-LGBT beliefs and conversion therapy has the LGBT community going back to their Stonewall roots and are ready to protest. There is no doubt we are living in a turning point in history, not just for the LGBT community, but for all minorities.

Cover Image Credit: Time Out

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Protect Children, Not Guns

It's time to save innocent lives.

School shootings are happening every day around the world and innocent children’s lives are being taken. However, the day-to-day school shootings aren’t brought to our attention unless a significant amount of people die. Personally, I am fed up with continuously hearing about these terrifying school shooting scenarios because nothing is being done to prevent them from reoccurring.

The recent shooting at Stonemason Douglass High School was right near my hometown in Boca Raton, Florida. I felt particularly emotional and devastated because I’ve been to that campus many times for sporting events. I felt the chills knowing that the hallways that I had once walked through were under attack and covered in bodies.

When will it be enough? When will something be done to stop mentally unstable teenagers from being able to purchase a gun? What kind of country doesn’t allow teenagers to purchase alcohol on their own but grants them permission to purchase their very own assault rifle? Something needs to change regarding the gun laws due to the number of times that horrific events, such as the Stonemason Douglass High School massacre, have occurred.

Those innocent victims left for school that morning not knowing that they would end up either injured or dead. They said bye to their parents on their way to school and never made it back home. Children’s learning environments should be a safe space that promotes comfort and care. Children and teenagers shouldn't have to go to school each day living in fear due to a potential attack or shooter.

Mental health issues are one of the major reasons that these attacks are occurring; however, the biggest issue is the gun laws. Mental health issues, in essence, are internal problems that individuals feel on a personal level. A majority of mental health cases are disguised until the individual lashes out on either themselves or others around them.

Therefore, we can not say that any teenager has the right to purchase a gun because no one will truly know whether or not that person has a secret mental disorder or a violent agenda. In the presidential response to the school shooting “mental health” was emphasized as the major issue that needed to be addressed. However, this is just a minor part of a much greater issue. Mental health can be treated step by step; however, this will not solve the shooting and the gun issues due to the fact that a majority of mental health cases are disguised. The 19-year-old shooter at Douglass high school was able to put on an act as he walked in to purchase his very own assault rifle.

There was no way to judge this boy by his cover; therefore, his mental health issue and plans were kept a secret until he lashed out. Mental health issues are all around us; however, we can not distinguish the individuals who have a violent agenda versus those who genuinely want to be helped; therefore, we can not provide teenagers access to deadly weapons.

Our government and laws must start enforcing stricter gun laws in order to prevent more innocent children’s lives from being taken away. The younger generations are being exposed to traumatizing, horrific acts of crime and violence at such a young age and they will never be the same. It is the government’s obligation to make sure that children grow up and are educated in a safe, nourishing environment as opposed to an environment in which they fear random acts of violence. In order to help restore the peace and comfort that used to be prevalent amongst all schools and communities, the gun laws must be changed and access to violent weapons must be prevented.

Cover Image Credit: Hakan Erenler

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Cornell Fraternity Reprimanded For Hosting 'Pig Roast'

"Continuing to allow such students to prowl a college campus rather than face expulsion appears a rather questionable decision set forth by Cornell elites."

After receiving numerous reports, recent investigations were launched leading to the uncovering of a rather appalling contest used to determine incoming pledges of Cornell University's chapter of Zeta Beta Tau.

The fraternity was found guilty of administering a competition in which pledges were awarded points for initiating sexual intercourse with female students. However, unlike many similar contests popularized through rushes hosted by fraternities across the nation, Zeta Beta Tau coined their particular competition the "pig roast" in honor of their unique tiebreaker ritual. Should two or more pledges find themselves at a tie, the one who sleeps with the largest woman wins.

After the university's investigations confirmed the legitimacy of their reports in January, Zeta Beta Tau has been placed on a two year probation period in which the fraternity is required to employ a live-in adviser in order to enforce the proper conduct of current members and regularly educate them on the issue of sexual assault. In addition, members will be expected to take part in a minimum of two campus events in recognition of Cornell's Sexual Assault Awareness Week.

The question remains, however, whether a slap on the wrist such as this has truly done the women involved justice. Or, perhaps, presuming the acts were consensual, these women were only victimized through the humiliation of being unknowingly chosen for such a ritual rather than the sexual act itself. Therefore, can one lawfully designate this an act of sexual assault?

If a woman consents to a sexual encounter, she has not suddenly fallen victim to her partner. Rather, in this case, she is suffering the consequences of sleeping with a perfect stranger whose motives remained unclear. A brief look at any news source today would prove that this aftereffect is seemingly minor in comparison to the many things that happen to women who make similar choices. Although, this is not to say that the women involved deserved to be used this way by any means.

While arguments from either side of the issue of victimization may very well continue to remain a matter of opinion, it can be universally agreed that the actions of the Zeta Beta Tau members were resoundingly wrong based on natural principles. Another's body is not to be disrespected and sexually exploited for one's gain. Thus, continuing to allow such students the privilege to prowl a college campus rather than face expulsion appears a rather questionable decision set forth by Cornell elites.

Cover Image Credit: Guest of a Guest

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