#tbt Pride and Promise: The Rainbow Road

Author: Capuano, Leah

#tbt Pride and Promise: The Rainbow RoadPhoto Courtesy of The University of Notre Dame

In almost every classroom at Notre Dame, you will find students with rainbow stickers plastered to their laptops and water bottles, or buttons pinned to the pockets of their backpacks. Organizations like PrismND, He for She, and the Gender Relations Committee pass out these trinkets in order to form a community of LGBTQ+ students and allies on campus. Every week, events such as the LGBTQ Picnic, LGBTQ Faith-Sharing sessions and Show Some Skin allow these students to share their stories with their peers.

The LGBTQ+ population at the University of Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College and Holy Cross College has not always had the support they do now. In the Oct. 13, 1994 issue of Scholastic, student Bill Albertini wrote an argumentative article describing the pros and cons of the university’s refusal to recognize the Gays and Lesbians of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College (GLND/SMC) as an official organization. Among the list of “pros” is a personal account written by Nikole Neidlinger, a gay student who describes

how she often felt excluded from her Notre Dame family, and how a club would allow more students to feel comfortable expressing themselves. On the other hand, many students argued that Notre Dame could not “accept an organization that promotes values and lifestyles conflicting with the faith, and still fulfill its pastoral mission as a Catholic university.”

Although our administration and student body have a long road ahead in terms of creating equality and support for their students, it is refreshing to note the progress that has already been made, from the variety of official LGBTQ+ organizations and events available to students, to the hundreds of tiny rainbow symbols now being proudly sported around campus.