Dear CSCU Community,
October is LGBT History Month, and a number of our campuses held events from community dialogues and awareness campaigns, to award ceremonies recognizing the hard work of those who serve our community. I was fortunate enough to join in on a number of these events, and listen first hand to students, staff, and other community members, share their stories and their perspectives. This is a good moment to reflect as individuals and as a community.
Last Wednesday was National Coming Out Day. For those of us among the LGBTQ+ community, coming out is a deeply personal, emotional and often frightening part of our lives. It is also not something that everyone has the safety, security, and support to do. For those in my generation, it is truly moving to see how much has changed since we came out to our friends and families. When coming out meant you could be fired from your job, lose your housing, or be denied services, to now where we have legal protections against discrimination and a society which is more and more accepting of our community.
This is also a time to remember to never be complacent. We need only look back to this July and the barring of transgender individuals from serving in the armed forces as an example of how quickly one’s rights can be taken away. Let this month be a reminder of how far we have come, but also of how much more we have left to fight for.
Mark E. Ojakian, President
Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU)