UW Oshkosh offers many opportunities to students to connect with others that differ from themselves. One of our campus resources, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transsexual Queer (LGBTQ) Resource Center, sponsored a movie night featuring the documentary Bullied and the premiere of the center’s student-made film “Together, We Make it Better.”
I walked into Reeve Union’s theater and seated myself next to a few people anxiously awaiting the start of the movie. The whole theater was buzzing with the anticipatory energy of the audience. I could feel this was going to be an eye-opening experience.
After a brief introduction from a UW Oshkosh counselor, we watched the movie Bullied, which details the struggles of a boy in middle school and high school dealing with constant harassment and receiving very little help from the school administrators. Instead of accepting this injustice, he took the administrators to court and won.
An open discussion took place after the movie. I found it incredible that people were unafraid to share their stories and honest opinions about tough issues like harassment, apathetic people, and what it truly means to accept others for who they are.
Following the discussion, the LGBTQ Resource Center debuted their film, “Together, We Make it Better.” Students and faculty from UW Oshkosh pledged their devotion to making the LGBTQ community feel a sense of belonging and more welcome on campus.
Cheers and laughs erupted from sections of the audience as people watched this video. I was confused and slightly disgusted as I wondered who would laugh at such personal and heartfelt commentary. As I turned around, the people that were laughing started saying things like, “This was the best decision of my life” and “That’s me! That’s me!”
Moments like that give me a sense of pride about our campus. People here are proud to tell the world who they are without worry of judgment.
After witnessing such a strong sense of community and whole-hearted acceptance of diversity, I know I’m definitely in the right place.