Binghamton administrator calls on students to 'agitate nationally' at 'Progress Pride' flag-raising

State University of New York at Binghamton raised the “Progress Pride” flag for the first time on campus.

University administrator called on students to celebrate with the community, but also be ready to “'agitate nationally.'

The State University of New York at Binghamton celebrated the first day of LGBTQ+ Pride Month by raising the “Progress Pride” flag for the first time on campus.  

The “Progress Pride” flag is an updated version of the Pride Flag, and incorporates a black, brown, blue, pink, and white chevron pattern on top of the traditional rainbow. The additional colors represent transgenderism and people of color. University officials commemorated the start of pride month with speeches telling students to continue pushing to advance the LGBTQ+ agenda. 

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“Our efforts should not be confined to just these 30 days,” Nicole Sirju-Johnson, Binghamton’s assistant vice president for diversity at Binghamton, said at the event. “I want to encourage all of us to take this time to educate ourselves about ways we can support our colleagues, our students, family and friends who are a part of the LGBTQ community.”

Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Donald Hall also called on students to celebrate with the community, but also be ready to “agitate nationally.” “Be ready to march, be ready to use your voices. We must be prepared to fight for our rights and the rights of every member of our community,” he said.

The celebration also included speakers and a performance of Cyndi Lauper’s 1986 hit “True Colors.”

“This is the first time we’re having a ceremony, and we are looking forward to carrying this tradition forward.” said Nick Martin, Q Center assistant director. “Last year was the first time we displayed a pride flag on campus, but we did so with little fanfare.”

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The Q Center is a sub-department of Binghamton’s LGBTQ Center. The Q Center provides access resources such as a Bias Response Team, where students can report “an act of hate, bias, discrimination or harassment” and a “Gender Bender Clothing Closet” for students who want to “resist the gender binary.”

Binghamton’s LGBTQ Center hosts many events throughout the year while also providing resources and counseling for LGBTQ students. This spring, the LGBTQ Center coordinated a lavender graduation and encouraged students to take a day of silence to remember the marginalization of the LGBTQ+ community. 

The LGBTQ Center also includes other sub-departments, such as the department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies [WGSS] and the Lesbian and Gay Family Building Project.

Campus Reform reached out to The University of Binghamton, Nicole Sirju-Johnson, Nick Martin, and the LGBTQ Center for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

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