LGBTQ+ students at Kent State begin the celebration of pride month

Sophomore general business student Chase Nelson.

Andre Claudio Reporter

With this year’s pride month taking place during quarantine, some students at Kent State decided to get creative and celebrate pride from home. 

Pride month is an event that takes place throughout June to celebrate the rights granted to people of the LGBTQ+ community.

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court passed a federal law protecting members of the LGBTQ+ community from work discrimination with a 6-3 vote. This has become one of the most necessary and significant rulings for the rights of gay and transgender people ever to occur. 

Freshman general business student Chase Nelson has expressed his gratitude towards the Supreme Court for passing such a vital law for the community. Although, he said it is unfortunate it took so long for the law to be passed.

“I think nonetheless, I’m very happy that passed legislation,” Nelson said. “Now it’s there and secured, and hopefully no one can ever take that away.”

Sophomore business management student Shawn Schreckengost has begun using his platform to bring awareness to the Black Lives Matter movement while incorporating it with pride month.

With the uncertainty of the pride festival taking place this year, Schreckengost has found his way to celebrate pride while following social distancing rules and regulations. June 8, Schreckengost uploaded pride photos to his Instagram which had an inspiring caption attached to it.

In the photos, Schreckengost is holding 11 multi-colored balloons as he walks around town spreading gay pride.

“I wanted to create something fun and colorful for pride,” Schreckengost said. “It’s all about celebrating everyone and everything no matter the way they are.”


In the caption, Schreckengost talks about the relations between the Black Lives Matter movement and pride.  

“Pride started because a black trans woman stood up for the police brutality that was happening to queer people,” Schreckengost said. “Now it’s time we stand up again for what is right.” 

In honor of the Black Lives Matter movement and pride, Schreckengost proposed a challenge for his followers. For every comment that he received in 24 hours, he was going to be donating $1 to the Center for Black Equity.

“I am not posting this so more people follow me or because I want something out of this,” Schreckengost said. “I just think this is a way for everyone to do something simple to help out an amazing organization.”

At the end of the 24 hours, Schreckengost had racked in a total of 48 comments but decided to round up and donate $50 to the organization.

At the end of the post, Schreckengost provides different ways that people can get involved and donate on their own if willing. 

“I did research on some organizations prior to donating, and although there are many great ones out there, I really connected with this one,” Schreckengost said.

One way that a lot of members of the LGBTQ+ community celebrate pride is through a pride festival. Schreckengost plays a vital role in the Akron Pride Festival as a volunteer.  This role entails taking care of all the volunteer organizations and keeping everything fresh and up to date.

Schreckengost has worked with Akron Pride for two years and got his start when he worked at the LGBTQ+ center at Kent State. 

“They were having me work on projects with Akron Pride, and a lot of things were coming onto my plate from Akron Pride,” Schreckengost said. “I later went up to the director and asked if I could sit in on the meeting as a collaboration, and the rest is history.” 

In the beginning, Schreckengost started by making Akron Pride’s entire sign-up system online, because the previous method was by pen and paper. This year, Schreckengost took on the role of working on the green initiative which works on making each pride eco-friendlier than the last. 

“After making the sign-up system online, people started doing their training online with their phones, laptops, tablets, anything they could get their hands on, so it was a huge success,” Schreckengost said. 

Schreckengost believes that with everything going on in the world right now, pride is more important than ever. 

“I wasn’t here to stand up for what happened at Stonewall, but I’m here now, and I plan on standing up for what I believe in,” Schreckengost said.

Andre Claudio covers fashion. Contact him at [email protected]