AURA organizes events for LGBTQ+ awareness
On Friday, April 21, FDU AURA gave Florham Campus students the opportunity to support the LGBTQ+ community.
According to AURA president Lexie Greenberg, the club’s message is in its name, which stands for “Accepting and Understanding the Rights of us All.” Greenberg said that she took charge of planning club events after the recent election. “I came up with the idea of taking two of our annual events, such as the Day of Silence and the AURA Drag Show, and turning it into part of a weeklong Pride where students here on campus could become more knowledgeable about the LGBTQ+ community,” said Greenberg.
Greenberg said that the club collectively decided to host a panel of members from the FDU community to talk about a range of topics Sarena Gerard Staff Writer impacting the LGBTQ+ community. They also decided to invite speakers to discuss these topics. “We all decided that instead of holding just a small party at the end of the Day of Silence, we would break the silence with our annual Drag Show,” said Greenberg.
“Throughout the whole week, we also did fundraising to give to charity and handed out free rainbow support ribbons too.” According to AURA, those who pledged to take the Day of Silence recognized a need to be supportive and accepting of the LGBTQ+ community regardless of gender or sexual identities.
“The silence represents those in the LGBTQ+ community that have been silenced in some way, killed, or committed suicide because of their sexual identities,” said Greenberg.
“When breaking the silence, and finally being able to talk after your day is over, shows that you still have a voice and have an opportunity to do good with it, as those who have lost their voices would have liked to do with theirs.”
Greenberg said that AURA’s Day of Silence and Drag Show bring awareness of the LGBTQ+ community to the campus setting. “We may have the right to marriage now, but we can still be denied at certain places. Conversion camps are still around, which try to ‘teach others to be natural and normal’ instead of who they truly are,” said Greenberg.
“People are still being attacked for walking together with their significant other, and trans people are still being told they can’t use the bathrooms,” she continued. “There are still so many things that we need to fight for, and it helps when other people have an understanding so that they can help push things forward.”
Greenberg said that she hoped participants in the Day of Silence and in the audience of the Drag Show learned something from the event. “I hope that they can walk away from the show and the Day of Silence knowing that they have a voice that’s worth being heard, and hope to use that voice to spread positive thoughts, not only around our campus, but wherever they go in life,” said Greenberg.
Several Florham Campus students attended the Drag Show in support of friends, the LGBTQ+ community, and for their own awareness. “It gets people out of their comfort zone and [immerses] them in someone else’s environment and culture. Also it’s fun,” said junior Chris Tulli.
For more information on AURA and its events, follow the club’s Instagram at fdu_aura or its Facebook page, FDU AURA.