Alright, so you’ve probably heard about this annual thing called Blue for Q (“Q” meaning queer). There’s a week for it, a basketball game and lots of support for the LGBTQ community in general. But if you are not a senior, you might be wondering: Why blue? I mean, sure, “Orange for Q” is not nearly as catchy, but there’s a lot more to it than that.
A long time ago (only a few years really), in a nearby land called Reid Athletic Center, there was a “Coming Out” door set up by LGBTQ Initiatives. These doors have markers placed nearby for students, faculty, staff and anyone else to write messages of support for LGBTQ people. Unfortunately, someone decided to write some hateful things… using a blue marker. Legend has it that the backlash was incredible. Students were horrified that another student would write such terrible things, and the campus rallied in support of the LGBTQ community. Students decided to reclaim the color blue as their own and turn it into a positive movement. Because the incident happened in the Reid Athletic Center, sports teams were particularly roused, and it was decided that there would be a basketball game in which players would wear rainbow socks and the coaches wear rainbow ties in support of LGBTQ. Thus, Blue for Q was born.
Blue for Q isn’t just a generic “come support the gays” event, though you should always come to those events regardless. It is a movement that was inspired directly by an incident on campus, and it demonstrates the ways that students can support one another in incredible ways. Any time you can get a group of young, driven, like-minded college students to organize themselves for a cause, you have a very powerful force.
To be honest, I’ve heard from several people that the support of Blue for Q has dwindled over the past few years. I think this is partly because it was such an “in the moment” incident. The majority of people on campus now weren’t here to experience the incident, and so it seems more disconnected from the current student body.
I wholeheartedly support Blue for Q even though I wasn’t here for its creation. I support the concept of students organizing in support of marginalized individuals and for keeping alive a tradition that was built on stopping hatred.
Sometimes I wonder how students would react if a similar incident happened again. Would the wave of support be revived only to die down once more? Would it be shrugged off more than before? I’m not sure, and I hope I don’t have to find out. It’s a simple concept really, to respect other people. Yet, it seems so difficult for a lot of people. That isn’t a criticism of any group in particular, just an observation of general behaviors.
It makes me a little sad thinking that LGBTQ-identifying people still have to go through discrimination every day, but I’m glad to see that there are others who will rise against such hate. As a supporter of the LGBTQ community, I appreciate that there are events and movements like Blue for Q. These kinds of movements give hope to people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and so on. So when you hear about a Blue for Q event, don’t brush it off. Just going to show your support can mean a lot to people. Hopefully, I’ll see you at the basketball game