This month is LGBTQ+ History Month. With the goal of providing a platform to celebrate inclusivity and diversity, BSU is bringing back its pride games. Chanelle Melton (she/her) is the manager of diversity, inclusion, and compliance at BSU and she hopes that “these games help create a welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ athletes, supporters, and allies, fostering a sense of belonging and acceptance.” Melton continued saying “Ultimately, the Pride Games in college athletics contribute to creating an inclusive and equitable sports culture, where individuals of all sexual orientations and gender identities can participate, excel, and feel proud of who they are.”
Each sports team that plays in October will have a dedicated ‘pride game.’ At those games, the typical BSU Bear flag will be replaced with a pride banner, featuring the same bear in rainbow colors. Teams can also choose to show their support with other additional pride accessories.
The women’s soccer team’s pride game was the Tuesday, October 10 loss against the Tufts Jumbos. The team chose to wear rainbow ribbons in their hair to support their LGBTQ+ teammates.
Freshman women’s soccer player Rebecca Russo (she/her) commented on their pride game: “To me, having a pride game at BSU made the overall feel of inclusion here ten times stronger. It’s so important to let everyone at BSU as well as others watching athletics know that they are seen and should be proud to show off their pride.”
In addition to women’s soccer, Women’s tennis, field hockey, and men’s soccer have had their pride games, all showing support in different ways. These games will continue throughout the month of October for the other teams. Volleyball’s will be on October 25th against the MCLA Trailblazers. Football’s will also coincide with Senior Day when they face the UMass Dartmouth Corsairs on the 28th. Swimming & Diving will have theirs in the meet against Clark University, which is also on the 28th.
Melton believes that “by celebrating diversity, these events can inspire confidence and self-acceptance among LGBTQ+ students and athletes, empowering them to be their authentic selves and pursue their goals with pride.”