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Penn State holds its first pride rally in three years

Penn State's Pride Rally & March returned for the first time in three years after being canceled because of COVID.

Attendees chanted "We Are...Not Straight" and "Hey Hey...Ho Ho...Homophobia's got to go" as they marched from outside the Penn State bookstore and down Pollock Road, before passing right in front of the Willard preacher to reach their final destination, the steps of Old Main. There, attendees told their stories of being LGBTQ.

Sonya Wilmoth is the director of Penn State's Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity. She said not being able to meet in person has been hard on the LGBTQ community.

"Ugh, you have no idea. To see students again in person and see them engaging and interacting and watching this community come together in person again, because it does mean a lot when we're trying to find community," Wilmoth said. "Over Zoom is hard, so it really does... it's very refreshing and oh, thank gosh."

Wilmoth said speakers and events were primarily online until the beginning of this past Fall semester.

Ryan Loscalzo is a fourth-year data science student who is part of the LGBTQ community. He feels that Penn State is pretty accepting.

"Of course there's always area for improvement, but I feel like this is one of the best communities and one of the best places in the country in order to be gay," Loscalzo said.

Events celebrating Penn State's Pride Month will run throughout April. "Pride in Your Ride" is the next part of the celebration Thursday at 5:30pm at the Bike Den.

Deitric Murphy is a fourth-year student at Penn State University Park. He is majoring in journalism with a focus in broadcast and is also working on a Theatre minor, Business Certificate and a Sports Journalism Certificate. Murphy aspires to be an actor for film when he graduates college, but as a journalist he would like to work for ESPN or ABC as a talk-show host. When not at work, he is playing video games, hanging out with friends or listening to music.