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  • Writer's pictureDaizha Lankford

If Wearing A Rainbow Was Enough...

Updated: May 24, 2019

An Open Letter To The Hampton University LGBTQ+ Community


At Hampton University, I am the majority. I am a black, light-skinned (Yes we can get into colorism too), straight woman.

My sexuality alone gives me the privilege of being seen, heard, and considered “normal.”

I often use this privilege. (Sometimes subconsciously.)

I often take delight in calling myself an ally, attempting to speak eloquent words, and ask eloquent questions, and acknowledging my queer brothers and sisters.

However, usually, I fall short in being an actual ally on this campus.

For example, this week is pride week.

I have been to zero of the events.

Whatever excuse I have no longer matters, because it doesn’t add up to the pain, struggles, and heartache the Hampton LGBTQ+ Community and beyond goes through on this campus.

I can go to pride parades, wear rainbow ribbons, and paint my face like a Skittles package… it still won’t be enough.

Because if wearing a rainbow was enough, we would not have members of our campus feeling excluded, underrepresented, and silenced.

If wearing a rainbow was enough, we would not only address relationships in the heterosexual sense.

If wearing a rainbow was enough, we would not shame people for being openly who they are.

If wearing a rainbow was enough, 20% of College Students wouldn’t feel unsafe because of their gender or sexuality identifier.

If wearing a rainbow was enough, we would not have just one official organization that addresses the LGBTQ+ community.

If wearing a rainbow was enough, an average of 34% of LGBTQ+ students would not be harassed by their peers on college campuses.

If wearing a rainbow was enough… we wouldn’t have to have these discussions.

But it’s not.

Wearing a rainbow is not enough.

Being an ally is so much more than even I can comprehend.

I am grateful for the people on this campus who fight to teach, empower, and uplift.

I encourage everyone (myself included) to learn about the struggles. Because just because they aren’t happening to us personally, does not make them unreal.

So, to my brothers and sisters who represent every spectrum of the rainbow.

I cannot even begin to understand what you feel, I doubt I ever will.

I can only include you more, learn from you more, acknowledge my ignorance more. (Use google more, because it’s not your job to teach me when I have access to so much information)

I can only show you love when you experience hate.

I can only show you beautiful colors when people only want to spew darkness.

I can only wear a rainbow until I learn to do so much more.

But one day I will, and I will have you to thank for that.

Thank you for being beautiful, resilient, and powerful.

Peace & Love, D

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