Updated: Sep 20, 2022
Bridge Builders Week is back Feb. 14-18 with a jam-packed lineup of fun and educational activities for LGBTQ students and allies.
From WELL Core talks to a prom and a bake sale, Bridge Builders will host its annual event series for the first time in two years after pandemic-related cancellations, with the goal of sharing perspectives at Belmont.
“Bridge Builders is education- and community-based, and that’s what we’re trying to pull through into Bridge Builders Week,” said Rylan Anderson, president of Bridge Builders.
Each club officer chose a WELL Core speaker for the schedule focusing on a different subject matter important to the LGBTQ community. These include talks on LGBTQ mental health as well as on the intersection of faith and gender.
Anderson said they are most excited for Monday’s WELL Core event: a deep dive into what the Bible really says about homosexuality, led by Belmont professor Dr. Andy Watts.
“I feel like it’s something that needs to be clarified, especially on a Christian campus,” said Anderson. “And I think it has the potential to be pretty restorative for some people who have experienced religious hate or trauma because of what people have told them that the Bible says.”
As for Bridge Builders Prom, the club is planning the event in order to take back an important coming-of-age moment that LGBTQ individuals might have missed out on in high school or didn’t get to experience as their authentic selves.
Some of the events in the schedule are faith-aligned, but that doesn’t fully encapsulate what Bridge Builders is, said member Nick Rosati.
The club’s weekly meetings are a different story, focusing on secular topics in the LGBTQ community such as sex, gender identity and coming-out stories.
“We talk about anything that isn’t related to religion regarding anything gay,” Rosati said.
Rosati still encourages LGBTQ students to attend the events, as he estimates that the majority of LGBTQ students on campus don’t attend the club’s meetings.
The events of Bridge Builders Week are open to all Belmont students.
“I would encourage people who don’t identify as queer to still try and attend some of these events and understand that by attending these events, you are actually practicing allyship and learning more about how to be a true ally,” said Anderson.
They said that one of the best ways someone can be an ally to the LGBTQ community is by educating themselves and learning from queer individuals.
“We want to create this moment for people to come together as a community,” Anderson said.
The full event schedule is:
Monday, Feb. 14 at 10 a.m. — Homosexuality in the Bible (WELL Core), Johnson 120.
Tuesday, Feb. 15 at 4 p.m. — How to Navigate the Professional World (WELL Core), Johnson 120.
Wednesday, Feb. 16 at 10 a.m. — Faith and Gender (WELL Core), Johnson 120.
Thursday, Feb. 17 at noon — Bridge Builders bake sale — location TBD.
Friday, Feb. 18 at 10 a.m. — LGBTQ+ Mental Health (WELL Core), Johnson 120.
Friday, Feb. 18 at 5 p.m. — Bridge Builders Prom, Beaman A&B.
PHOTO: Bridge Builders Week 2022 promotional post from Instagram. Bridge Builders
This article was written by Maddie Buchman.