VALDOSTA — There are always free t-shirts circulating on a college campus.

The Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collections decided to put together a Pride Month exhibit using a few of those t-shirts and other archived items called “Wear Your Pride.”

On the first floor of the Odum Library, students and faculty can view a small selection of t-shirts, posters, tickets and a scrapbook from VSU’s various LGBTQ groups.

The materials promoted drag events, or just vocalized messages of equality for the campus’ LGBTQ students.

“Some of them advertise organizations, and some of them just put out a positive message about homosexuality,” said Deborah Davis, archivist director.

LGBTQ organizations have been around since the late 80s, and the case displays items from those student groups throughout the years, from the the Gay and Lesbian Association to the Gay Straight Alliance to the Genders and Sexualities Alliance.

The display is another way for VSU to meet its mission to “plan and provide programming, special events, training and educational opportunities that enhance diversity, equality and equity,” according to the Department of Student Diversity and Inclusion.

“They need to be able to come here and not fear for who they are,” said Doug Carlson, archives technical assistant. “It is South Georgia, and it might not be quite as accepting here as it is in bigger cities, but we just want to make sure that no matter what is going on around the community, the VSU community itself is supportive of the LGBT community.”

The display will be in Odum Library throughout Pride Month and possibly until the end of summer semester, Davis said. 

Katelyn Umholtz is a reporter with the Valdosta Daily Times. She can be contacted at (229)244-3400 ext. 1256.

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