New LGBTQ+ student organization offers a safe and inclusive space for everyone

The Pride Society talks about resources they offer for LGBTQ+ students like connecting and planning events with the Pride Center


Tranh Pham, the Pride Center coordinator poses with students: Emilie Jocson a third year, Jess Lemos a third year, and Bowen Neumann, a first year social work graduate student holding up a variety of LGBTQ+ flags while tabling for the Club Days Event on Tuesday, Feb. 15. Photo by: Hannah Asuncion

Hannah Asuncion

The Pride Society is a new student club that started fall 2021 and helps LGBTQ+ students connect with other LGBTQ+ students, and allies by being each others’ support systems at Sacramento State. 

As they coordinate with the Pride Center, they make sure to plan events that will be inclusive towards everybody, according to Alex Wright, the club’s president. 

Wright, a computer science major who transferred fall 2020 because he found he couldn’t connect with students at his previous schools.  So he decided to start the club to prevent feeling isolated and found that other people wanted to explore who they were and have shared interests.  

The Pride Society is described by Shay Steele, a third-year early childhood education major and an active member of the Pride Society Center, as a place where everyone can talk about personal issues and interests. 

“Students don’t have to worry about hiding an important part of themselves,” Steele said. 

According to Steele, the Pride Society is an organization meant to help LGBTQ+ students and allies connect with each other by acting as mutual support systems. 

“One way you could help someone is to increase their support network by helping them make friends,” Wright said. “It can be really hard being at a new school where there is thousands of people. You don’t know anyone and you don’t know where you belong and you just kind of feel lost and alone.”

According to Wright, hybrid meetings will take place at the Pride Center on campus and through Zoom so that anyone can join. The rest of the meetings will allow people to introduce themselves and network with each other.

“We provide space for people to talk safely about behavioral health problems, to find resources,” Wright said. ”We have a space for people to share their art, to talk about gaming, to talk about other interests, and really just connect to each other as a community.” 

Tranh Pham, the coordinator for the Pride Center, has been collaborating with Wright to offer him and his club any guidance by simply letting students be aware that their club exists. Pham said the QR code for the club’s  Discord server will be posted around the Pride Center so students can scan and join as they please. 

“They are a social club,” Pham said. “We work closely, we offer our support and help to raise and promote events and programs that they might put on.”

According to Pham, the Pride Society is the most successful student organization on campus when it comes to getting a large group of students to join, and said they are excited that they have been able to help so many students at Sac State.

“They were such lifesavers because students can find each other, and they’re coming out and disclosing who they are,” Pham said. “It could be really hard to create a meaningful connection, so they were a lifesaver in that way.”

Wright also talked about the Pride Society’s plans for the spring semester, which include a picnic, a barbeque, weekly meetings, and what the club calls “Gayme” nights, which happen in the club’s Discord server. These events are meant to allow students to break the ice and get to know each other a bit better, according to him. 

Steele said they believe the Pride Society is a great place to get to know people with similar interests, regardless of sexuality or identity.

Steele has multiple friends who are a part of the Pride Society Discord server and said they are glad to have seen their friendship individually blossom together. 

Steele said that they prefer Discord over other online services because the anonymity it provides helps it feel a lot more safe without feeling any type of vulnerability and judgment. 

“I think that’s important in these spaces,” Steele said. “It’s like the underlying tone of what you are comfortable with, and some of these other platforms maybe don’t have as many options like accessibility, and how much can you personalize? Like how much accessibility do they have?”. 

According to Steele, those interested in the community do not have to be a part of the Pride Society to join the Discord server. They recognize that some people don’t want to be out, and everyone is welcome in their shared virtual space just as long as they aren’t breaking any rules.

Shay Steele, a third year early childhood education major poses in front of the Pride Center’s Lavender Library on Wednesday, Feb. 24. Steele said they believe Pride Society is a great place to break the ice and get to know people with similar interests regardless of sexuality and or identity. Photo by: Hannah Asuncion

Along with all the events planned for the spring semester, Wright is also planning a way to raise awareness towards people in the transgender community.   

He plans to get a group of students together to write up a proposal for legislation that will improve and recognize the lives of transgender people in the state of California. He has already contacted the congressman that serves the district that Sac State is in.

The Pride Society is currently hoping to do some fundraising to help the Pride Center buy some films for their Lavender Library, according to Wright, which currently only has movies on VHS tapes.

The Lavender Library is a Sacramento- based lending library, archive, and space for LGBTQ+ books and films that are led by volunteers. The campus has its own Lavender Library location in the Pride Center. Wright said he has already purchased two films and is planning to gift them to Pham.

The Pride Society is currently recruiting new members and club officers for this semester. According to Wright, there are openings for vice president, secretary, and social media manager. Wright said that if students want to become an officer they have to attend the fundamental seminar through Student Organizations and Leadership and fill out the club officer agreement.

“I definitely love to have more people on board that are enthusiastic about being involved in making people’s lives better,” said Wright. “And helping organize events and helping people network with other people just because networking is really important.”