Bringing Pride to Upstate New York

SUNY Cortland Badge in the Pride colors

As mentioned before, when my son started school at Cal Poly SLO, I added a Cal Poly Pride shirt to my wardrobe. I wanted to show my support for him, his school, and the LGBTQ+ community. Naturally, when my daughter started college last fall, I pulled up her school’s online college bookstore to order myself a pride shirt. Alas, it was not to be.

My daughter is a musical theatre kid through and through — so much so that she is braving the bitter cold of upstate, middle-of-nowhere New York to get a BFA in MT from a little, no-name state college that just happens to have a great musical theatre program. In fact, the entire performing arts department is just musical theatre and they pretty much have the entire Dowd Performing Arts building to themselves. She’s attending the State University of New York (SUNY) Cortland in Cortland, NY.

If you’ve never heard of it, don’t worry — nobody else has either. It’s a wee little town with nothing much besides the New York State Country Music Hall of Fame (and campground) and an annual show of Brockway Trucks. Most of the students seem to come from Long Island and nearly all of the rest are native New Yorkers. The town and the student population seems to be fairly conservative with “Thank You Trump” signs on buildings in town and posts about anti-immigrant protests on the parents’ group on Facebook.

Needless to say, I wasn’t terribly surprised to find that the bookstore didn’t offer anything in the way of pride gear. That didn’t stop me, however. It just meant I had to come up with my own.

I grabbed a black & white copy of the school badge, an image of the rainbow flag from Wikipedia, and used the magic wand selection tool in Paint.Net to cut-out a badge-shaped section of the pride flag image, resulting in the more colorful logo seen above. I then took advantage of the custom T-Shirt capability of to print myself a couple of shirts.

And that’s what I wear when I go to Cortland with Sara.

Thus far, the only reactions have been positive. I am happy that I’m able to show my support for my daughter and for the LGBTQ+ community while also recognizing her school.

This post is part of LGBTQ Families Day, hosted and sponsored by Family Equality, PFLAG National, GLAAD, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), and COLAGE..

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