Getting Out of the Closet at Cal Poly

My oldest is finishing his freshman year (albeit with sophomore standing, if I may brag a bit) at the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (or Cal Poly, as most people call it) and while I have worked hard not to be a helicopter parent, I have been following his college career very closely. I never really went to university — just a couple of years at the local community college before dropping out — and so the entire process is fascinating to me. I’m also incredibly proud of my son and enjoy watching his progress. I am involved with a couple of parents’ groups on Facebook and of the Cal Poly subreddit on Reddit. It was on Reddit that I came across a post about the campus Pride Center which, apparently, is literally in the closet — an old electrical closet that was remodelled.

The post, titled Sign a letter to get the pride center out of the closet, was promoting a petition asking the university to move the Pride Center to a larger space, the Chandler Study Lounge, in the same University Union building. Due to the COVID pandemic, I’ve not been on campus much this year but definitely want to check it out once things open up more. Still, if the students are correct — and I have no reason to believe otherwise — it seems like the school could be doing more to support student diversity, including among its LGBTQ+ students.

The school has come under fire recently for its lack of diversity and for a number of hate crimes that have occurred recently. It seems to me that providing more support for organizations like the Pride Center could help address the issue. You can view the text of the petition and, if you are so moved, can sign as a community member. I’ve already signed.

Those that know me know I wear a lot of pride shirts. In fact, that’s pretty much all I wear when I go out. (Well, plus pants and such, of course.) So when we became a Cal Poly family, I naturally had to find a CP Pride shirt. The campus bookstore does have a few pride-related items including a shirt (which I of course bought). I would like to see more options, however. Perhaps over the next few years, the selection can be expanded.

In the meantime, I’ll keep wearing the one they have to show support for the LGBTQ+ community and for my son — of whom I am insanely proud. (Note that the photo was taken in a mirror which explains why it appears reversed.)

This post is part of LGBTQ Families Day, hosted by Family Equality and

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