Gabriela Flores ’26
In the last few days, the surroundings of Trinity have undergone a vibrant and color-ful transformation, with a wave of chalk drawings cascading across the Long Walk and around campus. These captivating and heartwarming artworks, however, are not just for aesthetic pleasure. They serve a more profound purpose: to send a resounding message of support for the LGBTQ+ community here on campus.
This initiative, dubbed “The Pride Chalking Night,” is a testament to Trinity’s commitment to fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment for all its students and staff, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Pride Chalking Night, which took place on the evening of Oct. 17, has been a tradition since 1994. This annual event is a collaboration between the Queer Resource Center (QRC), oSTEM and EROS. The chalk drawings serve as a vivid reminder that diversity and acceptance are celebrated here, not just in words but in colorful and striking imagery.
Walking along the Long Walk, you cannot help but be drawn into a world of vibrant expression. The chalk drawings, created by LGBTQ+ folks and allies, are a powerful celebration of LGBTQ+ pride. The spectrum of colors stretches across the pavement, accompanied by uplifting messages, symbols and artistry that vividly communicate the message of love, support and unity.
One of the striking aspects of The Pride Chalking Night is the freedom of expression it provides to the Trinity College community. Everyone is encouraged to participate, whether they are an accomplished artist or a first-time doodler. This inclusivity underscores the notion that support for the LGBTQ+ community is not confined to any specific group; rather, it is a collective endeavor. Everyone does their part, even if it is just drawing on the floor. An endeavor like this encourages individuals to come together, break the silence and express their solidarity
The timing of The Pride Chalking Night could not be more fitting, as it coincides with LGBTQ+ History Month. This month of celebration is often overshadowed by Pride Month in June but the initiative of the QRC and other LGBTQ+ organizations is attempting to overcome that. The project is also an ideal way for the college to acknowledge and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community’s contributions throughout history while reiterating its commitment to creating an equitable future.
The Pride Chalking Night has sparked conversations about the importance of being an ally and providing a safe space for LGBTQ+ individuals. It’s not just about pretty drawings; it is a symbol of hope, a pledge to stand by those who may be struggling and a reminder of the College’s commitment to ensuring that every student feels accepted and supported. However, the chalk drawings in support of the LGBTQ+ community on our college campus have also evoked a range of reactions among students. In September, Trinity College received a five out of five stars rating from the Campus Pride Index, an independent nationwide database on the acceptance of LGBTQ students on American campuses. Yet, a quick look into an anonymous platform, YikYak, tells another story. Thanks to the anonymity of the platform, people can say whatever they are truly feeling, which left us with comments in response to the chalking such as “I hope it rains,” but also “Love the chalk art! Thank you to everyone who made it happen.” Many have expressed their support both on and off the social me-dia platform, applauding the initiative for its inclusivity and emphasis on acceptance. However, there have been instances of not-so-good reactions, with a few expressing disagreement or indifference. Just as in the rest of the country, homophobia at Trinity has seen a decrease but not eradication. The drawings were meant for LGBTQ+ students to find comfort in the visible affirmation of their rights and belonging to the collective Trinity identity. The whole event was designed for students, both LGBTQ+ and not, to feel proud of their college’s commit-ment to fostering an inclusive atmosphere for all. These differing perspectives, though, have sparked dialogues in which only time will tell if for the best or the worst. Yet one cannot ig-nore that the presence of these drawings has ignited a thought-provoking discussion on campus on the topic of diversity and respect for all Trinity Bantams.
Perhaps the most touching aspect of this movement is the stories behind the chalk drawings. Many students have opened up about their own experiences, and how initiatives like this have helped them feel more comfortable in their own skin, again, mostly on social media. The Pride Chalking Night is not just about the drawings themselves; it is about the voices it amplifies and the connections it fosters. The chalk drawings include a variety of specific identities and among them are: Latine and Queer; Trans; Arab Queers. All of these specific identities are empowered by the simple act of explicitly writing them.
Moreover, this movement is a rallying point for allies who stand by their LGBTQ+ peers. The chalk drawings serve as a visible reminder that allies play an essential role in the community and that their support is deeply appreciated and encouraged. Many of the chalk messages explicitly state the allied support, emphasizing their relevancy and presence on our campus.
In a world where acceptance and support are paramount, Trinity’s Pride Chalking Night initiative is a beacon of hope to the LGBTQ+ community and human rights advocates. The event illustrates the true power of creativity, unity, and unwavering support for the LGBTQ+ community on campus, even if it is often challenged. For as long as the chalk drawings grace the campus, they will serve as a reminder that love is love and that the Trinity College community, for the most part, is embracing it with open arms.