UofL’s LGBT Center Celebrates a Decade of Inclusion!

The University of Louisville’s very own LGBT Center is celebrating ten years of success on campus. There has been a great deal of growth and change that has occurred in the last decade because of the center’s work with the LGBT community.

Many thoughts come to mind when thinking of the center’s prominence in the university community. Students use words such as family, acceptance, and hope to describe their experiences here.

But where did the LGBT center get its start?

The center started as a repurposed closet in 2007 and has since been relocated to The Intersection in the Red Barn where it still resides. It was created as a branch of the Office of Diversity and International Affairs in response to a series of homophobic propaganda that occurred on campus in 2004.

Since its humble start, the LGBT Center has contributed to the growth and success of the university in a myriad of ways.

The LGBT Center was influential in pushing that gender identity be included in the university’s discrimination policy, allowing support for LGBT students that were targeted for their specific identities. UofL was also the first college in Kentucky to offer healthcare to LGBT affiliated staff and faculty. This was a tremendous movement in favor of the LGBT community.

They have made huge advancements as one of the most inclusive and welcoming schools for LGBT students in the United States, a badge of honor that the LGBT Center wears proudly.

UofL is also home to the Bayard Rustin LGBT and Social Justice Themed Living Community, which is one of the first LGBT allied housing options available in the south.

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Pride Week is one of the center’s largest series of events of the year. This year’s Pride Week started with a Pride Kickoff and Resource Fair in front of the Red Barn.

Students were greeted with a live DJ and a multitude of meal boxes for free. There were also numerous LGBT affiliated student organizations showing support and offering information about the UofL community. The Health Promotions office was offering free AIDs/HIV testing.

Students also got to participate in the ceremonial flag raising ceremony. The ceremony was kicked off with personal accounts from several individuals of the Bayard Rustin Living Community about how Pride Week and the LGBT Center have positively impacted their lives. With that, rainbow flags fell across the clock tower at the heart of UofL’s campus, once again signaling the support behind the LGBT Center and its students.

Throughout the week, the Ekstrom Library hosted a display to commemorate the ten years of progress that has been made because of the LGBT Center. The display was open to students for free throughout Pride Week.

Events were nearly constant throughout the week, including several keynote speakers that addressed the treatment of LGBT students across the country and encouraged students to embrace who they are. Several films were also a part of the celebration, highlighting the history of the movement for LGBT acceptance.

One of the final events of the week included a presentation entitled Consent Conversations, which is a part of the Health Promotions Office and focuses on the importance of consent in healthy relationships. This will be a part of an ongoing discussion that will specifically target the high number of sexual assaults on college campuses across the country.

The LGBT Center has many events outside of Pride Week as well. One example is PINK!, the longest running student organized fundraiser in UofL history. PINK! is an amateur drag and variety show aimed at enriching the local community with a display of LGBT pride and culture.

All of these events are intended, not only to celebrate pride, but also to ensure that all LGBT students, faculty, and alums know that UofL is a welcoming place where they will fit in. Executive Director, Brian Buford, recalls his experience as an LGBT student when he first came to UofL, stating that there were no clear signs of support at the University. His mission when creating the Center was to change this and transform the UofL community into one of the most accepting universities in the country.

It is clear from the changes that have been made on campus that Brian’s mission has succeeded. LGBT students no longer have to feel uncomfortable or afraid to come to the University of Louisville, because they know it’s an environment that will accept them for who they are.

In the last ten years, UofL has blossomed into a welcoming community for all people, and the future is brighter than ever.


A Thank You Letter to My Best Friend

Dear Best Friend,

Thank you for sticking by my side for nine years.

Thank you for always telling me the truth, even if you know it’s not what I want to hear.

Thank you for allowing me to be my complete self around you (even the weirdest sides of me).

Thank you for our Starbucks homework dates (like the one we’re on right now).

Thank you for always making me creamy chicken ramen.

Thank you for making me laugh harder than anyone else.

Thank you for being a good influence on me (and also a bad one sometimes).

Thank you for loving me even though you witnessed my middle school days.

Thank you for always watching Beavis and Butthead and Miss Swan with me.

Thank you for still laughing about both of those even though we’re adults now.

Thank you for taking me to California and giving me the time of my life.

Thank you for being my forever shopping buddy (even when we need to go to the mall three times in a single week).

Thank you for giving the best advice in every situation I’ve ever been in.

Thank you for knowing me better than anyone else on the planet (and for loving me anyway).

Thank you for never judging me, even when I judge myself sometimes.

Thank you for being my future Maid of Honor.

Thank you for being close to my family and allowing me to be close to yours.

Thank you for befriending my other friends (even though we’re both jealous of each other’s other friend).

Thank you for your constant support in every aspect of life.

But most importantly, thank you for being my constant in this ever-changing world. I am so undeserving of the friendship you’ve given me, and I would be nothing and nowhere without you.


Cultural Appropriation: A Rant

Today’s the day! It’s Halloween, and everyone is preparing their costumes for parties and trick or treating tonight. While the streets will be filled with ghosts, goblins, demon clowns, and Harley Quinns, be sure that your costume is appropriate. I don’t mean you can’t show off a little leg. I mean, and I am very adamant about this…


Cultural appropriation is a huge problem that many people do not understand or do not think is legitimate. Most people think that dressing up as a Native American or a geisha is perfectly acceptable. But I’m here to tell you, my friends, it is not.

Creating a costume out of another culture’s traditional dress is not cute and does not pay homage to them. It is taking their culture, values, and traditions and distorting them for personal gain. It’s attempting to look exotic, but really just being insensitive to the histories of other groups of people.

This is especially true if you are a person of privilege dressing as a person from an oppressed group. Do not be a white person in black face this Halloween if you want to keep your dignity and self respect.


There are infinite costume ideas out there that you can choose from. Be a Disney princess. Be Regina George getting hit by a bus (yes I saw that online). Or be like me and be Pikachu. But don’t use other people’s cultures to create your costume. It’s offensive and it’s not okay.


My Top 4 Favorite Bands

It’s clear from looking at my blog that I really like making lists. So as a music lover, my favorite bands is a must. Now, to preface this, I have to say that my music taste has not changed since I was in about the eighth grade. Remember all those alternative bands everyone listened to back then? Yeah. That’s still what I listen to. So here are my favorite bands of all time.

1. All Time Low

My favorite band of all time (pun intended) is All Time Low. Most people my age remember their famous songs from middle school like Dear Maria Count Me In and Weightless. But not many people know that they’re still making awesome music today. They actually released an amazing album this year called Last Young Renegade, and have been touring for years. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them live four times and actually got to meet them once!


meeting atl

Meeting All Time Low at age 18

2. Panic! at the Disco

Panic! is a very close second when it comes to my favorite bands. They’re another one many people haven’t kept up with throughout the years, but they are more popular lately than All Time Low. Their most famous song is undeniably I Write Sins Not Tragedies, but they’ve had some singles recently, including Emperor’s New Clothes and Victorious, both off the album Death of a Bachelor. I’ve seen them in concert twice, and both times were phenomenal.


Death of a Bachelor album cover

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Picture of lead singer Brendon Urie that I took at their concert at age 18

3. One Direction

Okay, this one is a little bit different from the others. One Direction is definitely my guilty pleasure. Most people either hate or love them, because they were a stereotypical boy band, and we were a little old for them at the time of their peak. However, despite my age, I love them and even saw them in concert once (minus Zayn). They’ve had some HUGE hits including What Makes You Beautiful, Best Song Ever, and Story of My Life. Although they’ve broken up now and have all gone solo, I still listen to them on a regular basis.



Photo of Harry Styles on the big screen from my nose bleed seat at age 19

4. Mayday Parade

Mayday Parade is an awesome band who also has some famous songs. Their biggest are probably Terrible Things and Miserable at Best. Although they’re another stereotypical alternative band from our middle school days, Mayday Parade is still releases music and tours. Although their new music is not nearly as good as the old music, I’ve seen them on tour twice and they were really great.Mayday_Parade_Press_JW_131.jpg


Photo I took of lead singer Derek Sanders that I took at their concert at age 20





5 Ways to Cope With Mid-Semester Motivation Loss

Let’s face it. It’s the middle of the semester. I think I can speak for everyone when I say we’re struggling. We’re back from fall break and just counting down the days to Thanksgiving. It’s a constant cycle of “I just have to make it through this week.” So how do we keep ourselves from cracking under the immense pressure of midterms? Here’s a list of five tips to help (if I can motivate myself to finish it).

1. Coffee Coffee Coffee

Dragging yourself out of bed at 7 a.m. can be a chore in and of itself. Not to mention actually staying awake and alert in class and while doing homework. Caffeine is no joke, kids. Don’t underestimate its power to get you through the long, drawn out class periods that you think will never end.


2. Sleep sleep sleep

The middle of the semester is often jam packed with tests, papers, and projects, so it can be very hard to get enough sleep. Students with jobs and extracurricular activities often have even more difficulty finding time to get those eight hours (or let’s face it, six if we’re lucky). However, getting enough sleep is crucial to your mental health and your ability to do well in school. Make time for it, people.



Okay, hear me out on this one. I of all people know how hard it is to find time to exercise with a busy schedule, and how hard it is to find motivation when you do have the time. Getting an hour to yourself and choosing to spend it running sounds laughable to most college students. However, exercise is so unbelievably important to your physical and mental health, that it really can’t be overlooked. If nothing else, choose to take the stairs to your class on the third floor instead of the elevator. Your body needs it to function.


4. Relaaaaxxxx

No matter what any adults try to tell you, you have to make time to relax. If you spend all your time working, doing homework, and exercising, you’re going to overwork yourself until you crack. Giving your brain a little rest every once in a while is the only way you’re going to be able to get through the rest of the semester in one piece.


5. Work. Your. Butt. Off.

Okay, I know how this sounds. I’ve spent the last four paragraphs telling you how to avoid working your butt off. But the truth is, slacking off isn’t the answer either. All that’s going to do is make your grades drop so you have to work extra to catch up at the end of the semester. Saving all your work for later is just postponing your misery.


Finding enough time in the day to do all these things can be difficult, but it really is so important to make it through the rest of the semester with your sanity. Work hard, but don’t destroy yourself doing it. A degree does you no good if you end up in a psych ward.

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5 Tips to Help Motivate Yourself to Exercise

The cold weather months are just around the corner, and this time of the year has a reputation for causing people to gain weight. If you’re one of the people who feels a little less motivated when the temperature goes down, here are a few tips to boost your workout work ethic.

1. Wake up early to exercise.

It’s so much easier to make excuses not to work out if you spend all day dreading it. Setting an alarm to wake up early will not only get the workout out of the way early, but it’ll also create a healthy mindset for the rest of the day.

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2. Find a workout buddy.

Going to the gym is infinitely easier when you have somebody who cares as much as you do. And having someone to hold you accountable will keep you working out, even on the days you don’t want to.

workout buddy

3. Eat healthier.

Eating better will not only create an overall healthier lifestyle, but it’ll also lead to faster and better results, which are the most motivating tool you can use.


4. Weigh yourself once a week.

Weighing yourself can be a really good way to keep track of your progress when trying to lose weight. However, you don’t want to do it too often, because your weight can fluctuate a lot throughout the week. I recommend weighing yourself in the morning, before eating or drinking anything, the same day every week.

However, don’t pay too much attention to the number on the scale. For one thing, muscle weighs more than fat. And for a second thing, getting frustrated when you’re not seeing progress may prevent you from continuing to work out.


5. Allow yourself cheat days.

You’re so much more likely to stick with working out and eating right if you don’t overwhelm yourself. Taking days off and allowing yourself delicious snacks is the best way to make these things permanent, lifestyle choices, rather than temporary changes.




A Thank You Letter to My Boyfriend


Dear Boyfriend,

As our relationship nears its first anniversary, I want to take this time to thank you for everything you’ve done, and continue to do for me.

Thank you for making me laugh, even when I’ve had a terrible day and only feel like crying.

Thank you for kissing me in public, even though you claim to not be a “PDA kinda guy.”

Thank you for thinking I’m beautiful, even when I look homeless.

Thank you for constantly reminding me not to take life too seriously.

Thank you for loving me, even when I feel hard to love.

Thank you for bragging about me to your friends and family.

Thank you for taking me to see Hamilton.

Thank you for giving me more self confidence than I’ve ever had in my life.

Thank you for being a total nerd and playing Pokémon, Minecraft, Mario Kart, and chess with me.

Thank you for loving my family (and especially for loving my niece as much as you love me).

Thank you for buying me food when I get hangry.

Thank you for taking me to the liquor store just to get free samples of wine (and then inevitably buying some, too, because we can’t resist).

Thank you for being genuinely happy for me every time I get a good grade on a test or a paper.

Thank you for goofing around with me.

Thank you for taking cute pictures with me.

Thank you for loving my friends as much as I do.

Thank you for spending all your free time with me.

Thank you for going to antique stores with me (and for getting as excited about them as I do).

Thank you for making me like beer.

Thank you for trusting me, and for being so easy to trust.

Thank you for having one of the kindest, gentlest hearts of anyone I’ve ever met.

Thank you for your simultaneously hilarious and annoying sarcasm.

Thank you for being honest with me when I’m being irrational.

Thank you for running with me, even when neither of us want to.

Thank you for buying two packs of cookie dough so we can cook one and eat the other raw.

Thank you for always singing in the car with me.

Thank you for loving me, despite being around for my awkward high school phases.

Thank you for showing me what true love is.

But most of all, thank you for being my best friend.