In this week’s issue, the Voice spoke with co-Presidents of GU Pride Joseph Graumann (SFS ’11) and Carlos Leon (COL ’10) about their organization, the recent hate crimes on campus and the challenges facing the LGBTQ community. This is the extended transcript of our interview with them.
The Voice: How did you get involved in GU Pride?
Joseph: Well, I came out on campus during the Out for Change campaign. It was a lot of the issues at the time and the struggle that went on for recognition of the LGBTQ community really made me look inside myself, and, I mean as corny as it sounds, my so-called “brothers and sisters” are off fighting the good fight and I am not even secure enough to tell my friends.
Ever since then, I realized that there is work to be done. And my good friend Ellen, who was already involved with the Out for Change campaign, Ellen Greer, she really encouraged me to be involved in the community and I started out as historian, when there was an opening in the beginning of my sophomore year  and then sophomore year, December, they had elections for co-chair and I ran and got elected.
The Voice: What is one thing you wish to change about GU Pride?
Joseph: I would like to see GU Pride become a more welcoming and open place for people who are in the process of coming out or who feel like they are unable to find a safe place with other aspects of the community that administers to LGBTQ people.
The Voice: The best thing about GU Pride?
Joseph: What I like about GU Pride is that although not everybody who is affiliated with the organization shows up to everything, we have a pretty good sense of comradery and we’ve developed a very good sense of community on campus, which is really important, given the nature of our identities, it’s really hard to do that, it’s hard to forge a cohesive and diverse, both racially [and] socio-economically, group on campus.