June 21, 2024

Celebrating Pride Month with Kalista Rojas, Pi Xi-Central Florida

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Delta Zeta Women's Membership Organization | Delta Zeta Sorority

June is Pride Month and we are supporting and celebrating our members that identify as LGBTQ+. We’ve asked a few chapter Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, or DEI, chairs to tell us what they do in their chapters to educate on LGBTQ+ matters.

“As the Pi Xi chapter’s first ever DEI & Belonging Chairwoman I worked to provide my chapter with resources to educate ourselves on what Pride means for our sisters and local communities in addition to how we as Delta Zetas can be the best allies possible. We have focused on Pride in a few ways each year, and I try to engage our sisters with the many opportunities that we are lucky to have so close to our campus. The city of Orlando hosts our Pride festivities in October but there are many other ways we celebrate love for all during Pride Month! A local spot we always share or visit to support our LGBTQIA+ communities through thrifting and personal donations is Out of the Closet, a thrift shop benefiting sexual education and countless other LGBTQIA+ resources in the area. Some sisters during past Pride months have shared their book recommendations to better educate and connect with the queer experience and Pride’s history through literature. My reads for Pride Month this year are a book of essays titled, It Came from the Closet, edited by Joe Vallase and a novel, The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune! I also like to spread the events and volunteer opportunities hosted every year by the Zebra Youth, a non-profit organization based in Orlando that is dedicated to providing services and a community to any and all LGBTQIA+ youth, ages 13-24.

While in my role I strived to share the many ways our Pi Xi chapter can grow as individuals and allies during Pride Month and every other day of the year, such as the various times we had UCF’s Lavender Council come present and discuss with our chapter what to know and learn to be a good ally. Throughout all my efforts I have always based what I provide and connect our sisterhood to through the endless ways our Delta Zeta values embody the meaning of Pride. Community, belonging, and empowerment are so evidently represented by the history of Pride and how it is celebrated today. Even beyond those values, truly all our values connect Delta Zeta to what Pride embodies: the friendships of individuals based in authentic love and despite differing aspects of identity, the curiosity to learn more from others and grow as life-long learners, and the generosity we are able to act with as we uplift others as a sisterhood dedicated to always… Crusade for Justice. 

Pride means so much to me, so having been able to lead my chapter in acting through our shared Delta Zeta values to celebrate Pride with our ever steadfast love as sisters, friends, and allies will forever be a deeply cherished part of my Delta Zeta experience.” – Kalista Rojas, Pi Xi-Central Florida

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