- National Coming Out Day is recognized on October 11
- Svante Myrick works to fight against LGBT and racial injustices in the Ithaca community
- LGBTQ+ is a large and vastly growing community on the Ithaca College campus
The Ithaca College Center for LGBT Education, Outreach, and Services hosted a talk with Svante Myrick at Ithaca College. Every year, in honor of National Coming Out Day, the center invites a speaker to discuss today’s current issues and solutions about the LGBT community.
Svante Myrick has been involved in politics since he attended college at Cornell University. At the age of 20, he was elected to the Ithaca Common Council and is currently one of the youngest elected African Americans in United States history. During his time as mayor, he has worked to create the world’s first heroin injection site. He has also worked to advocate for equality in the LGBT community.
Myrick has taken steps to recognize the LGBT community in Ithaca. The LGBT flag flies above Ithaca City Hall, and he works to promote pride through events and activism.
“We are working to make Ithaca as friendly and as inclusive as we can. America was built by the LGBT folks. It used to be not okay to come out, and now in Ithaca, it is okay.”
At his talk, he took questions from students and faculty about current issues on local and national levels regarding diversity. One student inquired about a transgender bathroom policy at Ithaca College. Currently there are only two spots on campus that have single bathroom usage for students.
Myrick discussed the potential for Ithaca College to work on improving a transgender policy. For the city of Ithaca, all government buildings will have gender neutral bathroom access for everyone.
“To make a bathroom available for everyone means more people can be comfortable being who they are, and recognizing their own true identity,” said Myrick.
Myrick’s talk also included working to achieve political correctness and how to correct individuals who may not be aware of certain terms. He described that it is important to educate others instead of looking down on peers.
“I was absolutely blown away by his values and how sensitive he was to the LGBT community,” said Elliott Weil, a transgender student at Ithaca College.
After the talk, Ithaca College students stuck around to talk with Myrick and even take selfies with him. Myrick though, did have one last message for the LGBT community of Ithaca.
“We are working to make Ithaca as friendly and as inclusive as we can. America was built by the LGBT folks. It used to be not okay to come out, and now in Ithaca, it is okay,” said Myrick.
Check out the full video from Svante Myrick’s talk here: