Lavender Alliance: a new safe haven for LGBTQ+ students

Lavender Alliance is a organization that was created to bring more diversity and inclusivity to FAU


Courtesy of Lavender Alliance

Christopher Vargas, Staff Writer

Paige Allen, a senior art and design major, created the Lavender Alliance in March. Allen founded the Lavender Alliance to provide additional space for the LGBTQ+ community on campus. Allen came up with the name to be inclusive and enticing to members of the LGBTQ+ and allies.

“Lavender has a long-standing history in the LGBTQ+ community; the alliance part shows that we also accept allies,” said Allen.

The alliance was made in response to what organizers said were displays of antisemitism and homophobia on the breezeway on campus early into the Spring 2023 semester.

Outside of campus, state legislation targets the LGBTQ+ community as well. Florida House bill 999 (HB 999) implies Florida universities are not allowed to give federal funding to clubs that promote diversity and inclusivity, which means that the Lavender Alliance will be affected.

HB 999 states that these clubs can still raise their funds independently; however, most clubs use funding from FAU.

“It feels like we went one step forward with gay marriage and ten steps backward,” said Kenny Ruff, vice president of the Lavender Alliance. “It very much feels like the silencing of many voices and doesn’t allow for open communication anymore. We live in such a diverse country and especially how diverse South Florida is.” Other members of the alliance’s E-Board feel passionate about this subject. Kaia Perez, the assistant social media manager for the Lavender Alliance, feels accepted in the community that they have helped form.

“This organization is important to me. It’s one of the places I feel accepted for being trans. There is much hate towards trans people in America right now, and during this time, I can make new friends here who accept me,” said Perez.

The Lavender Alliance hosts a variety of events open to anyone, so people within the LGBTQ+ community can have fun together and make new friends. 

For example, their last meeting of the semester was a tote bag painting event and they have hosted previous events such as Game Night and karaoke. 

Miles Shepard, a sophomore film major, is proud to be a gay member of the Lavender Alliance.

 “I have met more gay people here than anywhere else on campus, [Lavender Alliance] has brought people together where they wouldn’t have met otherwise,” said Shepard.

Allen’s idea for a community for LGBTQ+ people at FAU may have just started, but there are hopes to keep alive in the long term.

“This club is meant to provide a safe environment for LGBTQ identities, I want that to always be present in FAU. Even long after my time with FAU ends,” said Allen

For more information on Lavender Alliance check them out on Instagram or their Linktree.

Christopher Vargas is a contributing writer at the University Press. For more information on this story or other stories, you can reach him at [email protected].