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“One of the biggest things that made me want to join Theta Phi Alpha was the fact that I could go into a room and feel accepted. For instance, at one of our recruitment days, we had to dress up in business casual. I remember I was the only one in the room wearing a button down shirt and a bowtie. When I walked into the room, all of them were welcoming me and complimenting my outfit. I didn’t feel like the odd ball out, I thought ‘this is where I belong’.”

In honor of #LGBTQCelebrationWeek, we’re sharing stories from members of #WPUNJ’s LGBTQ+ community. 🌈 If you’re interested in sharing your story, email humansofwp@gmail.com

“I want to be a cartoonist, so I’m doodling ideas for a comic I’ve been working on. I have a wild imagination and I love to create, but the main thing I really want to do in life is make people smile. This is the best way I know to do both.”

“My mom’s originally from Brazil. She came here when she was 21 to learn English. She ended up meeting my dad here on a blind date and she stayed in America. Since she’s Brazilian, I automatically get Brazilian Citizenship. Somewhere I love to go is Jericoacoara. Its very secluded, just a place where you can get away from everything. The place only has six streets and its all sand. Theres no concrete anywhere.”

“One of my proudest moments was becoming a brother in Alpha Phi Alpha. Being part of the first ever founded African-American fraternity is very significant to me. It makes me want to do more in my community. In my opinion, growing up in Newark was hard. There weren’t many outlets, and many didn’t go to college. I want to become an athletic director in Newark so I can mold well-rounded student athletes. Sports keeps you on the right path, it keeps you in school. I try to be an advocate for that. I do what I have to do in school so I can take it back to the neighborhood.”

“I write and produce music. Right now I’m working on my own EP and producing two others. When I show someone a new song, or when I’m performing and get good feedback, it changes the way I think. I get really proud when I see that all of my hard work means something.”

“I feel like the organizations on campus have benefitted me because I feel empowered, I feel strong, and I feel like I have a support group that I could go to if I ever felt discriminated against for being who I am. Luckily, this seems to be a very progressive and accepting campus, and most people are super accepting to everyone for who they are.” 

In honor of #LGBTQCelebrationWeek, we’re sharing stories from members of #WPUNJ’s LGBTQ+ community. 🌈            

“I’d say something that’s very important to me is maintaining the friendships that I’ve built here. The people I’ve met here have been amazing so, and I can tell that they’re life-long friends.”

“I’m an exchange student from California, and I’m here for a year. The weather and pace of New Jersey was hard to get used to at first, but I made some friends who made it a lot easier. This feels like my place now. When I went back home over winter break, I kind of felt like a visitor.”

“As someone who cannot be queer with everyone I love, I know that it still doesn’t take away from my queerness. I’m still existent. I would hope that everyone who feels alone behind that door knows that if it gets hard, its going to be okay. I want them to know that they are made in love, they are made in light, and just them breathing is a living piece of art.”

In honor of #LGBTQCelebrationWeek, we’re sharing stories from members of #WPUNJ’s LGBTQ+ community. 🌈 If you’re interested in sharing your story, email humansofwp@gmail.com

“I’ve moved a lot in the past two years, and stepping out of my comfort zone is something I’m really proud of. I’m from South Carolina, and I’ve been to three other states in the past two years just to get to this point. I’m here to get my MBA in Music Management. I’m definitely passionate about music, but at the same time I’m passionate about being a student. I feel like I’ve made a pretty big commitment by coming to William Paterson and I want to follow through.”

“Not everyone would expect that I’m a black belt at Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts, which my family actually owns. I’m a big family person. I’m proud of how close I am with them. That’s one major thing I take pride in, how all of us always stick together.”

“My favorite part of being in a band was always looking through all the photos after the show. Being a musician led me to start working with show photography, but I was really self-conscious early on. I was so insecure that I dropped out of doing photography altogether. When I started to focus on self-help, I slowly gained my confidence back and I found the inspiration to start shooting again. This thesis is a combination of all my passions. It’s me giving back to the people and places that helped me grow.“

“I’ve always been afraid of failing or being set back. But with med school being only two years away, there’s not really any room for failure. I hope to have my own practice one day. I love being with people, I love working with people, and I love improving the lives of those who really need it.”

“People assume certain things about me because I’m in a wheelchair, and they don’t realize other things. For example, a lot of people don’t know that I’m probably the biggest Disney fan on campus. I have an Olaf blanket with my name on it. I’m obsessed with the music and the movies, and I’ve been there twice. Everything about me is Disney.”

“I was just accepted into a PhD program where I’ll be getting my doctorate in philosophy. I want to become a professor and continue some of the research I was able to start at William Paterson. I want to help people ask difficult questions and understand difficult answers, which is something I think we desperately need as a global community right now.”

“You should never let the fact that you’re LGBTQ+ stop you from trying a new experience. You can love a sport or be a part of a certain club while finding your place with your sexuality. They go hand in hand. If you let the fear stop you, it will stay with you for life. You’ll always think ‘If I took that chance, where would I be now?’”

In honor of #LGBTQCelebrationWeek, we’re sharing stories from members of #WPUNJ’s LGBTQ+ community. 🌈 If you’re interested in sharing your story, email humansofwp@gmail.com

“The Feminist Collective helped me find who I am as a person, and how to be more comfortable with talking about that. I think that because it’s such a safe space, it’s allowed me to be more open in discussing my sexuality. I feel safe enough to talk about it and know that they’re all there to support me.”

In honor of #LGBTQCelebrationWeek, we’re sharing stories from members of #WPUNJ’s LGBTQ+ community. 🌈 If you’re interested in sharing your story, email humansofwp@gmail.com

“Hammock and homework.”

“I actually was in Kissimmee, Florida during the Orlando shooting. As a woman in music, a Puerto Rican, and an LGBTQ-identifying person, I felt like my whole identity was attacked that weekend. I was there experiencing all this tension and heartbreak, and it was this whole thing of ‘I need to get out of here.’ So I got on a plane and came back to William Paterson, just in time for the Orlando tribute we had on the lawn. It was kind of perfect that it worked out that way.”

In honor of #LGBTQCelebrationWeek, we’re sharing stories from members of #WPUNJ’s LGBTQ+ community. 🌈 If you’re interested in sharing your story, email humansofwp@gmail.com

“I’m proudest of my relationship with my siblings. I’m a triplet. My sister goes here too. Having her here has really helped me a lot. Her friends are my friends, so it’s made me a lot less scared of the whole college process.”