Support the LGBTQIA+ community at Bridges

On Sept. 30, the LGBTQIA+ support group for students called Building a Bridge met in the D’Arcy Great Room located in the University Ministry for their weekly meeting. The ministry aims to educate and advocate for justice and equality for LGBTQIA+ individuals and the reconciliation within the larger church and student communities.

“Building a Bridge is just a safe space for allies to talk about their experiences,” said junior nursing student and peer minister Alexander Kohut. “It’s a very safe and accepting environment, so [the main goal] is just to provide a safe environment to talk.”

Since the group mainly focuses on advocating for the acceptance of LGBTQIA+ individuals in the community, Kohut uses the book “Building a Bridge ” by James Martin to help lead their discussion on bible verses found in the book.

“So a lot of what we discuss is the same things I want to discuss…I use a website called New Ways Ministry and they have a bunch of books that have some written verses,” said Kohut. 

Bridges meets every Friday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. where they discuss different Bible passages.

“A lot of what we use is in a book and what we do is we use the book ‘Building a Bridge’ which was written by a priest,” said Kohut. “[There are] questions of discussion at the end, but most of the time, what we do is we use a bible verse and then we’ll talk about it.”

At their previous meeting, the last bible verse they discussed was Romans 12:1-2.

“And a couple of the questions were ‘what was offered if your body wasn’t sacrificed?’ and ‘what does that mean to you?’” said Kohut. “This is from the verse ‘do not conform to the pattern of this world… and then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is,’ so the question was ‘what patterns of the world do you see as high production testing of God’s will?’”

The group’s main goal is to have a safe, non judgemental space for allies to support LGBTQIA+ individuals in the community.

“I think there’s normally no safe space for LGBTQ people to talk about them[selves], so [the main goal] is to just provide them with a safe space,” said Kohut. “I think as long as there’s a place for discussion and community, especially [as] a nonjudgemental space as well, I think that’s really important so that’s what we try to do.”

Other members of the Lewis community are encouraged to support Building a Bridge because there’s no other group like it on campus and it serves as a safe space for all students.

“In the beginning, we didn’t know how people were going to react, but it has been nothing but supportive, which has been amazing to see,” said Kohut. “[Since] it’s a safe space, there aren’t many like it, especially at a Catholic school.”

Credit: Katelyn Leano

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