By Chiara Pride '20 -

Tigers holding up their parade banner at the San Antonio PRIDE Parade

The Stonewall Inn was owned and converted into a bar by the Genovese crime family, widely known as the most prominent mafia syndicate among the “Five Families” of New York City and New Jersey. To ensure Stonewall’s continued operation without a liquor license, the police collected weekly payoffs. In 1966 the family designated Stonewall a gay bar, solidifying its position at the intersection of extortion, force, and marginalization. During its tenure as a gay bar, the Inn was regularly raided by police. It is speculated that the raid on June 28, 1969, occurred because the police were receiving fewer kickbacks—meaning mafia owners had begun making most of their profit by blackmailing Stonewall’s wealthier patrons.

In a standard police raid, female police officers took individuals whom they identified as women into the bathroom to verify their sex as female. Persons whose genitalia did not align with their assumed gender presentation would be arrested. On the night of June 28, some of Stonewall’s customers refused to go into the bathroom or give their identification to police. As arrests were made and police waited on patrol wagons to carry away seized alcohol, a crowd of released patrons gathered outside of the bar. An instance of police brutality sparked what we know today to be the Stonewall Riots, as a woman was beaten over the head with a baton for complaining that her handcuffs were too tight. The riots that ensued that night and into the next were a response to continued oppression and an expression of community frustration.

Seizing the spirit of activism that had awoken the gay community of New York City, activists from the Gay Liberation Front, the Gay Activists Alliance, and others organized the Christopher Street Liberation Day March. The march was the first of what we now refer to as “pride” marches and parades. It took place on June 28, 1970, on the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

Thirteen years later, in 1982, the San Antonio Gay Alliance organized the city’s first large-scale pride parade. San Antonio’s pride parades have always been a bit of a hot mess (in 1997 there were actually two competing pride picnics) but as with a lot of things in San Antonio, the imperfections add to the charm.

I was not thinking of this national and local history while covering my classmates in glitter and frantically trying to take Snapchats of the crowd for our Trinity University account before my phone died. In fact, I was not thinking about much at all. My friends and I stood around chatting about everything and nothing in the heat for two hours before we finally stormed into the street and began our halting march down the strip. We had the freedom and privilege to march without concern, to shout #TigerPride at adoring crowds of people, and to look into the eyes of our loved ones knowing that we were safe and happy.

Chiara Pride with friends at the San Antonio PRIDE Parade

I will be the president of PRIDE for the next year at Trinity. Those of you reading this who know me know that I have taken on a lot of leadership roles during my short time at the University. Frankly, too many. I have struggled, as many Trinity students do, to find a balance between school, extracurriculars, and my personal life. I have never been able to pin down why this problem is so acute for me, why I tend to throw myself into everything I do. Writing this piece has helped me realize one source of my passion.

My existence is political. I owe my present condition of freedom to organizers like Marsha “Pay it No Mind” Johnson, the black gender-nonconforming drag queen and sex worker who famously shouted, “I got my civil rights,” igniting the Stonewall Riots. Johnson, along with Sylvia Rae Rivera (a Latina gender-nonconforming drag queen and activist), helped found the Gay Liberation Front and Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries activist groups. In documentaries like “Pay it No Mind: The Life and Times of Marsha P. Johnson,” Johnson is depicted as a saint, as someone who would gladly give her last dollar to a kid on the streets. This is the legacy of the gay community in the United States—the radical kindness and activism of people of color, homeless drag queens and sex workers, who attended a gay bar owned by the mafia. These women, from marginalized communities, demanded to be free from harassment and in doing so opened the door for us all to march proudly.

A rainbow flag flying at the San Antonio PRIDE Parade

My identity as a cisgender, pansexual, white young woman at a private four-year institution cannot embody the legacy of activists like Marsha P. Johnson. I can, however, work to honor the legacies of those who fought for the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community. I want queer students at Trinity, whether they be part of PRIDE or not, to be aware of the history they are carrying on with each step of their bold and happy existence. I hope queer students take comfort knowing that they are in the company of saints and freedom fighters.

View more photos from the San Antonio Pride Parade.

Headshot of author Chiara Pride

About Chiara

Chiara Pride is a rising junior and a double major in anthropology and political science. She is a McNair Scholar and the new president of PRIDE at Trinity University. In her free time, Chiara enjoys telling everyone she knows how amazing Janelle Monae is as an artist, activist, and queer icon.

By Inka Boehm –

It’s time. The Registrar has confirmed you somehow got your life together in the 4 or so years you’ve been here in order to walk across a stage and take a photo gripping onto your newly received diploma, smile on your face and fear in your eyes. You have to face the music and answer the question on everyone’s mind: what’s next?

I’m here to help you both answer and avoid that question using these handy steps:

1. Take a moment to realize how things will never be the same again. You’re probably 21 so you can sit dramatically at a bar forlornly staring into your glass contemplating life.

2. Use said moment as motivation to enjoy the remaining time you have with friends, faculty, and staff of your institution. You might not be in the same place as all your closest friends in the next few years, so make them so sick of you they’ll be okay with your leaving (I’m only mostly kidding). Also, check those things off the bucket list you should probably make.

3. Make a bucket list. Cheesy, but fun. Plus, a good way of procrastinating.

4. Don’t let senioritis hit too hard. Realistically, you might have grad school in your sights, and the collegiate experience is ultimately an academic one. You won’t get to have access to the same variety of classes a liberal arts institution offers, so might as well make the most of it. Plus, you might pick up some sweet, sweet skills that will be useful for making money in the meantime.

5. Visit your handy dandy Center for Experiential Learning and Career Success (CELCS). They’ll whip you and your resume into shape. I never knew what a cover letter was until I logged onto Hire-A-Tiger and learned how bad what I was calling my cover letter truly was. (No, I’m not sponsored).

6. Realize it’s okay to not have a set plan. Some people will go directly into the workforce, some will go directly to grad school, some will take a year or two to figure their life out, and some will move to a far away country and only be remembered vaguely as “that one kid who went to Greenland to become a sheepherder and has a dope Instagram.” Your next year or two might be a combination of all these things, and that is 100% okay.

7. Soak it all in. Take advantage of the opportunities, the facilities, the people, the weather, everything. See how much free ‘swag’ you can get away with by attending all the school sponsored events. Some even include alcohol. But more importantly, some include free food and advice on how to do taxes.

8. Get ready to be the one your younger friends will turn to as they themselves begin the daunting path that is senior year. Even if you don’t have the answers, you can always pretend. Fake it ‘till you make it, as somebody once told me.

9. So even if you’re not the sharpest tool in the shed, and you’re looking kind of dumb, with your finger and your thumb in the shape of an L on your forehead, remember: you’re still an all-star with a diploma.

10. Trinity has given me four years of memories that I might forget, friends that I might lose touch with, and knowledge that went up in smoke after a particularly rough series of final exams, but for each of those, there are thousands of moments that have made my time here worth it. I’ve truly found a family here.With that in mind, every family has that one relative you might not be in constant contact with with, but always sends fruitcake in the winter to show they care. I aspire to be that fruitcake giver to all my fellow Trinity students, past, present, and future. I encourage you to do the same.

About Inka

Inka Sklodowska Boehm is a senior from St. Louis, Missouri majoring in Political Science. She is a member of Alpha Phi Omega, Trinity University Players, Trinity Distinguished Representatives and works as the tour guide intern in Admissions and an orientation team leader. She studied abroad in Strasbourg, France, where she studied French and interned at the Council of Europe. In her free time she enjoys kayaking, reading true crime novels, and finding her next slice of pizza. 
By Elise Hester –

I was asked to write a Trinity Perspective Blog Post months earlier. I kept trying to find time. For the past two semesters I’ve felt pulled in a million directions while having no direction of my own. Trinity is an incredible school, but this is an incredibly difficult school year for me.

Still, I love Trinity. Through the incredible Trinity community, I’ve discovered unexpected friendships, new passions and realities of my own identity. I’m learning what it means to be me: an unathletic sports enthusiastic, a queer Christian, a singing rollerskater, etc. But more than anything else, I’ve been challenged. I’ve been confronted. I’ve been put through the fire.

Trinity isn’t easy, but neither is life.

Elise Hester

As a child, I felt every sting of rejection. I noticed every sideways glance and smirk of other children. I remember everything. At some point, I decided to stop feeling because it was too painful. I’ve spent years pretending that I don’t care what people say. I laugh off pain. I act unbothered. I put up walls and insult the people I care about.

In high school, I was too focused to feel, too focused to fail. I had to get out of Huntsville, away from my graduating class of 28 students. From the moment I stepped on the Trinity campus, I knew this was my home. I had to get into Trinity but I didn’t think I would. In retrospect, getting in was easy, but Trinity isn’t.

Trinity isn’t easy. I’ve failed, again and again.

Trinity Tigers Shelby Devore and Elise Hester as assistant directors (of Sr. II Women and Videographer, respectively) at Trinity, Texas’ Camp Olympia.
I was elected to Student Government Association as a first year senator and later was chosen to serve on the cabinet as communications chair. My tenure as communications chair lasted hardly a month before I mistakenly spent ⅓ of the budget on accidentally oversized posters. My arrival at Trinity coincided with the launch of the Tiger Network, for whom I’ve filmed games, debates, and concerts. I had a panic attack while filming a football game. I’ve seen the launch of End Zone — a show focused on sports at Trinity and abroad — on student run TigerTV. This year I was named an associate producer. This week I stepped down because I don’t have enough time or energy or passion. I’m still discovering my limits. I’m learning to take care of myself. I don’t know who I’m becoming.

Through Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, I witnessed the beauty of the holistic gospel. I’ve discovered that progressivism, justice, compassion, and equality are not only aligned with the gospel, they are essential to its mission and incomplete without it. When I asked that God break my heart for what breaks his, I never truly meant it, because this conviction — being challenged to acknowledge and destroy the systems of injustice which I benefit from — is painful, radical, and uncomfortable, but important and essential. I am discovering God’s passion for healing broken systems. I am growing into an activist for justice. I’m becoming someone new.

Elise Hester, TU, Intervarsity
Trinity students Elise Hester, Savannah Schatte, Kaylee Ghent, Grace Yun, and Matthew Adair with Tiger alumni Christina Foor, Douglas Steinmen, and Taylor Kirby take part in Intervarsity Christian Fellowship’s San Antonio Urban Plunge, directed by Trinity alums Christina and Jacob Foor

I wrote over 80 articles as a sports reporter for The Trinitionian, but am currently serving as the Trinitonian’s first ever Video Producer. Through the Trinitonian, I’m made incredible friends and mistakes. I’ve discovered I love sports and I love writing, maybe more than videography. I’ve grown as a writer and am growing as I make videos.

I’m thankful for all my opportunities, for where they lead and where they didn’t lead. I’m grateful for every frustration I’ve felt and all the criticism I’ve faced. Pain — and learning to feel it — is helping me become the woman I am meant to be.

This journey isn’t easy.

Incoming Trinitonian Executive Print Editor Kathleen Creedon, Video Producer Elise Hester, and Editor-in-Chief Julia Weis serve sweet treats and fresh news at the 2018 Chocolate Fest
This whole junior year has been difficult, but I’ve been strong. I’ve haven’t cried — not even when I took a medical incomplete or got the harshest, but fair critique on anything I’ve ever written.

This week I attended my first session of therapy. There was no big breakthrough or emotional revelation. It was only a start. This morning was difficult, as so many days have been, but this morning was different. I just got done bawling my eyes out.

I feel broken not just about my current situations, but about how bottled up these tears feel. As I cry on the floor of my dorm while listening to a worship song, I feel something else; Relief that I am allowing myself to feel what I feel. I am not ashamed to cry. I am done comparing my pain to someone else’s. I am allowed to feel what I feel.

Elise Hester

I am not invincible, but I am incredible and I am getting help. You know why? Because I’m broken, I’m brave and I’m finally strong enough to be vulnerable and honest about that brokenness. To be clear, Trinity didn’t break me. I was already broken, but God broke my heart open and Trinity helped me to see and understand my need for help. I need help. I need Jesus. I need people.

I’m Elise FREAKING Hester and I’m not OK. And that’s OK.

That’s who I’m becoming.

About Elise

Elise Hester is a junior communication major with a sport management minor from Huntsville, Texas. She is the Trinitonian video producer, Camp Olympia videographer and enjoys skating while singing and causally wearing dresses.
By Janett Muñoz –

College is all fun and games until you become a senior and realize that you have no idea how to do your taxes, how to invest for retirement, or how to manage your money effectively. The surmounting pressure and uncertainty of being a senior slowly crept up on me as I registered for my last year of classes. My friend Maia and I were excited to have nearly completed our Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major but something unsettled me about how I could explain the role of carbonic anhydrase in the body and yet I could not tell you the first thing about taxes. I was in desperate need of some personal finance tips.

As was the case for many other students, my parents were not much help. My peers seemed just as confused as I. Maia and I were determined to have a personal finance class. She reached out to Dr. Eugenio Dante Suarez from the business department, and I to the amazing, ever-so kind, Dr. Sheryl Tynes. Dr. Tynes was extremely receptive to my feedback and coordinated a group of Trinity faculty and staff to create the Financial Literacy Collective. They created a game plan and I sat in on their meetings to show my desperation about needing a personal finance class.

personal finance, class, trinity, michael taylor
Trinity's New Personal Finance Class
After a few months of meetings, Trinity was able to offer the class this spring! I was thrilled to hear the news because this would be my opportunity to learn about finance. I could tell I was not the only one interested. The class filled a few days after opening, and the waitlist held twenty people and counting. Knowing that students wanted the class as much as I did was comforting.

Of course, I was nervous to take a finance course since I had no background. Luckily, our professor, Michael Taylor, a Harvard Graduate, made the first day of class relaxing by cracking finance jokes which helped relieve any stress. Professor Taylor has definitely been open to all my questions (if you are in the class you know I have many) and makes learning finance fun. He also made it clear to us that he would teach us practical money management.

Michael Taylor, Personal Finance
Personal Finance Professor Michael Taylor, a Harvard graduate, teaches a class.
In just the first couple of days of class, I learned more about finance than I have in my entire life, which is both sad and exciting. I was introduced to some basic investment methods. By basic, I mean that I asked what a “bond” is. I knew they were not the bonds we talked about in Organic Chemistry. I was in a finance class. No carbon structures were drawn. Instead, I began to learn how a bond is a form of investment. In addition, we have learned about about compounding and discounting interest, which is fundamentally important for everything finance (who would've’ known?). This is Scifi stuff right here. Later we will learn about how to save for retirement, invest, and manage our money!

It is great to see how students of all disciplines have joined together to learn about the importance of personal finance. I am excited to set investment goals and make smart money decisions NOW in order to prepare for the future. Michael Taylor has mostly shown us that being wealthy isn’t that hard. It’s all about investing little by little and never selling. Thank you Trinity for offering this class!

About Janett

Janett Muñoz is a senior Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major from San Antonio, Texas. She is involved in the McNair Scholars Program, Catholic Student Group, and Trinity Distinguished Representatives. She loves to be part of dance shows and play soccer with friends. 
By Reagan Herzog and Hunter Sosby –

The Trinity in Spain program is Trinity’s first full-semester faculty led study abroad program that takes place in Madrid. We had the incredible opportunity to be part of the inaugural trip, and we’d like to share with you the top five reasons why you should consider the Trinity in Spain program.

1. Madrid
When making decisions about study abroad, the most important one is what city you are going to live in. Now we may be just a little biased, but we think that Madrid is the perfect place to study abroad. With one of the best public transportation systems in the world, an incredibly walkable city, and great weather, Madrid couldn’t be a more livable city. Combine that with a vibrant street life, beautiful parks like Retiro, and plazas on every corner, it’s hard to not feel at home here.

2. Internships
One of the biggest draws to the Trinity program is the opportunity to hold an internship in Madrid. An internship abroad is a pretty rare experience to have, and was honestly one of our favorite parts of our experience abroad. We both worked with nonprofit organizations in Madrid, Fundación Sanders and Fundación Tomillo, where we had the opportunity to work directly with prominent community members in Madrid. With an internship you have the opportunity to see the city and culture from a completely different perspective and make connections that will last a lifetime.

Photo curtesy of Dr. Katsuo Nishikawa.
3. Language
One of the most frequently asked questions about our time abroad is whether or not we’re fluent in Spanish. While we’re hesitant to use the label fluent, it’s clear that our skills increased an incredible amount of the course of four months. Between taking all of our classes in Spanish, speaking Spanish in our homestays, and using Spanish in a professional context with our internships, we were able to use spanish in a more practical way than we ever have before and we feel much more comfortable with the language than we ever have.

4. Experiencing the World
While when you’re abroad we recommend spending time in and getting to know the city you’re living in, being abroad in Europe provides you with the opportunity to visit some of the best cities in the world. We definitely enjoyed traveling during our time in Spain. With the Trinity in Spain program we had the opportunity to travel to many different Spanish cities and get to know the country we were living in -- San Sebastián and Granada were some personal favorites of ours. And of course, we couldn’t resist visiting other cities like Paris and London when they’re basically in your backyard. A semester abroad is one of the best opportunities you’ll have to see the world.

5. The People
Leaving everything you know behind to go study in a foreign country can definitely be overwhelming. However, there’s a long list of people we could thank for making the trip one of the best experiences we’ve had. To start, the Trinity in Spain group became like a second family to us all. It was great to have a support network abroad we grew incredibly close. We also had the support of our host families who were there to help us navigate the city and culture, as well as any problems we had abroad. And of course, the friends we made in Spain and the people of Madrid were some of the best we could ask for and our time abroad wouldn’t have been the same without them.

Photo curtesy of Dr. Katsuo Nishikawa.
We also had a great time taking over the Trinity Snapchat account near the end of our semester. Take a look below at our takeover and see what it was like to spend a weekend with the Trinity Madrid Program!

Follow Trinity University on Snapchat as leeroythetiger for more updates on what’s going on with the Trinity community.

About Reagan & Hunter

Reagan is a junior from Stockton, California studying Political Science, Communication, and Spanish. On campus, she is involved with Alpha Phi Omega, Trinity University Press, and Trinity Distinguished Representatives.
Hunter is a junior Political Science and Spanish double major from Wimberley, Texas. He is a member of Alpha Phi Omega, the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and PRIDE, as well as a Distinguished Representative and Tour Guide for the Office of Admissions.