By Christian Fuscarino, Special to the Chronicle
It all started when I was making my way through the club fair my freshman year in search of finding some sort of Gay community at Hofstra. I searched for almost half an hour before I finally came to this lonely table towards the back of the room that seemed a bit queer (pun intended) compared to the rest. It had this sorry looking 8 and a half by 11 inch white piece of paper taped to the front of it. On the paper, in black ink read, "Hofstra Gay-Straight Alliance" and below that was a picture of a rainbow flag. Except the flag was anything but rainbow, see, I suppose it was printed or photocopied because the rainbow flag was in grey-scale. I mean, what's so prideful about a grey-scale rainbow flag? I knew right then and there some work needed to be done here at Hofstra. After all, a major decision I even came to this school was because they had a thriving LGBT-studies program. So, over the next few years I did some powerful organizing, but that's not what I intend to write about. I'll make the assumption that you, the reader, have heard of The Pride Network by now and know Hofstra University statistically is Long Island's most LGBTQ-friendly university. What I'd rather explain to you is how Hofstra made the process too easy. See, I didn't bring much to this campus. All the pieces of the puzzle were already here, I just put them together. If it wasn't for talented wise faculty, strong administrators who show unwavering support, and vibrant, talented, student leaders The Pride Network and the LGBTQ Center would barely exist. So, I'd like to take this moment to say thank you. It should be easy for you to sleep at night knowing you all have played such an instrumental part in making this campus safer for LGBTQ students. My dream of being a Hofstra student and growing The Pride Network are true thanks to you. The Pride Network that I started on Hofstra's campus four years ago is now a national non-profit organization with over five chapters putting Hofstra on the map as an inclusive, supportive, empowering, and accepting university where students are valued, no matter who they love. I am incredibly loyal, grateful, and dedicated to this institution that has allowed me to be myself and grow as an individual. In return, I make sure that everything I do is done with Pride and Purpose. Thank you.