Story by Rebekah Dawson
In its earlier years, MT Lambda meetings were held in relative secrecy and the only public communication about the group came in the form of quiet understanding from triangle pins. But, today, MT Lambda is able to actively participate in community events throughout the year. This time of year, they are attending pride festivals and planning for their 15th annual SpringOut! pride week.
This stark change did not happen overnight. MT Lambda is Tenneessee’s oldest LGBT+ college organization, established in 1988. In its nearly 30 years of existence, MT Lambda has advocated for its LGBT+ students. Their fight for policy change resulted in MTSU’s decision to add sexuality – and later gender identity and expression – to its nondiscrimination policy. In recent years, MT Lambda has worked with various departments within MTSU to put together events including the Transgender Day of Remembrance event at MTSU and the annual LGBT+ College Conference.
An Organization With Big Impact
As one of the few LGBT+ resources in Rutherford County, MT Lambda takes their impact very seriously. On top of the large events in collaboration with other parts of the school and community, MT Lambda plans events throughout the semester. While social events are a central part of the organization, MT Lambda is sure to keep education a key part of their programming. They hold educational tables throughout the semester at the Student Union for the greater MTSU population and they hold some educational meetings, which include roundtable discussion and interaction about the issues at hand.
More importantly, MT Lambda has been a place where students can come for support and encouragement. It gives LGBT+ students at MTSU a place to safely be themselves. At a student panel at the LGBT+ College Conference this past April, MTSU students of various identities shared their stories of finding the group. While their backgrounds and circumstances were different, their stories were all profound, emotional, and all had common themes. MT Lambda helped these students find a place so that they can grow personally and academically. For decades, MT Lambda has provided the support and opportunities for MTSU students and will continue to be home for MTSU’s LGBT+ students for decades to come.