At the start of this year’s third-annual Dinner to Celebrate Out Seniors, Kate Stern, director of the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, reflected back to the time when she arrived at Bowdoin seven years ago. She had a list of just four OUTPeers.
Today, that number has grown to over 50. In addition, there are over 300 students who are part
of the OUTAllies group.
After recognizing the many students who work at the Resource Center, Stern introduced guest speaker Bishop Yvette Flunder. Flunder, who gave a talk the next day at Bowdoin on “reconciling spirituality and sexuality,” is the founder and pastor of the City of Refuge United Church of Christ in Oakland, Calif., and presiding bishop of the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries. She has spoken in front of the Supreme Court twice, including for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act.
Flunder fights for marriage equality and LGBT rights, and on behalf of the transgender community. She shared with the Bowdoin students her hopes for a more inclusive society in America, and she also spoke personally about her spouse, Shirley, who she has been with for 31 years, and about her two daughters and grandchildren.
Following a dinner of butternut squash ravioli and Bowdoin logs, Foster shared a few words with the seniors. “Thank you for your courage,” he said to the seniors. “You are always welcome here and you have helped change this place.” Foster also underscored the great strides being made today as more people across the country become comfortable coming out.
This year, Gabriela Serrato Marks ’15 was awarded the Rainbow Polar Bear Award. According to Stern, who presented the award, “[Serrato Marks] knows what it means to speak up and to call people in, not out.”
Serrato Marks has worked for the Resource Center for three years, and has been actively engaged all four years on campus. “I’ve learned how to be me at Bowdoin,” she said.