Today, we hear from Kit Lillia (they/them), a rising senior psychology major with minors in Africana studies and women & gender studies. They are from Millville, NJ (Cumberland County) and a member of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Can you describe your involvement on campus?
“I am the president and founder of a new club on campus called Stop Gender-Based Violence. I am also an active member of Prism, Rowan Progressives, Active Minds, and I just signed up to be a member of Habitat for Humanity. I also just got an internship through the Office of Student Equity & Compliance.”
Can you share your experience with working to embrace your identity?
“I identify as non-binary, and coming to Rowan, I got to use my preferred name for the first time in my life. I feel like a new person while I am here. My family wasn’t accepting of my identity, so coming here has been a lot better for me. The fact that I get to use my preferred name and have that respect here at Rowan means a lot to me. I am typically misgendered, but the professors and students on campus try their best to use my preferred pronouns and respect my identity. Things have been going really well in my Pride journey here at Rowan and feeling a level of acceptance. Everything is taken seriously, and I feel heard.”
How do you connect with individuals on campus that are a part of the LGBTQIA+ community?
“At first, I had a harder time making connections, but once I first started attending club meetings, it was a lot easier to meet new people. I always wear Pride things with my outfits, so I try to get people to notice and build more connections.”
How do you choose to celebrate Pride and being a member of the LGBTQIA+ community?
“I just try to be myself. I am an ‘extra’ person so I try to bring my positive energy everywhere. I always love wearing bright colors, expressing myself through fashion, and looking bold. Also, I go to Pride in New York City every year, which is a very fun experience. I absolutely love being involved in New York City Pride because that was the first place it happened. I loved our Pride Fest that Rowan had here on campus, and I hope that our new club can get involved in the Pride celebrations too.”
Do you want to incorporate your major and minors into work with individuals in the LGBTQIA+ community?
“All I want to do is research-based work on marginalized groups to have that under-represented entire data set there. There are so many groups of people that are under-represented, whether that is groups of color, or LGBTQIA+ individuals and groups. I want to be the person representing them and listening to them, with the goal of conducting more qualitative-based research. I don’t want to view these groups as just a number. I want to dive deeper into their responses.”
Do you have any insight or advice for individuals who are beginning to identify within the LGBTQIA+ community?
“My best piece of advice is to always be true to you. I feel like I ran away from myself throughout high school, but the moment I came to college, I was able to accept myself for who I was. Don’t let your parents or family define you. Find your people here and find a place that makes you feel safe.”
“I have never been in a place as inclusive as Rowan.”
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Written by Jordyn Dauter, junior dance & elementary education double major