Culture Spotlight: True Equality and Dignity Alliance (TEDA)


Courtesy/Jake Lamontagne

Students spreading awareness about LGBTQ+ politicians at last April’s Visibility Day run by TEDA on the Joan of Arc quad

Mackenzie Mendoza, Crier Staff

People should love who they want to love, be who they want to be, and identify with others who make them feel whole; however, there are at times obstacles in one’s pursuit of these life’s joys for people who identify with the LGBTQ+ community. Though people as a collective have become more progressive and supportive of equal love, there are still fears and threats for the queer population even in this day and age. A way to help ease such fears and embolden oneself is by joining a supportive group of people who have possibly gone through the same struggles or feel the same sense of pride. This supportive group on campus is known as the True Equality and Dignity Alliance club.

The True Equality and Dignity Alliance club is a supportive community that helps strengthen the LGBTQ+  community and educate others in hopes to spread awareness. 

Sean Thompson, an incoming president of the club, claims that “the purpose of ‘True Equality and Dignity Alliance’, or ‘TEDA’ is to create a safe atmosphere on campus for students, faculty, and staff who identify as being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and allies of the LGBTQ+ community.” 

The club acts as a safe and welcoming environment for anyone who wants to join because it ensures members’ anonymity. The club’s main focus is the safety and well-being of its members. Some people in the club may not be open to the general public about their identity, and the club recognizes and respects such privacy. 

Professor Banach claims that “because of the nature of the group and because some Saint Anselm students aren’t out to everyone, it is important for us that we keep the safety and the security and the privacy of the people who are members as our primary and foremost concern.” Along with such concerns, the club also focuses on building connections.

TEDA is fairly new considering how long students have pushed for a GSA- type club; it is merely three years old. In these three years, however, the club has helped people from the LGBTQ+ community to better exist on campus. The club meets either Sundays or Mondays. As the club does not have a set time, one would need to contact Professor Banach or one of the presidents for more information. During these meetings, members watch movies or merely talk to one another. 

Thompson claims that “as a gay man, TEDA has been such a great resource because it allowed me to connect with other members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies on campus.” There are also educational events which the club directs, such as a discussion with students about pronouns and the importance of respecting such identifications. Another event which the club holds is called Visibility Day. 

Thompson claims that “Visibility Day is a testament to progress made by the community.” This community progress is especially important because of the official position of the school regarding queer people. 

Professor Banach claims that  “In a place whose official position is that queer and LGBTQ+ populations are sort of immoral or disordered states, it’s important for them to recognize that there is more of them than you would think and that there is all kinds of love and support and care for the population.” 

This sense of community and shelter, which the club has provided for students, can even “save lives”, as professor Banach put it. The club’s sense of family helps people feel understood and appreciated. 

If you are looking for a supportive community which enables you to be yourself, TEDA is always welcoming of new family members. Remember that you are not alone and that you are loved.