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Wear the Rainbow

Pride Center introduces colorful, inclusive clothing

When a rainbow appears in the sky after the storm, it is often viewed as a sign of hope. For others it carries a more personal meaning, a representation of diversity and inclusion. 

Using the colorful symbol, the Bridgewater State University Pride Center recently created a new logo. Meet rainbow bear, a fashionable way to support the university’s LGBTQIA+ community. 

Twelve percent of BSU students openly identify as LBGTQIA+ and the Pride Center strives to offer resources to promote their success and foster a campus climate of inclusion and equity. 

“Visuals matter,” said Pride Center Director Carolyn Taggart. “It’s important for our alumni and students – those that currently go here as well as prospective students –  to have visual representation, to show everyone that BSU is a place where you can be your authentic self.” 

Currently shirts with what Taggart calls “Rainbow Bristaco” are available in the BSU bookstore, located in the atrium of East Campus Commons, as well as online. 

Black shirts with Rainbow Bear logo on the front

Taggart, who took over at the Pride Center director in 2021, would like to take credit for the inclusive logo, but said she came across it by accident. 

Last year, when organizing the BSU Pride Games Taggart was looking through old files when she discovered the brightly colored bear. 

“I’m not sure of the lineage of it, but I liked it when I came across it,” she said. 

From there Taggart went through the proper channels to get it approved and created stickers that were handed out during various events. 

“We did eight local pride events last May and June and many alumni were excited to see and receive a Rainbow Bristaco sticker. It was fun to be able to hand them out and alums appreciated seeing BSU showing its pride,” she said. 

This year Taggart took it one step further to create the rainbow bear shirts and hopes to add more items, including hats and tumblers in the near future. 

She can’t stress enough why symbols like the rainbow bear and the pride crosswalk, located near the Turchon Tunnel, matter. 

“We really want people to know, that when they come here, that we welcome you, we care about you and to see that visibility, to see that symbol means a lot,” Taggart said. 

These visuals of inclusivity represent how BSU actively lives its values, she said. 

“BSU sees you for you, Taggart said. “We work hard to put resources in place for not just the LGBTQIA+ population to succeed but for all students to succeed. We want folks to know when they come here, they can be themselves authentically.” 

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