June’s Word

“The course of true love never did run smooth”

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

I must start with the disclaimer that I do not profess to be a Shakespeare scholar. However, I do profess to be a believer in the power of words - verbal or written. Words have the ability to birth a soul or destroy a spirit. Words can honor humanity or uproot humanness.  

Farmingdale State College respects the work of The Society for Human Rights, The Daughters of Bilitis, The Mattachine Society, and June 28th of 1969.  As an institution of higher education, our overarching goal is to endeavor toward the strengthening and success of democracy. Standing on the shoulders of civil rights, these historic episodes speak loudly to the hope to recognize identity, affirm equal rights, diversity, inclusivity, and champion dignity.

Nationally, the month of June is encapsulated in the word, “Pride.” “Pride” is a unique word. Too much is considered scornful. Too little is shameful. Albeit the pendulum swings, its resting place is love; starting with love for oneself. The appreciation for oneself provides a protective barrier against those who may desire to contextualize or objectify your personhood. This month as we celebrate with members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community, we thank you for reminding us that “June’s Word” is an invitation to all. It is not merely a word; it is an action. Unfortunately, as society becomes more polarized, and hate regularized, “the course of true love” is a path that is not always easy to traverse, but it is not impassable! 

I could have fashioned this reflective writing with a number of inspirational words from many stalwarts such as Marsha P. Johnson, Michael Sam, Chaz Bono, Alice Walker, Anderson Cooper, James Baldwin, Zoe Saldana, Christine Jorgensen, and Sharice Davids among a host of others of all races and ethnicities, but I invite all who read to take “courage” and embellish this short piece with your own words, but first consider, will they be divisive or inclusive? I sincerely hope your words – verbal or written will communicate appreciation and respect for the tenets of a democratic society. 

Once again, I rehearse my opening disclaimer, but I started with Shakespeare and thus end with Shakespeare, “A heart to love, and in that heart, Courage, to make’s love known.”

Toward the courage to be; let not the path be untrodden!