CONFETTI: A Place of Inclusion for ASU’s LGBTQ Students

CONFETTI: A Place of Inclusion for ASU’s LGBTQ Students
La'Tithea Gay, the president and founder of CONFETTI.

Basements are known for being dark and scary, but deep beneath the post office on ASU’s Downtown Campus, there is a ray of light.

Every Friday evening, after campus has cleared out, La’tithea Gay and fellow students head to their respective room in the post office basement and hold their meetings for the group CONFETTI. CONFETTI is a student organization, started by Gay, that is a safe space for LGBTQ students.

CONFETTI did not match the dark carpet or fluorescent lights that were all around them, especially on the evening of Friday the 13th when everything is a little more sinister. There was even creepy Halloween music to set the mood, but Gay and the rest of the members were a stark contrast.

Gay started CONFETTI at the beginning of the 2017 spring semester. Management intern at the Office of Student Engagement and advisor to CONFETTI, Rafael Gabriel Esquer, reflected on how Gay got him to join the club. Esquer coincidentally met Gay through a different student organization, and he was hooked ever since.

“I was incredibly disappointed when I first got the job (as management intern) knowing that student engagement was not engaging with students that were a part of the LGBTQIA+ community downtown,” Esquer said. “I coincidentally found La’tithea through a different student organization and she was very interested in starting her own. I was interested in advising, we found two other people and ‘bam’.”

Gay’s said her interest in starting her own organization stemmed from her desire to open her own youth center.

“I am looking to work with queer youth once I graduate,” she said. “I do want to open my own youth center.”

She said this was her dream because coming out is a difficult process and helping others is a necessity.

“I think (I decided) probably when I was coming out because it wasn’t easy, and people don’t understand how hard it already is coming to terms with who you are within yourself,” she said. “It just seemed necessary to me.”

Gay had a hard time describing what CONFETTI means to her. She said it has become more than just an organization for her.

“I don’t think there’s a specific emotion I can put with how it makes me feel that I’ve started an organization where people actually want to come, and join, and be a part of it because they feel so inclined to do so,” Gay said. “I was just looking for a safe space to be myself, voice my opinions, and make change in a positive way as a Sun Devil. But it’s become so much more than that, and I can’t pick just one emotion for that.”

“Other than being able to go to those awesome rainbow parties and go to all these amazing events, I’ve gotten to meet different types of people that fall underneath the LGBT community,” she said. “I had never met anyone who is pansexual or asexual. I had never met a lot of people who fall underneath that umbrella.”

She said that the connections she has made through her organization are only going to help her succeed when it comes time to open her youth center.

Madison Murray, a sophomore social work major at ASU, has been a part of CONFETTI since it started. They said were thankful that Gay started the club. They said they felt excluded in the community because the downtown campus did not have a safe space for LGBTQ students.

“My favorite part of being in CONFETTI is having a community to belong to,” Murray said. “When I came down here for school I was really sad knowing that downtown campus didn’t have an organization. So when Tyler told me that her and La’tithea were working to get CONFETTI up and going, I was really excited about it.”

CONFETTI has now grown to 15 members. In the short time since they have all come together, it is evident that each member feels at home in their club room.

On the bottom of the group’s student organization page there is a quote from George Takei, a gay actor: “We should indeed keep calm in the face of difference, and live our lives in a state of inclusion and wonder at the diversity of humanity.”

Through CONFETTI, Gay is helping others live with inclusion and love the diversity they were born with.

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