"I am gay and I am very okay with that," said Diego Fernandes, a first-year exchange student from Brazil.

Others have expressed that they are excited for Pride week to start this week, but Fernandes is not as enthusiastic.

"I don't feel the necessity to be celebrating the fact that I am gay for some reason because it is so natural for me."

Instead of large, public celebration Fernandes says understanding is the first step to accepting someone who is gay. He feels that understanding will help gain respect in the community, but he feels that we need more.

"I really feel we have the respect but we should like understand more, we should really get to know the reasons people are like this."

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Another first-year Jackson Edwards, was bullied a couple years ago. Acceptance is something he wishes others had discovered then. Edwards says he is fine now, but he doesn't want other to experience what he went through.

"We really need to focus on anti-bullying, I don't think people realize how hurtful it is."

He wished that Elon would focus on anti-bullying a little bit more. He agrees they are doing a good job now, but he wants to see more results.

The efforts that Elon are making are trying to promote acceptance. The Multicultural Center is home to initiatives such as Safe Zone and DEEP Impact, which provide a place for conversation and support. The Powell House is home to Elon's L-G-B-T-Q Resource Room, which has books, DVDs, and people to help educate students who are L-G-B-T-Q. There are offices in the building that always have faculty and staff that are willing to talk and do anything to make students comfortable.

"With the first session I went to they talked about how like they have anything available you need such as if you need help with coming out or anything you can go to a counselor."

Both Edwards and Fernandez believe Elon has done an exceptional job helping them adjust to accepting who they are.