COURTESY OF MIKAYLA MAKLE
Mikayla Makle, Black Student Union at WSU president, became more aware of who she was as an LGBTQ+ Black woman when she started attending WSU.
Makle grew up in Maryland, where she found it hard to come out as asexual to her family. She said even though her hometown of Waldorf was more diverse, she learned more about what it meant to be an LGBTQ+ Black woman after coming to Pullman.
“Within my own family, it wasn’t something that people agree with,” Makle said. “I didn’t grow up not knowing what [sexuality] was. I had a lot of exposure to it with TV and magazines, things like that.”
Makle said it was not until coming to WSU and meeting her friend, Sean Fischer, where she felt accepted.
“She’s bringing a different perspective to these two communities that people don’t see,” Fischer said. “In the BSU, there are not a lot of individuals that are out in the LGBT community, and a lot of times in the Black community, we don’t see people that are of the LGBT community being spoken for.”
Makle, junior English and pre-law major with a music minor, said she attended BSU meetings when she was a freshman. As time went on, she became more involved in the BSU cabinet.
She became BSU secretary in her sophomore year. After that, she was nominated by the 2019-2020 cabinet to become president and was voted in.
Makle said due to the protests that emerged from George Floyd’s death, BSU will be more active this summer. Students have been reaching out to BSU to see where they can advocate around campus, she said.
“You see people that are Black and straight … [Makle is] Black, queer and religious,” Fischer said. “You don’t really see people that are Black and queer on the front line.”
Makle said there are opportunities to become more involved on campus. This academic year will be a breakthrough for BSU, she said.
“We are going to have a lot more students that are going to come to us whether they are Black, people of color or just other people wanting to learn,” Makle said.