Dear Students and Families: The first day of classes is now less than 40 days away. We are all excited by the prospect of a return to an academic and student experience that resembles our pre-pandemic campus environment. A critical…
Celebrations and Solidarity: LGBTQ+ History Month 2020
October marks the annual Syracuse University and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) LGBTQ+ History Month celebration. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Resource Center, in collaboration with campus partners, invites community members to learn about the history, culture and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual individuals. LGBTQ+ History Month is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate queer and trans folks, particularly Black, Indigenous and folks of color who have paved the way and continue to lead movements for liberation.
Under the umbrella of the All In? initiative, an effort by the Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience’s Cultural Centers to promote the history of, solidarity with and intersectionality across identities and cultures, the University community is encouraged to explore events and programs throughout the academic year.
“Our theme this year is ‘All In?: Celebrating and Uplifting Black Queerness.’ The many social and educational events hosted this month explore the intersections of being both Black and queer through the work of artists, activists, educators and performers,” says Jorge A. Castillo, director of the LGBT Resource Center. “Amidst ongoing anti-Black violence and global demonstrations in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, we hope to engage our campus community to not only celebrate the many cultural contributions of Black queer folks, but uplift, support and demand racial justice.”
With planning led by the LGBT Resource Center, partners across campus will host events in honor of LGBTQ+ History Month. Community members are invited to visit the Community Events Calendar for a full list of events, details and registration information. Below are a few of the month’s highlighted events.
Call for Names: Queer and Trans Solidarity List
Campus community members are invited to join in sharing solidarity, showing support and building advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex and asexual (LGBTQIA+) communities, by signing the annual Queer and Trans Solidarity List. Hosted by the LGBT Resource Center, this visual representation of names helps to further highlight the strong foundation of support within our campus communities. Names will be collected until Thursday, Oct. 1.
Keynote Speaker: “Shade and Trade: Black Queer Literacies of Survival” by Seth Davis G’18, Ph.D.
The campus community is invited to join Seth Davis G’18, Ph.D., on Thursday, Oct. 8, at 7 p.m. to explore research conducted during the 2013 Washington, D.C., Black Gay Pride and 2017 Harlem Pride, focusing specifically on Black queer people’s understanding of three terms: “reading,” “throwing shade” and “‘pullin’ trade.” In this lecture, Davis argues that Black queer people practice what he calls “fierce literacies”—that is, a type of oppositional consciousness that allow Black queer people to riff off of static ideas of language and literacy to both communicate with and create community amongst friends. He places research participants in conversation with other Black queer voices in popular culture in order to illustrate these practices as a part of a distinct literacy in the Black queer community.
Queer Latinx Guest Speaker: “Our Bones Glow In The Dark: The Power of Storytelling in the Digital Space” by Louie A. Ortiz-Fonseca
On Wednesday, Oct. 14, from 7 to 8 p.m., in partnership with the Office of Multicultural Affairs celebration of Latinx Hispanic Heritage Month, the campus community is invited to join guest speaker Louie A. Ortiz-Fonseca as he explores why storytelling is important to social justice movements and how those who tell stories record history. Through the lens of the Gran Varones project, attendees will reflect on how digital storytelling can be used to interrupt queer and trans antagonism, HIV stigma, anti-Blackness and racism in order to build connection and community. Additionally, this interactive presentation will highlight the power of storytelling as a tool to amplify the experiences and history of Black Latinx LGBTQ+ individuals.
Historic “Homo Harlem” Virtual Tour
Come along to “Homo-Harlem” on Friday, Oct. 23, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., as historian Michael Henry Adams leads a virtual tour of Lesbian and Gay life in the historic African American cultural capital. Along the journey, attendees will meet personalities living and lost, see landmarks long gone and still standing, while diving into all that illuminates a fabled part of New York City. Past and present LGBTQ+ Harlemites have played a leading role in defining artistic significance here. Additionally, attendees will learn about the homes of poets Langston Hughs and Countee Cullen, of beauty products heiress A’Lelia Walker and actress Edna Thomas, her husband Lloyd and her lover, the English aristocrat Oliva Wyndham. Come and rejoice in the love, joy and the heartache of “Homo Harlem.”
Book Club: “Black Girl Dangerous: On Race, Queerness, Class and Gender” by Mia McKenzie
On Thursday, Oct. 29, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., virtually join the LGBT Resource Center; Gwendolyn Pough, professor and chair of the Department of Women and Gender Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences; and Rahzie Seals, community activist and co-founder of BlackCuse Pride, in a discussion around Mia McKenzie’s “Black Girl Dangerous: On Race, Queerness, Class and Gender.”