October is LGBTQ+ History month! Check out some of the ways you can celebrate:
Go to a queer event.
There are a variety of events to celebrate LGBTQ+ history including lectures, workshops and fun activities. Consider going to a lecture with queer voices to learn about activists within the community, expand your understanding and support queer folks. Want to know more about what the University has to offer for queer people? Check out Navigating Queerness Around Campus, a presentation followed by open dialogue about your concerns regarding queer life on campus. Want to have loads of fun and learn about queer history? Shimmy down to Drag Queen Bingo, brought to you by Pride Union. Into poetry? Check out Denice Frohman, a powerhouse spoken word poet! For more information about upcoming events, visit the LGBT Resource Center website. If you are not in the LGBTQ+ community, please attend with the understanding that these are queer spaces, and you’re there to learn and support your peers.
Another way to get involved is by collaborating with queer orgs in the community. Working together helps build interpersonal connections and create awesome events!
Watch queer shows and movies/have a queer watch party.
Netflix has enough queer media to last you through the semester. If you’re into the ball scene and culture in NYC, plan a POSE watch party, a show staring trans women, by trans women! Love superhero stories but tired of the cookie-cutter non-queer narratives? Binge Black Lightning and fall in love with Nafessa Williams’ character, Thunder. Feeling a comedy-drama which tackles real life problems within a Cuban-American family? Take a look at One Day at a Time, which features a queer character and her non-binary SYD-nificant other. Loved Riverdale but want a telenovela twist? Check out Elite and become engrossed in this murder mystery thriller. There are many more including Schitt’s Creek, Special, Dear White People and The Fosters to keep you occupied throughout October!
Take a queer studies course.
While registration for spring isn’t open yet, it’s never too early to start planning! Although there are plenty of Queer Sexuality (QSX) courses available to students which count towards the LGBT Studies minor, many LGBTQ+ courses have their homes in other majors. Even though many of these courses are cross listed with a QSX course, taking a non-QSX based course is a great way to learn about queer studies from a new, often times more specific perspective. This winter, when you are enrolling in classes on MySlice, use keywords such as ‘queer,’ ‘LGBT,’ ‘gender,’ and ‘sexuality,’ to find interesting courses that will allow you to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community even when the LGBTQ+ celebration months are over.
Add your pronouns to your email signature.
Being asked to state your pronouns during introductions is becoming more common, as are adding pronouns to email signatures. But why do pronouns matter? According to mypronouns.org, using someone’s correct personal pronouns is respectful and helps create an inclusive environment. If a person has a way they want to be known, it can be offensive or harassing to guess someone’s pronouns and use them incorrectly. Additionally, there is little to no risk when cisgender people state their pronouns, but sharing pronouns for trans and non-binary folks can be challenging when introducing themselves to people unfamiliar with sharing pronouns. By normalizing the process, we can all do our part in creating a safer, more inclusive, and more respectful space for everyone. Keep in mind that sharing your pronouns is a privilege that cisgender folks have. Don’t be offended and/or expect everyone to feel comfortable sharing. Don’t put folks on the spot!
Take a safe-zone training.
Taking a safe-zone training workshop is a great way to continue to further educate ourselves on creating more inclusive, safe spaces for the LGBTQ+ community. Some great things that participants will be able to do after the two hour workshop are understand the obstacles that face LGBTQ+ inclusivity and use gender-inclusive terms. The LGBT Resource Center provides monthly open workshops in 548 Bird Library. Register today for an upcoming safe-zone training workshop!
Encourage your professors to integrate queer histories in their curriculum.
In a Spanish literature course? Ask your professor to choose books about queer Latinx stories, by queer Latinx writers! Talking about gender politics in a history class? Complicate the cishetero-centric binary with a conversation on transgender histories across the world. Taking BIO 123? Urge your professor to talk about how the cishetero-binary has been thoroughly debunked by reputable scientists. Queer people been out here! These narratives are nothing new and have simply been buried underneath hundreds of years’ worth of queerphobia in academia.
Look into LGBTQ+ intersectionality.
There would be no gay liberation movement without the tireless contributions of queer, and specifically trans and gender non-conforming, women of color. Not only that, but notable supporters of the gay liberation movement included the Black Panther Party and civil rights revolutionaries such as Coretta Scott King and Bayard Rustin. Even today, prominent queer activists continue to call upon their intersecting identities, such as:
Kay Ulanday Barrett with disability rights and POC rights;
Blair Imani with the rights of black folks and religious minorities;
Chella Man with religious minority, disability, and trans rights and
Ola Osaze with POC and immigrant rights.
Hit up the cultural centers, including the LGBT Resource Center.
The cultural centers on campus, including the Disability Cultural Center, LGBT Resource Center and Office of Multicultural Affairs are co-located in 548 Bird until we have our permanent home in the renovated Schine. Come hang out on the LGBT RC couch, play Mario Kart on the Switch, eat some snacks, watch Netflix or just do your homework. Every Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. we hold “Knit 3, Spill the Tea,” where we can all create and talk about what could be better around campus. We also have a free closet full of gender affirming clothing to get you started, so feel free to come by to donate or get some new threads.
Apply for Creating Change!
Creating Change is an annual conference centered around learning how to effect positive social change. While this conference is geared toward social change in acceptance toward the LGBTQ+ community, there is also a focus on the intersecting identities that queer people hold. This year, the conference will be hosted January 15-19 in Dallas, Texas. For more information about Creating Change, go to creatingchange.org. The LGBT Resource Center sponsors a select few students to attend each year, so watch out for the application this month.
Written by Nicole Aramboles ’22, College of Visual and Performing Arts; Bea Fry ’20, David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics; Alex Middleton ’22, College of Arts and Sciences; and Berri Wilmore ’22, College of Visual and Performing Arts