Boston University offering segregated graduations for LGBTQ, black, and ‘Latine/x’ students

The LGBTQ ‘Lavender Ceremony’ has previously featured drag shows.

The ‘Latine/x’ graduation will be the first of its kind.

Boston University will offer identity-based graduation ceremonies for LGBTQ, Black, and “Latine/x” students this May as part of the school’s “Affinity Group Celebrations.”

The ceremony for graduating LGBTQ-identifying students — known as a “Lavender Ceremony” — will take place May 15. BU’s first “Lavender Ceremony” took place in 2022 and featured performances by drag queens, according to BU Today

The “Lavender Ceremony” of 2023 also featured a drag show, wrote BU Today.

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The Lavender Graduation is not the only identity-based graduation event taking place at BU. 

The school’s first ceremony dedicated to “Latine/x” students will take place this year on May 16. The student group Alianza Latina BU, which describes itself as the university’s “largest Latinx Organization,” made the announcement earlier this year, writing on Instagram: “We have been keeping a big project under wraps! Together with other Latinx orgs on campus, we have organized for Boston University to host its first Latine/x graduation.”

Black students can celebrate graduation at BU through the “Umoja Rite of Passage Ceremony” on May 16. This ceremony first took place in 2018 and is held, as a member of the Umoja organization then claimed, because “predominantly white institutions of higher learning do not have admissions strategies, curricula, and resources for retaining students of color,” according to BU Today

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Segregated graduation ceremonies are a growing trend at colleges and universities. Campus Reform has reported that “Columbia College and Columbia Engineering will host a variety of special graduations based on students’ race and sexual orientation from May 1-15,” and that Youngstown State University will host a “Lavender Graduation Celebration” and a “Black Graduation Ceremony” this year. 

Campus Reform contacted Boston University and graduation organizers for comment. This story will be updated accordingly.