Penn State celebrates ‘Campus Pride Month’ with ‘drag bingo’ and ‘gay’ sign language workshop

Various LGBTQ-themed events, including a drag bingo, are taking place throughout the month.

One event features a comedy show with someone who is a ‘[d]eaf, bisexual, Jewish, queer activist and stand-up comedian.’

Penn State University announced on March 28 that multiple campuses would celebrate “Campus Pride Month” this April, with the calendar featuring a Pride March, drag bingo, the unveiling of a mural of two men kissing, and a panel on the “importance of gender-affirming care,” according to the school’s website.  

Penn State’s Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity is helping sponsor the events, according to the website. 

Though Pride Month takes place in June, many colleges and universities commemorate the month in April as their students are gone during the summer. 

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Campus Pride, which describes itself as the “National Listing of LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges and Universities,” gave the school its maximum score of five stars in its “Campus Pride Index” in 2023.

One of the opening events was the unveiling of a mural of two men kissing, which “[celebrates] racial, sexual and gender diversity,” on April 3, according to Penn State’s web page advertising Campus Pride Month. 

The mural was painted on the walls between the Paul Robeson Cultural Center and the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, and Robeson Center Director Evan Williams said: “With both of our centers, we are talking about diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. We are talking about being intentional about things that are intersectional. You wouldn’t often walk through a hallway and see two men kissing. This art is a need, and it speaks volumes to where Penn State started and where we are now, to be able to install a mural full of these figures.”

Other events include “Karao-Gay,” which is an “LGBTQ+ inspired karaoke” that took place on April 5, and a Lavender Graduation that happened on April 12, according to the calendar. 

An event titled: “GaySL: A crash course in LGBTQ American Sign Language and Intersectionality with Hayden Kristal” is scheduled for April 17. The University of Cincinnati hosted an event with the same title in 2022. 

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Hayden Kristal, a “Deaf, bisexual, Jewish, queer activist and stand-up comedian” who uses “they/them” pronouns will host a comedy show on the same date. “Living their life at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities led them to a career as a professional speaker exploring the intersections of disability, gender and sexuality, particularly within the spheres of activism and social justice,” Kristal’s bio on the event page says. 

Campus Reform contacted Penn State, the Paul Robeson Cultural Center, the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, and Hayden Kristal for comment. This story will be updated accordingly.