Colleges implement ‘pride week’ celebrations in outside of existing pride month

Multiple schools around the country are commemorating Pride Week with virtual events and speakers focused on the LGBTQ+ community.

George Mason University will be hosting a Drag Queen bingo event which will be followed by a livestreamed Drag Show.

Colleges around the country have begun celebrating a pring "Pride Week," despite LGBT Pride Month traditionally taking place in June. University celebrations for the new week tradition include a variety of virtual events and guest speakers including Sarah Brynn Holliday, trauma and sexuality speaker, J. Mase III and Lady Dane, co-editors of “The Black Trans Prayer Book.”

University of Iowa:

Students at University of Iowa’s Pride Alliance Center (PAC) hosted their Pride Week from March 29 - April 2, and have a series of virtual events lined up for each day.

On March 29 the PAC collaborated with the Afro-American Cultural Center to host a panel about “the intersection of Black and Queer identities” and “reclaiming terms that used to be slurs.”

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The Pride Week keynote speaker, Sarah Brynn Holliday, hosted a discussion on “Healing, Pleasure, and Sex After Trauma” on March 30. The seminar was focussed on talking “about positive motivations and affirmations for sexual healing, using sex toys as a tool to heal from trauma, self-care tips for survivors, and finding sex-positive community support.”

The remainder of the week will feature events called “Queer Resiliency,” “Social media engagement - My Testament to You: On Queer Love” and “Queer-tivity Corner.”

University of Utah:

Pride Week at the University of Utah went from March 29 - April 3 and feature more than 10 different guest speakers from the LGBTQ community. The school also decorated their “Block U” by wrapping it with trans and gay pride flag colors.

“Gaymer’s Night” was the first event of the week and featured a keynote speakers Juno Morrow, Assistant Professor of Game Design at Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College and Roger Alterizer, Jr., associate professor in Population Health Sciences.

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Day two features a panel on “navigating being LGBTQIA+ in the workplace,” followed by day three, which involves a “What I Wish I Knew Conference” to celebrate Trans Day of Visibility on March 31.

“Exploring your gender can feel like you are at a crossroads. So many things overlap as you try to find your path. The ‘What I Wish I Knew’ conference is an event centered on information that will make navigating your path a little easier,” states the event’s description.

On Friday, April 2 the university will host a “Queer and Trans Students of Color Mixer/Networking Event” and a drag performance called “Black Benatar’s Magic Cabaret.” The cabaret will feature Black Benatar portraying a straight man “while showcasing the talents of local performers telling their stories of being queer, black, or other, in the U.S. right now.’

Syracuse University:

Syracuse started their “Trans Week of Liberation” by stating that “starting on Monday, March 29, the Trans Pride flag will be raised in front of Hendricks Chapel. Additionally, the grassy knoll will be filled with small flags and educational resources on the trans community.”

On Tuesday, March 30, the university’s LGBTQ Resource Center hosted a “Virtual Trans Social,” which they stated will be a “closed group social for trans, nonbinary, genderqueer, gender fluid and/or gender questioning folks to meet and find community.”

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March 31 will entail a lecture by J. Mase III and Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi, co-editors of “The Black Trans Prayer Book.” The speakers will discuss “how racial justice and religious institutions that perpetuate anti-trans violence are connected to trans liberation.”

The two co-editors will be giving a presentation for the final day of Pride Week on April 3 in regards to their book, “The Black Trans Prayer Book.” This publication is described by the university’s website as an “interfaith, multi-dimensional, artistic and theological collection of stories, poems, prayers, meditation, spells and incantations of Black trans and non-binary people, creates an uplifting foundation of healing and affirmation.”

George Mason University:

From March 28-April 3, GMU will be celebrating Pride Week by hosting a “Pride Game” soccer match and various zoom seminars focussed on the “LGBTQIA+” community.

“Thriving with Pride” will take place on March 31 and will feature a discussion about “sexual health and healthy relationships of all kinds.” There will be a “LGBTQ+ Faculty, Staff, & Student Mixer” on April 1 and registration is open to the public.

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The final day of celebration is titled “Virtual Drag Bingo ft Monique Heart & After Hours Drag Show.” Students and community members are invited to join Monique Heart, a Drag Queen seen on RuPaul’s Drag Race, for a game of bingo. This game will be followed by a Drag Show hosted by Mason Drag Royalty.

Colorado State University:

CSU will also be hosting virtual events to celebrate Trans Day of Visibility, which will include a lecture by Kay Ulanday Barrett, author of “More Than Organs.”

The university’s website states that “Kay intimately strips down pretense, and engages love and an examination of the world.”  The seminar on March 31 “aims to question notions of desirability, single-issue identity, ableism, and what exactly is mainstream normal. Themes explored during this performance keynote include intersecting identities in struggle with racism, misogyny, cissexism, migration, death/loss, disability, and of course, queer love.”

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On April 1, there will be a workshop to discuss how “liberation shows up,” and students will learn how to “embrace a sexy, complicated, sacred, powerful, and amazing lineage.”