Oakland University’s Gender and Sexuality Center will be putting on their annual LGBTQIA+ Pride Celebration. Previously only a week long, this year’s Pride events will take place over a month.
The month will begin with a kickoff celebration in the Oakland Room of the Oakland Center on March 12 at 11:30 a.m. The programs will range from informational presentations to social events for the entire community.
“We are really excited to be extending it,” Pride Month coordinator Grace Wojcik said. “It gives students a chance to get far more involved than they could over the course of just one week.”
This year will also mark OU’s 15th annual drag show.
“We are expecting the drag show to be one of the most popular,” Wojcik said. “We have real performers coming and also open it up to students that want to participate. It always draws a great turnout.”
Pride Month provides students in the LGBTQIA+ community to be recognized as a growing part of Oakland University. It also gives students an opportunity to be introduced to the community.
“It’s important for us to have a mix of serious events and social events,” Wojcik said. “This month is about learning who you are and how to express it.”
March 19 will feature a presentation entitled “What’s a Pronoun? Identity and Self Determination” at noon in the Oakland Room. The discussion will focus on gender identity.
“Struggles, Success and Sexuality” will be presented on March 27 in Gold Room C at 3:00 p.m. The event will be lead by Student Congress. The event will discuss discrimination and ways to feel comfortable in your own sexuality.
“Lesser Known Gender and Sexual Identities” will be presented on April 10 in 110B O’Dowd Hall at 11:30 a.m.
Other events include Pride Prom, a comedy show featuring comedian Jen Kober—who has been featured on channels like HBO and FX—and Slam for Solidarity II. Slam for Solidarity gives students a chance to present their slam poetry to an audience of their peers. A full schedule of the events can be found on the Gender and Sexuality Center’s website.
“I’d encourage any students that are graduating to look into our Lavender Graduation Ceremony,” Wojcik said.
The 6th Annual Lavender Graduation Ceremony will take place on April 8. It’s open to students graduating this semester and after the fall semester who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Students will be recognized and congratulated for their achievements. The event will begin at 11:30 a.m. in 110 O’Dowd Hall.
Each year, the Gender and Sexuality Center chooses a book to present to students. This year’s choice is “Trans in College: Transgender Students’ Strategies for Navigating Campus Life and the Institutional Politics of Inclusion” by Dr. Z. Nicolazzo. The book is available in the Kresge Library and Center for Multicultural Initiatives.
“I think it’s so important that members of this community are able to see their presence here on campus,” Wojcik said. “These events provide students with a feeling of inclusion and understanding.”