Pride Month goes completely virtual

The Gender and Sexuality Center is hosting their annual Pride Month celebrations all virtually this year. 


Due to COVID-19 and the cancellation of last year’s Pride Month, the planning committee made all events virtual.


Last year’s event got cancelled when the first case was found in Michigan — shortly after their opening events.


“We didn’t have the ability to transfer everything to virtual because all the events were set in person,” Gender and Sexuality Center Coordinator Grace Wojcik said. 


This year’s festivities began March 9 and will continue until April 9. 


The month began with a virtual ceremony and the annual Tim Larrabee Memorial Lecture via Zoom. 


The ceremony included Peppermint and Sasha Velour, who are from RuPauls Drag Race. 


Peppermint is an actress, singer, DJ, reality star and activist. She has raised money for LGBTQ rights groups and partnered with the MAC Cosmetics AIDS Fund and is involved in the HIV Vaccine trials network. 


As an activist, she is concerned about the challenges transgender and non-binary people in today’s political climate deal with, and she takes every available opportunity to speak at universities and to various communities on the issue.


Sasha Velour, a gender-fluid drag queen, was the winner of season nine of RuPaul’s Drag Race. 


Since winning, she has had top billing in drag shows around the world, including solo appearances in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Toronto, Vancouver and Auckland.


On top of doing shows, she has her own production company, House of Velour, where she has produced: a documentary TV show called NightGowns, a NY Fashion Week Show, a NYC World Pride float, a 300-page art book about drag, an off-off-Broadway show, a lauded international stage tour called Smoke and Mirrors and more.


It’s one of the most well-attended events ever for Pride Month.


Opening night was a success and kicked off the month right, having over 100 attendees. 


“I think it’s [the success of the event] partly because it was more accessible and folks didn’t have to come on campus and battle parking,” Wojcik said. 


This month featured several panels regarding different LGBTQ+ topics and hot topics.


 There are several more events being hosted throughout the upcoming weeks. 


Unfortunately, the 17th annual Drag Show on March 26 is cancelled. 


On April 7, there will be a Q&Gay with the Residence Life Association (RLA). It’s a trivia-style event and the questions relate to LGBTQ+ history and facts. 


Drag Race Bingo with Drag Queen Alyssa Edwards will be hosted on April 7. 


Lavender Graduation & Rewards will take place all day on April 9 for graduating LGBTQ+ students in classes 2020-2021. More information can be found here.


Registration for the Lavender Graduation event closes on March 26.  


“Even though we’re doing a virtual ceremony, we’re still giving people the rainbow and lavender stoles — which they can wear as part of their commencement regalia,” Wojcik said.


Wojcik and the committee are thinking about making all further Pride Months in-person and virtual.

Meaning there would be an in-person event and a livestream or recording of the event for people who can’t make it or who still want the opportunity to watch these events.