Gender and Sexuality Center to host Pride Month events

The+Gender+and+Sexuality+Center+will+host+a+variety+of+events+throughout+March+to+celebrate+Pride+Month+at+OU.+

Photo courtesy of the Gender and Sexuality Center

The Gender and Sexuality Center will host a variety of events throughout March to celebrate Pride Month at OU.

Arianna Heyman, Features Editor

March is Pride Month at Oakland University and the Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC) will be hosting numerous events to celebrate the LGBTQIA community. 

“I think it’s important to have a Pride Month because it gives students a sense of community,” GSC Graduate Assistant Jackie Weisenfelder said. “I think it’s especially important that we hold Pride Month during the academic year as opposed to having it in June when Pride is traditionally celebrated. We really want to bring that celebration and that sense of community and togetherness to the students here at OU, and I think that’s most important through our Pride Month events.” 

Pride Month kicks off on March 14 with the annual Tim Larrabee Memorial Lecture featuring special guest Brittany Ashley. The rest of the month includes a variety of programming designed to appeal to everyone. 

There will also be educational programming as well. The medical school is hosting a session called “Our Transcestors” which serves to inform the community about transgender history and will explore the lives of the most influential transgender individuals. 

The return of drag bingo and the drag show is another highlight of OU Pride 2022. Due to COVID-19, these events had to be hosted virtually last year, but are now scheduled to take place in the Oakland Center banquet rooms on March 15 and March 31 respectively. 

Other events include Pride Month Book Club, Tie Dye with Pride and the School of Music, Theatre and Dance will be putting on performances to share and celebrate queer stories. 

The month is capped by Lavender Graduation which “serves to congratulate and celebrate the achievements of Oakland University’s LGBTQIA and ally graduates of all levels.”

Each of these programs are open to the OU community as well as the surrounding campus community to attend. 

“We don’t ask ‘Are you an OU student? What’s your connection to the university?’ We just want everyone to come enjoy pride, have that celebration and have that sense of togetherness,” Weisenfelder said. “I think Pride Month in general is a way for folks to become aware of things that they weren’t aware of before. It instills in people that empathetic curiosity.”

While Pride Month is an uplifting celebration, it is important to note that it was not always this way. Weisenfelder believes it is important to note that Pride started as a riot at Stonewall

“A lot of people had to work very hard to get it to a point where we can feel safe and where other LGBTQ people can feel safe to celebrate themselves in such a way,” Weisenfelder said. “I think it’s also important for the OU community to remember that this fight isn’t over. We see day after day watching the news different anti-trans or anti-LGBT bills being brought before [congressional] houses across the country, so remembering that although Pride is a celebration Pride is a push to make the world a more equitable place for everybody.”

For more information on Pride month and the GSC, find them on Facebook, Instagram or visit oakland.edu/gsc/pride-month