We’re almost halfway through October, or Queertober, as Pride has dubbed it.
Pride is an RSO on Illinois State Univeristy’s campus that celebrates and supports LGBTQ+ students. Its mission is to provide a safe, social and educational atmosphere, and Queertober is just one way it is accomplishing this.
Having a month-long celebration with just over half a dozen events planned, from Pride History Night to Ally Night to Queertober Ball, this month will be one to remember.
Wednesday was National Coming Out Day. Coming out is one of the more difficult things that LGBTQ+ folks face, and it isn’t a one-time thing. Coming out of the closet is a lifelong event that doesn’t end the first time.
National Coming Out Day is meant to both allow someone to have a specific day when they can come out, as well as be visible. Visibility is pertinent in the movement toward creating universal acceptance and tolerance of queerness, especially in these turbulent times.
The popular protest chant of “We’re here. We’re queer. Get used to it” is a great example of visible queerness.
More of the month’s festivities focus on social and educational events.
Pride History Night is about ISU’s own RSO. Barb Dallinger, associate director of event management, dining and hospitality and former Pride advisor, is giving the history of the RSO. Currently, Pride is the only RSO on campus that caters and provides specialized service to LGBTQ+ students.
This history lesson will explain how Pride became the Pride ISU knows today.
Knowing how LGBTQ+ students on ISU’s campus have been treated in the past in juxtaposition to the representation and support students have now is important in understanding the growth of acceptance and visibility.
Ally Night takes another step toward visibility. It is an educational night for sharing the role of the ally in LGBTQ+ circles and how allies can be more supportive. This is a conversational topic where both community members and allies can come to have their voices heard and their questions answered.
The function of an ally is to use their privilege to provide support and safety for the community. Allies can use their voice in spaces where LGBTQ+ people aren’t involved or their voices won’t be heard as well.
Queertober Ball closes the month. Queer liberation dance parties were once used as a form of protest, and they now celebrate public exposure.
Queertober is meant to bring happiness and hope to the LGBTQ+ community on campus, to provide safe places for people to celebrate their queerness and provide education on queerness to those who seek it out.