Clubs celebrate LGBTQ+

Host events during lunch periods for history month

Rory Quealy, News Editor, Website Editor

In 1994, Rodney King, a Missouri high school teacher, believed a month should be dedicated to celebrating and teaching queer history. He gathered with a group of teachers and community members, who then chose October as LGBTQ+ history month because schools are in session and Oct. 11 is Coming Out Day. 

In honor of LGBTQ+ history month, Director of Equity and Belonging, Dr. Jennifer Rowe, partnered with PRISM club, the new Student Equity and Belonging Committee, and the librarians to execute events for students to learn about and celebrate LGBTQ+ history. All events were held in both the NC and SC libraries during lunch periods.  

“There’s plenty of people [in history] that have been a part of the LGBTQ+ community,” PRISM club leader Lochlan McElroy ‘24 said. “Seeing all these people helps broaden the scope for students to realize that [being a part of the LGBTQ+ community] is common, and not a new thing.”

The first week included a gallery walk and craft station on Oct. 6 organized by the Student Equity and Belonging Committee. Students had the opportunity to learn about historic LGBTQ+ individuals and their contributions to queer rights. Participants could also make bracelets and contribute to the rainbow wall located in both campus libraries. 

The second week had LGBTQ+ trivia via Kahoot ran by PRISM club with snacks and prizes on Oct. 19. PRISM club made the Kahoot quizzes with humorous wrong answers to make the event more enjoyable and relatable for students, McElroy said. 

Week three consisted of a documentary watch party on Oct. 26 and 27 organized by the librarians and Rowe. Students were invited to watch “Stonewall Uprising,” a film depicting the events of the 1969 Stonewall Riots, an event known as the turning point in the modern gay civil rights movement.  

“Viewing the documentary as a part of our offerings for LGBTQ+ history month allows us to dig deeper into knowing the historic fight that has and continues to take place for equal rights and social justice for all,” Rowe said. 

The final week was the book club events and discussion on Nov. 5. The LT Reads Book Club, led by Rowe and the librarians, read “Queer, There, and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World” by Sara Prager throughout October. The book details short biographies on 23 queer people throughout history. 

“[LGBTQ+] history month is about acknowledging the whole story of a person,” Rowe said. “We like to pick and choose aspects of people’s identities. If someone were to only acknowledge one aspect, the story would be inaccurate.” 

With her new role of Director of Equity and Belonging, Rowe took the lead in planning the history month celebrations. PRISM club members appreciate having a staff member to advocate for them, McElroy said. 

“The club as a whole is really happy [to have Dr. Rowe],” McElroy said. “It means that it’s not just us getting the word out that it’s fine to be who you are. We actually have someone in the administration whose purpose is to make everyone feel like they belong.”