For the first time in a long while, Goshen College is hosting a whole week to celebrate LGBTQ pride.A number of activities were planned for this week by three students: Kate Brooks, a senior, and Brenner Burkholder and Eli Studebaker, both juniors. The week was put together by Advocates and Prism.
Monday students were invited to a bonus convocation at which Hayley Brooks spoke about the history of the LGBTQ community and the different expressions of pride throughout history as well as in the Mennonite context.
“[The convocation] was a history of pride, so a little background on Stonewall,” said Brooks. “Pride is the anniversary of Stonewall.”
Stonewall was a gay bar in New York. There was a police raid at the bar and instead of going home, the patrons stayed and retaliated. It was one of the first public forms of resistance.
“People mark [Stonewall] as the beginning of the modern LGBT movement,” said Brooks.
Tuesday evening a staff member from Mosaic came and offered a meditation time for students. Mosaic is a health clinic and safe space for everyone. The meditation time allowed students to relax, as well as learn a bit more about Mosaic.
“Paris is Burning” was shown on Wednesday. The movie is a documentary with a focus on drag culture that was followed by a discussion.
“[The documentary] highlights an LGBT community in New York and drag culture and balls and the community that they created,” said Kate Brooks.
“It does a lot of interviews with people who were in that community,” said Studebaker. “It deals with a lot of intersecting issues of orientation and gender identity and race and class.”
Students can show their pride and support for the LGBTQ community on Thursday, which is “visibility day” by wearing T-shirts that demonstrate ally-ship or pride for their own identity.
There will also be stations set up with resources and pins for students. There will be a station set up in Java Junction in the morning, as well as stations in Westlawn Dining Hall at 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Friday, Prism is cordially inviting students to attend a dance to celebrate pride with them. There will be music and snacks, and the dance will run from 9:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. in Newcomer 19.
“The idea is,” Studebaker said, “to invite other people who are allies or not out enough about their identities to feel comfortable coming out to Prism to come into this space and have a good time.”