Back at school? Your year will be so much more fun if you get involved in clubs or events happening around your campus! Nearly every university has an LGBTQ+ club or committee, sometimes known as a GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) or QSA (Queer-Straight Alliance). These clubs work hard to put on informative and entertaining events for their members as well as the rest of the school to raise awareness and show school spirit and LGBTQ+ pride. Here are five great events your campus pride group can do to raise awareness about LGBTQ+ issues—and have fun while doing it!
1. Your Own Pride Week
Perhaps it isn’t original, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun! Many schools set up their own small Pride Week to get people excited for the larger one coming up each year in cities around them. Pride weeks can include guest speakers, panels, dances, talent shows and, of course, a pride march around campus or your college’s town. They’re a great way to involve the whole school, who will see the different events going on around campus and will more than likely want to join in on the fun!
2. Coming-Out Day
To show solidarity, empathy and support, Sacramento City College’s QSA held a Coming Out Day. A microphone was set up in the quad and some of the members went up and shared their experiences with coming out.
“We wore black clothes so that after the stories and speeches were done, we took off the black clothes and revealed bright or rainbow clothes underneath, and then had a sort of mini-parade around campus with a bright rainbow flag,” says Malissa Luna, a former student and member of Sacramento City College’s QSA.
Coming out is highly personal and no one should be pressured to do it or talk about their experiences. However, when it’s done in a group, it can be a powerful movement and show of support that extends to many people, including those who aren’t in the GSA.
3. Day of Silence
National Day of Silence is a day where students across the country take a vow of silence in order to raise awareness for LGBTQ+ students who are silenced by bullying and harassment. By giving up your voice, you’re calling attention to the many who feel they don’t often have one, especially when they need it most. Advertise the event within your school and rally people over to participate. A vow of silence can be a powerful and effective way to get a message across. At the end of the day, your GSA can host a “breaking the silence” party to celebrate!
4. Movie Night
Hosting a monthly or bi-monthly movie night can be a fun way for your GSA to get the rest of campus more involved with your group. A night or two can be set aside each month to invite students to spend an evening in and watch an interesting movie about LGBTQ+ characters or issues. Anything from dramas and comedies to documentaries and thrillers can be included in the movie nights! Movie nights are a good way to show non-LGBTQ+ students how important media representation is to those who belong to the community, and that movies that involve queer characters are funny, interesting and worth seeing.
5. Drag Show
Many universities host annual drag shows each year to promote diversity and get students to enjoy a fun night out. Some drag shows, such as the one at Northwestern University, include a night of performances, contests and prizes. The show incorporates performances by both students and professional drag queens and kings. Funds from shows can go towards the campus pride group or a charity of the group’s choice. A drag show can be a fun and fantastic night to help you give back!
It’s important for campus pride groups to be there for those who need it, and the best way to reach out is through fun events such as these. These events are great ways to meet new people, make friends and try something new at your school, all while supporting the LGBTQ+ community!