Kathleen Escarcha, Senior Staff Writer
In celebration of LGBTQ+ History Month, colleges and universities across the United States put on a series of presentations, lectures, discussions, and social events.
LGBTQ+ History Month, which runs through October, was founded in 1994 by high school teacher Rodney Wilson. October includes National Coming Out Day, which falls on October 11.
Higher ed institutions use these four weeks to educate students and the community about the experiences of LGBTQ+ people and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movement. We rounded up a few examples of how colleges have celebrated the month on campus.
Ohio State University (OSU)
OSU hosted several panels for queer and allied students to discuss their experiences on campus and navigating campus life. Other panels focused on the experiences of black students, LatinX students, student veterans, and American Indian students who identify as LGBTQ.
Students were also able to attend talks by Adam Rippon, the first openly gay athlete to win a Winter Olympic Medal, and Ashleigh Shackelford, a black cultural producer, data futurist, and visual artist.
Students who attended certain events during OSU's LGBTQ+ History Month could earn credits towards a Diversity, Intercultural and Community Engagement Certificate awarded by the university's multicultural center.
University of South Florida (USF)
In early October, USF hosted a mixer for LGBTQ+ alumni and lecture about the history of LGBTQ+ Healthcare, Trans history, and sexual health.
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The university also hosted sessions to train students to become supportive allies and advocates for LGBTQ+ peoples on campus. Students who attended these sessions learned about LGBTQ+ experiences, the larger movement, and current local, state, and national policies and laws that affect the community.
Queer students of color at Syracuse and the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry held a meeting to support and empower each other academically, politically, and socially. Syracuse also hosted a panel about the housing crisis for LGBTQ+ youth and a networking event for LGBTQ+ students interested in STEM.
On October 20th, Syracuse hosted a media symposium to bring together Queer and Trans People of Color creators, activists, podcast and video producers to discuss gender, sexuality, and race in new media.
In one event, Sir Knight, a Syracuse alumni and host of the BlackTransTV channel on Youtube, discussed the benefits of self-care and teach attendees self-care methods such as journaling and meditation. In another symposium event, students attended a live taping of Queer WoC: The Podcast and learned how to write, produce, and edit podcasts.
Virginia Tech (VT)
VT plans hosted panels about being a LatinX queer person and about being queer in politics. The university also hosted several events about “Vogue,” including a panel on the history of the dance movement, a “Vogue” dance class, and a screening of the film Paris is Burning.
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Northwestern students kicked off LGBTQ month with an event that featured free food, art, history, and trivia. And to celebrate National Coming Out Day on October 11th, the university hosted a panel for students to discuss their experiences being out as LGBTQIA+ on campus.
(OSU site, accessed 10/12/18; Northwestern site, accessed 10/12/18; VT site, accessed 10/12/18; Syracuse site, accessed 10/12/18; Andre, Syracuse News, 10/4/18; USF site, accessed 10/12/18; GLSEN site, accessed 10/12/18).
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