For one week, Ferris students will display their pride through events designed to take people out of their comfort zones.
On Monday, April 15, Gay Pride Week will begin and will last until Thursday, April 18. Each day will contain activities and opportunities for the campus community to learn about what it means to be of a different sexuality.
“The purpose of these events is to educate students on FSU’s campus about the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) community and promote diversity. These events also give the campus a chance to get to know us better as an organization,” Kendree Berg, Ferris senior in psychology and president of D-SAGA (Diverse Sexuality and Gender Alliance), said. “I hope these events can open up some minds and educate people, but also help them get to know each other better and bridge the gap between the LGBTQ community and the rest of campus.”
Included in the events offered during Pride Week are a number of day events as well as several evening events.
On Monday, April 15, Ally Day will take place on the north quad. Following will be the event Queer Monologues, which will begin at 7 p.m. in BUS 111.
Ally Day will be used to educate the community about what it means to be an ally to the LGBTQ community. Participants will be encouraged to sign the Ally Pledge and will receive a bulldog ally sticker.
Brandon Laninga, Ferris junior in psychology and a member of D-SAGA, is most excited about the Queer Monologues event.
“Queer Monologues is a performance of coming out stories and powerful, meaningful events in our members’ lives,” Laninga said. “People should plan on taking away a better understanding of how to be an ally and getting involved with the community.”
On Tuesday, April 16, LGBTQ History Day will take place all day long on the north quad. This will give students the opportunity to learn interesting facts about the past and present of the LGBTQ community.
On Wednesday, April 17, the event Breaking Stereotypes will take place throughout the day on the north quad. This event will allow students to write stereotypes they have experienced onto a wall and at the end of the day, everyone will get to break it, according to Laninga.
Thursday, April 18 will conclude the week with two final events. Throughout the day on the north quad, the event Day of Silence will take place.
“[During this event,] D-SAGA will take part in a national protest using silence to battle the silencing of the LGBTQ community through harassment, bias and violence,” Berg said.
Although Berg is excited to participate in all of the Pride Week events, there is one event she enjoys more than the others.
“I am most looking forward to the Drag-Off. It is our biggest event of the year, and it’s a lot of fun,” Berg said. “It’s also a canned food drive, so it gives us a chance to give back to the community.”
The Drag-Off will begin at 7 p.m. in the Rankin Student Center Dome Room. This event allows students to compete for drag king and queen titles, as well as witness professional drag performers from Muskegon and Grand Rapids.
Audience members are encouraged to bring canned goods to the event.
“For every canned good, you get one vote toward the people’s choice winner of the night. All canned goods collected go to the Manna Food Pantry,” Berg said. “It’s a great opportunity to meet some really cool people and promote diversity on campus.”