Second annual Pride Week celebrates LGBTQ art, activism, and community

Sasha Weilbaker, Staff Writer

This year’s Pride Week was an overall success in both attendance and support. The second annual Pride Week consisted of several events on campus, including Paint Night, a 5k run, and a Drag Ball. Sponsored by the University’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) and funded by the Bucknell Student Government (BSG), this series of events was held in support of the LGBTQ+ community.

Becca Osborne ’17, a member of GSA, attended several of the events.

“I think Pride Week was definitely a success,” Osborne said. “We had a great turnout for a lot of the events and I was excited to see all the support for our community.”

Pride Week began on March 26 with the Rainbow Run 5k. The event started at the Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium and looped around campus. Similar to the “Color Run” held prior, participants dressed mainly in white clothing and paint was thrown at them as they ran.

The film “Major!” was shown at the Gallery Theatre on March 27. The film is about an activist named Major Griffin-Gracy, who has been fighting for the rights of trans women of color for over 40 years. She participated in the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City and now serves as the executive director emeritus of the Transgender, Gender Variant, and Intersex Justice Project, which supports transgender individuals within the prison-industrial complex.

The events continued into March 29, when members of the community participated in Paint Night at Uptown. For this event, students and faculty were invited to recreate the work of influential LGBTQ+ artists on canvas. They were also encouraged to create their own art pieces with the supplies available.

The Drag Ball at Uptown on April 1 featured both student performers and a hired professional drag queen. The student performers included Osborne, Carol Haro ’20, Jenna Reid ’20, and Clete Roberts ’20. Pride Week concluded with a rally on the Olin Science Quad on the afternoon of April 2. The rally included speakers who shared their thoughts about and experiences with inclusion on campus.

June was declared the national “Gay and Lesbian Pride Month” by former President Bill Clinton in 2000. In 2009, former President Barack Obama added to Clinton’s declaration and named June “LGBT Pride Month.” However, as the University’s spring semester ends in May, GSA decided to hold the University’s Pride Week at a different time of year, before finals began.

Although Andy Alder ’19 wished that more community members participated in Pride Week, he was nonetheless happy with the celebration.

“The GSA executive board worked really hard and put on great events to both celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and to share the culture with the greater Bucknell community. For the first time in awhile, I really felt a sense of belonging and purpose at Bucknell,” Alder said.

GSA is planning on continuing the new tradition of Pride Week for the foreseeable future.

“I hope I get a chance to come back next year and continue showing support,” Osborne said.

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