Students observe Gay Pride Week
Jen Rainey Collegio Reporter
Members of the Pitt State Gay-Straight Alliance (PSGSA) have been working to spread unity on campus this week by hosting the Second Annual Gay Pride Rally, and hosting activities on campus all week.
“The entire week is about finding acceptance, being proud of oneself, and educating those who have questions,” said Randi Tucker, non-degree seeking student.
The Gay Pride Week was kicked off Monday with an opening rally, featuring three guest speakers. The speakers included Steven Urie of the Spirit of Christ Metropolitan Community Church; Thomas Witt, chair of the Kansas Equality Coalition and Raye Ann Tucker, local activist.
Wednesday, James Dean of the Sonoma State University in California, spoke in the Governors Room of the Student Center. During his speech entitled “Heterosexual Masculinities in a Post-Closeted America,” Dean discussed a study and interviews he had conducted among heterosexual males in the Northeastern part of the United States regarding their viewpoints on homosexuals and homosexuality.
Some professors, including Joey Pogue, associate professor of communication, encouraged their students to attend this event. Andrew Orpin, senior in communication, attended for Pogue’s Media Criticism class. “I think it was a good topic of discussion and he had some good points, but a lot of it wasn’t new information and it wasn’t a random group of people he interviewed,” said Orpin. “It was people he sought out. I feel he could’ve done the study a lot better.”
A drag show was held Wednesday from 7:30-9:30 p.m. in the U-Club of the Overman Student Center. Tucker was one of the emcees for the event.
“The entire U-Club was packed,” said Tucker. “People were looking for places to sit and we had a lot of support from the PSU students.”
The last event of the week will take place today between 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Oval with Gay Jeopardy. Contestants will be given an opportunity to win candy by answering questions correctly. The questions will center on facts on the PSGSA and gay history.
“All Gay-Straight Alliance activities, events and meetings are open to the community,” said Holden Kraus, graduate teaching assistant in math and president of the PSGSA. “We welcome anyone and everyone that is supportive of our goals to attend our events and meetings.”
While Gay Pride Week provides various activities to partake in, students and members say it also provides unity and equality among students. Miranda Steele, senior in social work, describes Gay Pride Week as a celebration of people being themselves.
“It’s not just for those who are homosexual; it’s a celebration of all people and being who they are and being proud of that fact,” said Steele. “I feel we are standing together to show that we are here for those who need someone with open hearts and minds to listen to and to do what we can to help others.”