Tulane celebrates LGBT community during Pride Month


Students gather Monday to celebrate the kickoff of Pride Month on the Lavin-Bernick Center quad. Students came together to write messages of encouragement on a banner for the festivities. 

Taylor DeMulling, Associate Arcade Editor

Pride Month is more than pinning cleverly personalized patches onto a rainbow community flag. It’s more than comedians, singers and speakers coming to share their experiences in hopes of rallying, resonating with or relating to the audience. No single event or tour or table set out on the quad can really capture the importance of pride month.

“This year, it’s mostly a celebration of where we’ve gotten,” Shehan McFadden, chair of the Gender and Sexuality Advisory Committee, said.

And we should celebrate. Pride Month, which was Pride Week in past years, helped further the movement that garnered all-gender bathrooms in the Lavin-Bernick Center and gender-neutral housing policies, as well as a more recent movement to allow students to use their preferred names and pronouns in class and on their Splash Cards.

By spreading the events typically condensed into Pride Week out over the course of a month, new opportunities arise to plan events, host tables and coordinate guest speakers and performers. The month kicked off with “Beyond Gender” with Nick Krieger, author of “Nina Here Nor There.” The next day, on Friday, prominent poet and intersectional activist Andrea Gibson spoke in the Kendall Cram Lecture Hall. Spending Wednesday with the Office of Multicultural Affairs meant delving into the rich history of drag queens and kings.

On Monday, the Green Wave will be replaced by a sea of purple for Spirit Day. A week later, at 3 p.m on Oct. 19, there will be a walking tour of gay New Orleans departing from The O. LGBTQIA Wellness Wednesday will be hosted in Pocket Park at 11 a.m. Wednesday. On Oct. 23, Dr. Moon Chanaria will be speaking out about sexual social movements, and the following Monday, there will be an Intersex Awareness lecture in room 210 of the Lavin-Bernick Center.

One of the most highly anticipated events, however, is Pride Prom, hosted by Gamma Rho Lambda.

“It’s a really great, gender-affirming place for people who may not have gone to their high school proms because of a lot of these issues,” McFadden said.

Pride Prom, which takes place at 8 p.m. on Oct. 30 in the Kendall Cram Lecture Hall, will benefit BreakOUT!, a New Orleans organization that advocates for LGBT youth.

The collective efforts of the Gender and Sexuality Advisory Committee, Gamma Rho Lambda, Tulane University Campus Programs, the Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, and many other groups put the month together. Typically, Pride Month is spearheaded by GSAC, but its growth and success over the years opened up the opportunity for other groups to get involved as well.

“We’ve been really lucky in the fact that a lot of the other organizations … clubs, groups and important people on campus started to bring other events to us and represent us,” McFadden said. Involvement from the LBC made the Andrea Gibson event possible, while TUCP brought in Tig Notaro.

Pride month is a way to foster visibility and even change for the LGBT community, Pride Month profoundly impacts Tulane.

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