4/1/2022Although Pride is traditionally recognized in June, the annual LGBTQIA+ community celebration is coming to Endicott in April, while students are still on campus. Throughout the month, individuals are invited to embrace their queerness, flex their allyship, and learn what Pride is all about.
The festivities begin on April 8, from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., with Spell Out Pride. Using hundreds of rainbow flags, transgender flags, and progress flags, participants will write “pride” in the grass outside the Hempstead Commons. As a sweet bonus, the first 100 attendees will get an ice cream sandwich from Cookie Monstah.
“I’m particularly excited about the Spell Out Pride event,” said Anna McAlister, Marketing Professor and Co-Advisor of the Alliance Club, which focuses on LGBTQIA+ community building and allyship. “Pride is not something that needs to be celebrated privately—it should be as open as any other celebration we might have on campus. I love that this event is publicly prominent.”
The flags will be planted on the eve of Accepted Students’ Day and remain on display throughout the month. “I am thrilled to know that future students and their families will have the opportunity to witness this display,” continued McAlister. “It shows that we are an accepting campus that values our LGBTQIA+ students, staff, faculty, and their allies.”
Award-winning genderqueer author and LGBTQIA+ advocate Alex Gino will also be part of Endicott’s inaugural Pride celebration. Beaming in via Zoom on April 12 at 6 p.m., Gino will read from Melissa—a progressive middle-grade novel about a transgender girl trying to find her way—and take audience questions. The Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging is also sponsoring a group viewing of the event in the Little Theater, with provided refreshments.
“There are people on this campus who will really identify with Alex Gino, and there are people who will learn from Alex, too. But most importantly, I would love for people to listen to Alex,” said Laurie Souza, Coordinator of Library User Services, who organized this Tadler Center-sponsored event.
Souza noted that Gino didn’t see anyone like themself in the books they read growing up, so it served as a key inspiration for their work. “I think that’s why it’s important to have an author like Alex Gino,” said Souza.
In conjunction with the Gino reading, the library will also raffle off an Everyone Is Awesome LEGO set. Visit the library to learn more and enter the raffle. The Pride celebration continues with a rainbow ice cream social on April 13, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., in Lower Callahan. And on April 22 at 7 p.m., the Campus Activities Board will host drag bingo in the Cleary Lecture Hall of Hempstead Commons.
“We’re partnering with some local drag queens and they’re going to be the bingo callers, but they’re also going to be kind of hecklers, going through the audience and making fun of people,” said Katie Stango, Director of Student Engagement, who said that wearing fun rainbow outfits and accessories is encouraged. “We’re going to have colorful lighting. It’ll definitely be a party.”
In her words, bingo will be sandwiched between performances and comedy, and there will also be some sweet prizes up for grabs, including concert tickets, Yogibo, and a Barefoot Dreams blanket.
Bringing Pride to campus is just part of one of Endicott’s core values—belonging—explained Director of Belonging and Spiritual Life Gail Cantor.
“The most important thing is for us all to voice our acceptance and our support of everybody on our campus,” Cantor said. “We have a very diverse LGBTQIA+ community, and we really want to support that community. We’re hoping that by starting to set April aside to celebrate Pride, it becomes something that grows and is a way for that community to find new expressions.”
Learn more about these free festivities and other happenings at Endicott. Students interested in joining the Alliance should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.