By: Madeline Marriott ’24

Beginning Oct. 1, celebrations of LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, asexual, plus) History Month will commence at Lafayette and across the country. This month celebrates the achievements and history of LGBTQIA+ people and honors their often undervalued contributions to American society. First created in 1994 by Rodney Wilson, a high school teacher from Missouri, the month is now celebrated nationwide. This celebration differs from Pride Month, celebrated in June, as Pride Month focuses on the current movement toward equality for the LGBTQIA+ community, while October’s events highlight the historical context of the movement. 

Satuna Mowrin '24, Cate Cheng '25, Meredith McGee '23, and Emily Cheng '26 sit in the Gender and Sexuality Resources Center. A neon sign reads 'Love is Love' can be seen on the glass window in front of them.

Located in the Farinon College Center, Lafayette’s Gender and Sexuality Resource Center is the home for all things centered around gender equity, feminism, and LGBTQIA+ inclusion. The GSRC is a central hub of activity and information for many students and organizations, and implements educational and social events for the entire campus community. During the academic year, the center is open during the day for students to access resources while also providing a safe space to gather socially. Pictured from left to right: Satuna Mowrin ’24, Cate Cheng ’25, Meredith McGee ’23, and Emily Cheng ’26

“People our age don’t know a lot about gay history,” says K Massi ’23, president of OUT Lafayette. “So it’s really crucial to understand our rights and where they stem from, and how history has shaped [LGBTQIA+] communities.” 

OUT, a group for LGBTQIA+ Lafayette students, will be helping to host a number of events this month in collaboration with the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center. These events include  Lafayette’s second annual National Coming Out Day Celebration and Resource Fair on Thursday, Oct. 13 and an LGBTQIA+ formal, co-sponsored by Student Government, on Friday, Oct. 14. 

A pride flag.A full list of this year’s events will be updated throughout the month and is available on the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center website

Tommy Lee, assistant director of intercultural development for gender and sexuality, encourages all students, not just those who are a part of the LGBTQIA+ community, to get involved in celebrating this month’s festivities. “One of the biggest pieces of being an ally to the community and being supportive of the community is learning more about us. This is a very organic and natural way to learn more about our history where there’s a very clear, open invitation to do that,” Lee says. 

“I want to eliminate the misconception that this month is only for members of the community. Any student, anyone at Lafayette can be supportive of and work toward LGBTQIA+ inclusion,” Lee continues. 

Massi also encourages participation in this month’s events from people outside the LGBTQIA+ community. “It’s important to cherish and understand where anything came from, especially queer history, because queer history is often not talked about. It’s often stigmatized. So it’s important to be talked about in a celebration sort of light, not necessarily just all the terrible things that have happened in queer history, like the AIDS crisis or the Stonewall riots.” 

Want to learn more about LGBTQIA+ history? Lee recommends these resources:

Categorized in: Featured News, Intercultural Development, News and Features, Social Hub