September 27, 2016

SIU to celebrate LGBTQ History Month

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale will recognize October as LGBTQ History Month with a number of special activities and programs.

The events actually begin Oct. 1 but the official LGBTQ Kick-off Event: Black and Brown Queer Reflections is at 5 p.m. on Oct. 5 in Lawson Hall, Room 151. The evening will feature a cross-section of local poets and students expressing their thoughts and experiences through poetry.

Emery Johnson-Miles and Jasmin Creek will lead a brown bag discussion focused on “LGBTQ and Domestic Violence” at noon Oct. 18 in Room 150 at the Student Services Building. Domestic violence within the LGBTQ community is infrequently discussed, event organizers say, and this session will provide an overview of assistance and resources available to victims as well as legal guidelines regarding domestic violence, particularly LGB and trans-related violence.

SafeZone training sessions are scheduled all month long, giving people the opportunity to participate in a nationally recognized program that helps them understand the LGBTQ community. Participants will learn what it means for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community to be in a safe zone, what terminology is important to the community, and how to be allies.

There will be informational tables, a clothesline project, a coming out day photo opportunity, guest panels, special presentations, a tea and talk and much more, including a homecoming parade float appearance by the Saluki Rainbow Network, throughout the month.

It all wraps up with “Beyond the Lights: A Talk with Julie and Alex” at 5 p.m. on Oct. 27 in the Student Center’s Old Main Dining Room. Ru Paul’s Drag Race television series and other similar programs have brought national attention to the drag community and this event connects the campus and area residents with the drag community and drag performance. Julie and Alex Socorro, two local drag performers, will talk about their lives, answer questions, and share relevant information and resources about the transgender community.

Sponsors of LGBTQ History Month include the LGBTQ Resource Center, Student Multicultural Resource Center, Black Resource Center, Communication Studies, Counseling and Psychological Services, Hispanic/Latino Resource Center, Latino Cultural Association, Rainbow Café, Saluki Rainbow Network, University Housing, SIU School of Law, Wellness and Health Promotion Services, the School of Accountancy in the College of Business, and Women Gender and Sexuality Studies at SIU as well as the Women’s Center, Inc. in Carbondale.

All events are free and open to the public with the exception of the Rainbow Café Gala at the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship, 105 N. Parrish Lane in Carbondale, at 6 p.m. on Oct. 1. Tickets for the gala are $35.

Find the complete schedule of events at For additional information, call 618/453-5627.