September 28, 2017

University to celebrate LGBTQ History Month

by Christi Mathis

Travis TuckerCARBONDALE, Ill. – Southern Illinois University Carbondale will recognize LGBTQ History Month with a variety of special events and activities in October. All are open to the public and many are free to attend.

The Sept. 30 Pride Picnic from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Church of the Good Shepherd, 515 Orchard Drive in Carbondale is the first event. The official kickoff is Oct. 2, when students from the Campus Price Living Learning Community will hand out “pride” bracelets and buttons along with information about upcoming events at locations around the campus.

The presentation “Intersectionality in Immigration: The Experience of LGBTQ Asylum Seekers and Latin Immigrants in the United States” is set for 4:30 p.m. Oct. 2 in the SIU School of Law Hiram H. Lesar Law Building, Room 102.

One of the highlights of the month is “An Evening with Travis Tucker Jr.” at 6 p.m. on Oct. 19 at Grinnell Hall. Tucker is the assistant director for Leadership and LGBTQIA Involvement at Washington University in St. Louis. Tucker will discuss events impacting the LGBTQ community and reflect on the time he served as SIU’s LGBTQ Resource Center coordinator.

The always-popular drag show becomes a Steampunk Drag Show presented by the Saluki Rainbow Network. With music by DJ Keith, the event is at 8 p.m., Oct. 8, in the Student Center ballrooms. Doors open at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 for students with a valid SIU ID or $7 for the public.

Plans also include a “Coming Out, Do’s and Don’ts Discussion” on “National Coming Out Day,” Oct. 11, at 6 p.m. in the Student Center’s Mississippi Room. There will also be a twin bill of plays, Oct. 26-28, in the Marion Kleinau Theatre on the second floor of the Communications Building. 

The 8 p.m. twin playbill features “Birthplace: A Florida Woman Show” and “Bless Our Hearts: An Oral History of the Queer South.” The second show, co-directed by Colin Whitworth and Craig Gingrich-Philbrook, includes a series of interviews, conducted, compiled and performed by Whitworth, exploring the diversity of people in southern United States who identify as “queer.” The first play is written by Shelby Swafford and directed by Anna Wilcoxen. The evening includes mature themes. Admission is $5 for students with a valid SIU ID or $75 for the general public.

The “They Call Me Q” show wraps up the month’s activities at 6 p.m. Oct. 30 in the Student Center Auditorium. The show tells the story of a young woman from India seeking to balance the cultural pressures from her traditional parents with her desire from acceptance in her new culture in New York’s Bronx.

Find the complete schedule of events for LGBTQ History Month at

SIU’s LGBTQ Resource Center, a unit of the Student Multicultural Resource Center, is the sponsor of the history month, in collaboration with: the Dean of Students Office, Student Affairs, the Hispanic/Latino Resource Center, the Saluki Rainbow Network, University Housing, the School of Law, the Student Multicultural Resource Center, University Honors Program and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Additional sponsors include SIU’s communication studies and educational administration and higher education departments, the Rainbow Café and the Church of the Good Shepherd.