October is LGBTQ Month at SIU

October 01, 2021

SIU recognizes LGBTQ+ History Month in October with special events

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — A variety of special activities are on tap in October and early November as Southern Illinois University Carbondale recognizes LGBTQ+ History Month and Solidarity Week.

“As we celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month in October, we will provide safe places to have conversations, events and programming for our LGBTQ+ communities and their allies,” said Paul Frazier, vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion. “SIU is an inclusive community and we continue to become more so by providing opportunities for people to learn, grow and celebrate our differences and our similarities as people.”

Kicks off today

The celebration starts with a luncheon today, Oct. 1, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Cambria Room at the Student Center. It’s a joint event for LGBTQ+ History Month and Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which also takes place this month. All are welcome and the Women’s Resource Center and Rainbow Café are co-hosting the event.

Variety of activities planned

Enjoy games, craft and snacks during the Destress and Doodle session  at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6, in Student Services Building Rooms 150/160.

Other activities include:

  • Test your LGBTQ+ history knowledge during a fun game of Drag Trivia on at 6 p.m., Oct. 21, in the Student Center Auditorium.
  • An online session on “LGBTQ Rights in the Workplace” is at 11 a.m. on Oct. 19. Join the session via Zoom.  
  • A panel of military veterans will share their stories and answer questions during a virtual panel discussion on “Veterans Voices: 10 Years after Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” at 4 p.m. Oct. 26. You can log in to participate in the Zoom session.

Important conversations

A pair of roundtable discussions also highlight issues and topics relevant to the LGBTQ+ community.

“The Secrets We Keep” will explore the problem of domestic violence in the Black, Latino and LGBTQ+ community. It takes place at noon, Oct. 14, in Student Services Building, Rooms 150/160.

 A second roundtable will focus on Black and Queer LGBTQ+ rights and how they intersect with pop culture will take place at 5 p.m. Oct. 27, in Student Services Building, Rooms 150/160.

A candlelight vigil at 6 p.m. Oct. 25 at Becker Pavilion will give people the opportunity to pay their respects and honor the lives of those who have died due to violence against the LGBTQ+ community. “May They Be Remembered” will also recognize the lives of those who have died due to domestic violence.

Solidarity Week

SIU will also mark Solidarity Week in early November. Plans include:

  • A Safe Zone and Allyship Seminar at 11 a.m. Nov. 3, featuring online training to help people learn to become more inclusive and better allies to the LGBTQ+ community.
  • The Night of Noise celebration features food, crafts, games and fun and gives people the opportunity to meet others in the queer community. It’s set for 7 p.m. Nov. 3, in the Student Center, Ballroom D.
  • An LGBTQ+ health panel discussion, at 3 p.m. Nov. 4, will focus on how the healthcare system impacts members of the region’s LGBTQ+ community. Join in via Zoom.

No cost, everyone welcome

All of the LGBTQ+ History Month and Solidarity Week events are free and open to the public except for Coming Out Day at noon, Oct. 11, at Faner Plaza, where SIU students can tie-dye a rainbow T-shirt in preparation for homecoming festivities.

Find the complete schedule of events and additional information at https://smrc.siu.edu/. Follow the center on social media as well to learn more:

  • Instagram – wrc.siu.
  • Facebook - @SIUWomensResourceCenter.

Contact Bethany Peppers at 618-453-4281 or wrc@siu.edu with questions.

SIU is committed to protecting the community, so all those attending LGBTQ+ History Month events must follow current campus and state pandemic safety protocols and wear masks when indoors.  

LGBTQ+ History Month and Solidarity Week sponsors include: the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the LGBTQ Resource Center, the Student Multicultural Resource Center, Women’s Resource Center, Black Resource Center, Affirmative Action, Veterans Services and the Rainbow Café.