LGBTQ Resource Center coordinator Juniper Oxford

Juniper Oxford is the coordinator of the LGBTQ Resource Center and will be hosting numerous events throughout LGBTQ+ History Month. (Photo by Russell Bailey)  

September 28, 2023

SIU hosts special events in recognition of LGBTQ+ History Month in October

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale will commemorate October as LGBTQ+ History Month with the theme of "History, Community, Resilience."

A variety of special events and activities are planned, with most open to the campus community and public at no cost.

"The 2023 theme is meant to highlight the resilience found within our shared history and community,” said Juniper Oxford, coordinator of the LGBTQ Resource Center. “It also serves to remind us of the strength we can draw from our community and our history; that we are not alone and that we have been around. The richness of LGBTQ+ history and culture cannot be understated, and we hope that is imparted upon those who attend our events, activities and opportunities in October and throughout this academic year."

It all begins Oct. 2

The Saluki Rainbow Network will lead a Pride March from the front of the Communications Building to the kickoff ceremony beginning at 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 2.

The kickoff event will follow at 5:30 p.m. in the Old Main Room of the Student Center. Paul Frazier, vice chancellor for anti-racism, diversity, equity and inclusion, will offer remarks. Wil Clark, chief information officer and president of the LGTBQ+ Faculty and Staff Council, will be the guest speaker. Oxford will provide an overview of some of the upcoming events happening throughout the month.

The following day, everyone is invited to come get acquainted with Oxford during the “Meet the Coordinator” event, set for 1-2 p.m. Oct. 3 at the Student Services Building Rooms 150/160. Oxford will give a short introduction and presentation, and then visitors will mingle and enjoy refreshments.

Queer Cinema

Back for 2023 is the popular Queer Cinema. At 4 p.m. Oct. 10, 16, 23 and 30, in the John C. Guyon Auditorium a variety of queer movies will be shown at no charge. All are welcome to enjoy the shows, with popcorn, candy and giveaways included.

The schedule includes:

  • Oct. 10 – “Screaming Queens,” a documentary highlighting a group of transgender women and drag queens who fought police harassment at Compton’s Cafeteria in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district in 1966. Oxford will host and lead a brief film discussion.
  • Oct. 16 – “Rafiki,” a Kenyan film screened at Cannes, it focuses on forbidden love, as homosexual romance was illegal in the country. The film will be hosted by Sean Maulding, a doctoral student in communication studies.
  • Oct. 23 – “Saturday Church,” a 2017 film about a shy Black man who struggles with gender identity issues, bullying and abuse but escapes into a fantasy world of dance and music. It’s hosted by Darryl Clark, associate professor of musical theater dance.
  • Oct. 30 – “Framing Agnes,” a documentary based on the case files of a gender clinic and the legacy of a young trans women who participated in Harold Garfinkel’s gender health research at UCLA in the 1960s. Oxford will host.

Informative happenings

A variety of learning opportunities will take place throughout the month as well, including the Black N’ Queer Roundtable set for 5 p.m. Oct. 5 in the Ohio Room of the Student Center. The topic is “Where Do We Go?”

Then Clare Killman, Carbondale City Council member, will speak at 5 p.m. Oct. 19 in the Student Center Auditorium. Killman, the first transgender person ever elected to a city council position in Illinois, will speak about the importance of civic engagement. The presentation is free and open to the public. Refreshments will follow in the International Lounge.

Family Day, Coming Out Social, more

The LGBTQ+ History Month schedule is packed with activities, including the Rainbow Family Day on Oct. 8 at Bandy’s Pumpkin Patch in Johnston City, complete with hayrides, caramel apples, a play barn, apple cider and of course pumpkins and more for the entire family from 3 to 7:30 p.m.  It’s a pay-your-own-way event.

A Coming Out Social is set for noon to 2 p.m. Oct. 11 at the Student Services Building Pavilion complete with crafts, games, music and food. All LGBTQ+ students, staff, faculty, allies and friends are welcome.

The Transition Your Closet event from 1-3 p.m. Oct. 9 at Student Services Building Rooms 150/160 gives LGBTQ+ students the opportunity to obtain casual or business wear clothing to change their gender presentation in style. The event also features free walk-in resume checks along with career readiness information for those who will soon be entering the workforce.

Learn more

Various other activities are planned, including panel discussions, soccer matches, transitions groups, a spooky study night, a furry Halloween dance and more. Find additional information, including the complete schedule of events, on the website for the LGBTQ Resource Center, which is a unit of the Student Multicultural Resource Center.

Sponsors include the LGBTQ Resource Center; the Student Multicultural Resource Center; the Office of Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; the LGBTQ+ Faculty and Staff Council; the Saluki Rainbow Network; the Career Development Center; the Intersectionality Project; the Black Resource Center; the Rainbow Café and the Carbondale Park District.