Pride Week happens every year from April 4th-April 17th and it is an opportunity for LGBTQ+ community members to feel seen and validated.
The Small Living Unit (SLU) on campus that focuses on LGBTQ+ matters is the Sexuality and Gender Equity (SAGE) house. They consist of people who are interested in supporting the existence of these communities on campus.
For Pride Week this year, there were four house projects from members of SAGE that were conducted; Inclusive Children’s Books, Show Your Pride and Pronouns, Self Love and Body Portraits, and Disability and LGBTQ+ Panel.
Inclusive Children’s Books was focused on educating people about children’s books that had queer and trans represntation in them and promoted an open discussion space for these topics.
Show Your Pride and Pronouns was focused on giving students a space to construct crafts to show off their pride flags and pronouns in an effort to give people a way to express themselves.
Self Love and Body Portraits featured a presentation that showed people what a body portrait actually looks like and walked them through how to create their own while also giving students the materials and time to do so.
Finally, the Disability and LGBTQ+ panel hosted a panel of students that had disabilities and were in the LGBTQ+ community. The goal of this panel was to show people how these two identities could interact with each other and why it’s important to have conversations surrounding these two identities.
The events ran through Monday-Thursday and were around 1-2 hours each.
The Inclusive Children’s Books house project was planned by Jason Tannenbarum. He is a sophomore, who has been living in SAGE for a semester and says that he has been planning this house project since he got accepted into the house. As an education major, he says that, “I know that inclusivity is a crucial element of education. Teaching kids to love, respect, and celebrate everyone is so important. I also think that displaying these inclusive books serve as a resource for OWU students/other adults to show the children in their lives”.
The Show Your Pride and Pronouns house project was planned by Amelia York. She is a sophomore who has been living in SAGE for a semester and has been planning this project since January. She says that “I decided to do this because I like crafting and I think it’s good to spread awareness about pronouns so that people aren’t misgendered”.
(Photo courtesy of Ginny Faeth)
The Self Love and Body Portrait was planned by Ginny Faeth. She is a sophomore who has been living in SAGE for a semester and has been planning this project since about mid February. She says that she decided to do this because she thinks body image is important.
“Growing up as a fat person and more recently becoming disabled, body image is something I have experience with, and care about. Back in high school, my friend drew a portrait of me and that was the first time I saw myself as someone I liked. I wanted to bring that to campus”.
Finally, the Disability and LGBTQ+ Disability Panel was planned by Sarah Smith. She is a junior who has been living in the house for a semester and has been planning their house project since last semester around November/December. Smith said she decided to do this “due to the lack of conversation, awareness, and representation on campus. This event was also to give all students who fell into the intersection of the LGBTQ+ and disability community a chance to share their own experiences on campus and to amplify their voices to the truth in what they had to say”.
All of the house members said that they were incredibly pleased and surprised about how many people attended their house projects and how the discussion surrounding them went.
SAGE house projects, and Pride Week celebrations will continue to happen next year, so those interested in participating will have more opportunities to do so.