The LGBTQ Resource Center is holding its third year of OUTober programming in honor of LGBTQ History Month with the help of $1,500 in funding from the Office of the President.
“OUTober is really a collaborative process between the LGBTQ Resource Center and GU Pride trying to populate a calendar and then we reach out to common and uncommon partners that we’ve done OUTobers with in years past,” GU Pride President Thomas Lloyd (SFS ’15) said.
The programming, which began Oct. 1 and will continue until Nov. 20, includes a total of 16 events.
Lloyd said that the money from the Office of the President was helpful but made up less than a third of the overall budget. The funding was used to purchase GU Pride’s annual “I Am” t-shirts.
“Part of [OUTober] is the Center and Pride identifying what issues and what speakers we want to bring, part of it is tradition, like the ‘I Am’ shirts and coming out in Red Square, and then the last part is trying to see what conversations other campus partners want to have,” Lloyd said.
This year, OUTober programming aims to emphasize the connection between sexuality and other social issues.
“Much like OUTobers of years past they focus on service and intersectionality within the LGBTQ community,” Lloyd said.
The programming commenced with a poetry reading by Raquel Gutierrez, a writer and co-founder of a performance group aimed at creating conversations around the intersection of LGBTQ and Latino issues in Los Angeles.
GU Pride Media Manager and Historian Campbell James (SFS ’17) went to see Gutiérrez speak.
“She read an essay about her experience as a college-aged adult in a specifically lesbian community of color and a poor community of color in southern California,” Campbell said.“I just thought it was interesting to hear a lot of her experience and to learn a lot more about the different parts of a LGBTQ community.”
LGBTQ Resource Center Assistant Director Julian Haas said that the speakers will help to facilitate a conversation about the intersectionality of sexuality and other issues.
“One of the biggest speakers we’re bringing this year is Bettina Love,” Haas said. “Dr. Love does a lot of work around intersectionality and intersectional work with youth of color from low income areas. That intersectional approach is really reflected in all the events that we have.”
Love, an assistant professor of educational theory at the University of Georgia, is an award winning author whose research focuses on the way that hip-hop music and culture influence the social and political identities of urban youth.
According to Haas, the events aim to engage with attendees.
“What’s nice is our academic events aren’t lectures; they’re workshops,” Haas said.
Haas said that OUTober was intended to stretch beyond the boundaries of the LGBTQ community and reach the wider Georgetown populace.
“We’re saying ‘This is a nationally recognized month to celebrate LGBTQ communities and we’re inviting the Georgetown community to take part in conversations and events that are in direct celebration of our LGBTQ communities,’” Haas said. “As part of OUTober we’re really just inviting the Georgetown community to be part of the conversation.”