GAYpril celebration kicks off Spring term

Spring term started with a bang this year with GAYpril, an event meant to increase awareness of the culture, history, and politics of the LGBTQ community.

Celebrated nationwide by universities and organizations, GAYpril features various activities and events throughout the month of April that inspire tolerance in Allies and the uninformed alike.

Janelle Wilson, coordinator of the Queer Resource Center, introduced GAYpril to Southern Oregon University last year. This time around, the week-long celebration offered opportunities to pledge to be an Ally, attend various talks on subjects relating to challenges faced by the LGBTQ community, and design T-shirts for the Day of Silence, to name a few.

On Thursday SOU hosted Julia Serano, a transgender activist, who gave a lecture on “The Intersections of Feminism, Queer and Trans Politics” in the Meese Auditorium. Wilson explained about 15 of SOU’s departments sponsored her speaking on campus.

“We are so grateful to the SOU community for coming together to host such a phenomenal speaker and thinker,” she said.

GAYpril week concluded with “Allies in Argyle Day” on Friday. The idea came from Tatiana Bredikin, Student Affairs administrative assistant, who was inspired by the eye-catching pattern and recognized that the motif could be used as one of GAYpril’s activities as a signature of alliance and respect for the queer community.

“Argyle is bold and out there,” she said. “You aren’t hiding when you are wearing argyle.”

With help from student Zach Wood, “Allies in Argyle” was advertised on Facebook with the hopes of making it a national event.

“It’s a simple idea with a humble beginning that I hope will have a big impact,” said Bredikin, who claims the event page has received support “from Hawaii to Germany.”

“Ultimately we want GAYpril to be a celebration filled with love and respect, working towards making the world a better place…one day at a time,” said Wilson.

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