Manhattan College Celebrates First Ever Pride Week

by C. GARRETT KEIDEL, Sports Editor 

During the week of April 22-26, 2019, Manhattan College celebrated its first ever Pride Week, sponsored by the Manhattan College LGBT Student Group. The week included daily events celebrating queer visibility and pride in a variety of settings.

On the second day of celebrations, the LGBT Student Group hosted a Queer Academia Panel consisting of LGBT faculty and students sharing their voices and expertise on focused topics of queer experiences in academia. Topics ranged from being a female queer person of color, pronoun politics, lgbt inclusive education, and more.

President of the College’s LGBT Student Group, Roi Mase, reflected afterwards on the reasons for hosting the panel during Pride Week.

“Our main goal in doing the Queer Academia Panel was to bring the stories and experiences of queer people on campus into the light. On a conservative campus like our own people often forget that there is a queer community on campus, and I think this event was done in order to remind not only ourselves that we have a community here, but to remind the school that we can’t be ignored,” said Mase.

During the hour long panel, those in attendance had the opportunity to listen to the topics spoken about by the six panelists, and had the opportunity to speak their own voices in an open question and answer period.

One of the major themes running throughout the panel was that of the importance of including intersectionality into the conversations of queer and queering academia.

“I think there is a lot that I took away from the panel. I think one of the most important takeaways from the panel was the importance of intersectionality in queering academia. The LGBTQ community is a diverse one, and we need to love and embrace all aspects of our community in order to achieve the goal of acceptance on campus. Additionally I think another takeaway is that we need to keep on having these discussions on how to queer academia at Manhattan, and I’m confident that we can get it done,” said Mase.

Professor Robin Lovell helped to explain further what intersectionality means to the queer academic community.

“If we are going to talk about our queerness, it’s hard to have a conversation without a concept of intersectionality. It is this idea that we experience different identities within our bodies at the same time and in the same space…it is an idea showing that power is being expressed on us at all times.”

Senior Jaycie Cooper was in attendance and spoke briefly with the Quadrangle about her experience at the panel.

“The panel was such an eye-opening experience for me. I really appreciated both the students and faculty opening up about their experiences on campus.  think it’s important for the LGBTQ community to continue their work in educating the rest of the Jasper community on how to be more inclusive. Their work on campus is a perfect example of what it means to be a Lasallian and we can learn a lot from these panels.”

At the end of the week and the many celebrations of LGBT+ pride on campus, Mase again commented on his hopes for future LGBT+ visibilty on campus.

Mase said, “Our first pride week was a huge success, and although it was small it shows that the Queer community at Manhattan College is growing! I hope more people become involved and carry the torch in the future!”