Members of the LGBTQ community and allies at Michigan State kicked off pride month last week with numerous events and workshops. The MSU LGBT Resource Center hosted Pride Prom for students at the MSU Museum on Friday.
Program assistant Quinn Harrison said pride month at MSU falls in April instead of June because many students will be off campus at that time.
“We do pride prom as a way to kind of give students the prom they wanted but couldn’t have when they were in high school if they couldn’t go with the person that they wanted to, or they couldn’t go as the gender identity they are," Harrison said.
Students dressed in gowns and suits for a night of dancing, board games and other activities. The event also gave students a chance to check out the MSU Museum's exhibits and artifacts.
Events like this are important for students, but for students within the LGBTQ community, they have also allowed them to find a community, Pride People of Color Coalition public relations director Cyrin Watson said.
“I think they show that people who identify with this type of community have a place here and it's just another way to bring together people of this community,” Watson said. “We aren’t discussing any heavy topics , we're just having a good time having fun as well as celebrating our identities.”
Some MSU students within the LGBTQ community like Harrison believe MSU is moving toward becoming more inclusive. Another student, a freshman who requested to remain anonymous, can agree.
“Events like tonight give a feeling of being comfortable in your own skin, and giving MSU students the opportunity to be who they want to be in their best selves and let them shine in their own little light,” they said.
But Watson, who identifies as a bisexual, believes there is still some work to be done.
“There aren’t many representations of my sexuality ... as far as the media goes, you're either gay or straight,” Watson said. “As for some of the stereotypes, I face — 'Oh well you're bisexual, you're greedy', 'You must like both genders equally.' Don't make an assumption on me based off of my identity.”
Resources provided at MSU have allowed these students to not only find a community, but an identity as well.
“Honestly, there are a lot of resources. But on top of that, you just feel like you're not as judged and you don't feel like you have to hide anymore,” the student who wishes to remain anonymous said. “Everything is a little bit more free.”