Dartmouth’s annual Pride celebration kicked off with cupcakes and a photo booth on April 24 outside Collis. The series of events, hosted by the Office of Pluralism and Leadership, will run through May 8.
Pride organizers and other members of the LGBTQIA+ community took some time last weekend to talk with Dartmouth News about this year’s celebration and its theme, “Queerly Beloved.”
Dartmouth Pride started when students in the LGBTQIA+ community decided they wanted visibility for themselves, says Theresa Hernandez, OPAL coordinator. Its focus has varied over the years, depending on what’s important to the community at the moment, Hernandez says.
This year’s theme emerged from the knowledge that even during the pandemic, “when we’re facing unprecedented obstacles, being isolated from the LGBTQIA+ community that we’ve formed at Dartmouth, we’re still beloved, and we’re still beloved by the broader LGBTQIA+ community,” says Jessica Chiriboga ’24. “And we can continue to celebrate who we are.”
Jeremy Rodriguez ’22 says Pride is important not only because it provides visibility, but also because it creates spaces where people can convene in solidarity and learn about issues that may not affect their own lives.
“It’s also for educating our peers who are not always aware of the social injustices that happen in the community,” Rodriguez adds.
At its very core, Pride “is all about love, says Jaime Aranzabal ’24, co-chair of the 2021 Pride committee. ”So, that’s essentially what we’re trying to convey this year.“
The celebrations continued on April 27 with an online panel discussion and audience question and answer session with queer professionals from 7 to 8 p.m. The five panelists represented industries ranging from academia to technology to the arts.
The virtual keynote event featuring Big Freedia is set for 8 to 9 p.m. on May 6, followed by a 30-minute meet-and-greet, also virtual, with the New Orleans-based rapper. Register online for the keynote speech and for the student meet-and-greet, which has space for 20 attendees.
For a complete listing of this year’s Pride activities, see the full calendar.