To kick off LGBTQ History Month and EMU’s “OUTober” celebrations, Eastern Michigan University’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Resource Center (LGBTRC) sets up a colorful pride flag display with the help of student volunteers.
Due to rain, this year’s display setup was delayed from Wednesday, Sept. 27 to Monday, Oct. 2. Despite the rescheduling, many volunteers showed up to the event. In the end, 2,000 miniature flags were placed on the Pray-Harold lawn creating one big pride flag.
“This flag display represents visibility and community for all LGBT folks on campus,” Sara Reder, an employee of the LGBT Resource Center, said. “We want the EMU students to know that they are seen and loved.”
This annual tradition has been around for over a decade. The pride flag display is valued by the LGBT Resource Center staff and by the campus community. The display is a “welcome sight” on campus. The LGBT Resource Center set up the display during 2020’s lockdowns. In addition, a miniature version of the display was set up outside of Boone Hall during 2020’s Pride Month.
At EMU, October is a month dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion. It is filled with LGBT-related events and awareness days.
Multiple events are lined up this October starting with the LGBT Resource Center and Campus Life’s “Out On The Lawn,” taking place Wednesday, Oct. 11 from 1-4 p.m. at the Pray-Harold flag display. This event coincides with “National Coming Out Day,” recognized annually to support those “coming out of the closet.”
Other events to attend this OUTober include the LGBT Resource Center and EDining’s Drag Queen Bingo, Rocky Horror Picture Show Watch Party, Queer Stories LIVE with EMU’s Forensics Team, and more.
“Coming out can be an ongoing, complicated, and even dangerous experience for queer folk. Your identity’s validity is not tied to its outness. Out or not, we welcome and think of you,” the LGBT Resource Center said.
For more information about the LGBT Resource Center and their “OUTober” events, visit their website.