Portland State is halfway through the month of May, designated as its own Pride month.
“Pride is celebrated in conjunction with the anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising which occurred on June 28, 1969,” said Craig Leets, the coordinator of the Queer Resource Center. “However, because universities are less attended during summer months, Pride is observed before the end of the academic year.”
The month of May is chock-full of events—workshops based on migration and coming out, the Shorty Short Queer Film Festival, and even a Secret Garden themed prom and drag show.
While queer film festivals and drag shows are inclusive spaces, athletics and sports are often rigidly divided into men’s and women’s spaces, with many queer and transgender individuals feeling unwelcome in either space. The QRC is attempting to blur this rigid line and create inclusive spaces that make individuals of all gender identities feel welcome.
“The Queer Resource Center aims to create a more welcome, friendly, and inclusive environment for queer and trans students, faculty, staff, and administrators,” Leets said. “We cannot do this by ourselves and rely on the support of campus partners to ensure queer and trans people are included across campus. Campus Rec is one of our partners in this work on campus. This department collaborates with the QRC to ensure their space is welcoming to queer and trans people.”
Of the 16 events the QRC has put together for the month of May, they’ve partnered with Campus Rec to make three of them possible.
On May 7, Campus Rec carved out a designated time period in which trans, genderqueer and all body-positive people were invited to work out in a safe environment that appreciates and supports individual identity. Tours were offered for those who were new to Campus Rec. Additionally, trans-affirming fitness hours are scheduled multiple times throughout the week at Campus Rec.
On May 15, the QRC took to the water for what it calls Splash Mob! Pride Edition. For this event the pool was split into two sections: one designated for lap swimming and the other left open for all the other fun stuff. Inner tubes, noodles and the infamous log roll were all present for this event.
It was all smiles as the event kicked off. Craig Gosnell, the aquatics and safety coordinator at Campus Rec, said, “One of the things we try to do at Campus Rec is support our peers at PSU.”
Gosnell has been part of Campus Rec for two years this coming September, having relocated from North Carolina specifically for Campus Rec at PSU. Campus Rec prides itself on being inclusive to all and does a lot of this through diverse programming.
“Campus Rec is truly for everyone,” Gosnell said.
Campus Rec lifeguard Vanessa Rodgers said connecting to the community is an aspect that is important to Campus Rec and specifically to Rodgers.
“I think it lets the community know we have fun events,” Rodgers said at the Splash Mob! Pride Edition event. “We like to have [events like this] so students can have fun and join the Campus Rec community.”
There will be one more event hosted by the QRC and Campus Rec on May 26. A Pride kickball party will take place midday at the Urban Plaza, right outside the Academic and Student Rec Center. Free food will be provided.
Apart from the events that the QRC partnered with Campus Rec for, there are several other events going on for Pride in May. For a complete list of events, head to pdx.edu/queer/pride.
For more information about the QRC, visit pdx.edu/queer or their office in SMSU