In celebration of Pride Week, UCSB’s Associated Students Queer Commission is hosting a series of educational and entertaining events, including personal and student-run drag shows, to engage the campus community with LGBTQ issues over the next few days.
Themed “Paint Yourself” and depicting social justice issues for the LGBTQ community as colorful and multifaceted, the week-long event will conclude with I.V. Pride Festival on Saturday. Queer Commission and other LGBTQ groups are holding lectures, drag shows and other celebrations to explain the challenges and characteristics of their community.
According to Ph.D. candidate and lecturer in the feminist studies department Chloe Diamond-Lenow, Pride Week helps attendees learn about underrepresented stories from the LGBTQ community. She said advocates on campus have strived to look at all the subgroups and different identities within the LGBTQ community, looking at race, sexuality and gender.
“I think the organizers have done an excellent Pride Week and have disrupted mainstream LGBTQ discourses and have made an intersectional program, and I think this will answer questions that concern all types of activists,” Diamond-Lenow said.
Fourth-year economics and art history major Matt Newman said Pride appeals to students and I.V. residents by providing both entertainment and educational value through this week’s events.
“For the people of I.V., you have to bring up the idea of fun, which I think I.V. Pride does really well with all their events, along with highlighting social importance,” Newman said.
According to Newman, events like Pride Week give all UCSB students more information about communities they may not already be familiar with, allowing them to gain a more open-minded view of their peers.
“Learning about different communities — things that aren’t yourself — and opening your mind to new cultures … It’s just better for any kind of voting republic to try and keep in mind different perspectives,” Newman said.
With quality speakers and engaging events throughout the week, Diamond-Lenow said students have the opportunity to gain a positive outlook of the LGBTQ community.
“I think they’ll gain a really robust dialogue with community activists within UCSB, excellent speakers coming out, and different wonderful self-care events like the queer dog therapy and the drag show,” Diamond-Lenow said.
Diamond-Lenow said those who attended this week’s events would likely be surprised by the scope of topics addressed.
“You might think you know what the Gay Rights Movement is, and you might think it’s all about gay marriage,” Diamond-Lenow said. “But if you come to these events, you’ll really see that there’s actually a much broader analysis going on here.”