As an openly gay man on campus, Guillermo Caballero ’20, vice president of the Brandeis Student Union, wanted a day to celebrate LGBTQ individuals on campus. The Student Union, in collaboration with the Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC) is hosting Pride Deis, an all day event that celebrates LGBTQ individuals and their allies on campus on National Coming Out Day, Friday, Oct. 11.
“The event’s main objective is to bring visibility of the LGBTQ community on campus,” Caballero told The Brandeis Hoot in an interview. “The whole idea is to decorate specific parts of campus with rainbow flags.”
Víctor Manuel Suárez Casanova (GRAD,) supervisor of the GSC, added that “the goal throughout the day is to highlight that there are queer people on campus and that Brandeis as a university and instiution supports them,” in an interview with The Hoot.
Around campus, specifically the pathway from the Rabb steps to the Shapiro Campus Center (SCC), the library and the Louis statue will be covered with rainbow flags to demonstrate the university’s support of the LGBTQ community at Brandeis.
Suárez Casanova and Caballero also added that there will be various tabling events around campus to promote the event.
“You can expect to see members of the student union, the GSC and Prevention, Advocacy & Resource Center (PARC) tabling throughout the day with resources geared towards support for LGTBQIA+ students, educational flyers and swag to decorate rooms and bags,” said Suárez Casanova.
One table will be in the SCC atrium from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and the other will be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Upper Usdan, said Caballero.
At the end of the day, members of the Brandeis community will gather outside the GSC for a closing ceremony. “This is a very informal gathering where all LGBTQ people at Brandeis are invited along with allies where we gather, listen to people’s stories and experiences and have snacks,” Caballero said.
Caballero initially wanted to create an event for members of the LGBTQ community at Brandeis to come together. “Even though Brandeis has a big LGBTQ community, there isn’t a single day during the calendar year where we, the LGBTQ community, can celebrate given that Pride month is in June,” he told The Hoot. “I saw the need to have at least one day where all of our LGBTQ folks would have the chance to celebrate with their friends and that part of their identity and it’s an opportunity for every student on campus to show their support for their fellow students who are LGBTQ.”
According to Suárez Casanova, the goal of the GSC is to “provide resources, positive visibility, an affirming space, and advocacy for lesbian, gay, same gender loving, bisexual, transgender, gender nonconforming, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual students, staff and faculty at Brandeis,” he said in an interview. “We are a welcoming, open safe space for students to stop by and unwind, learn about different resources, and meet fellow queer students.”
Suárez Casanova also stressed that Pride Deis should not be seen as politically motivated, but as an event to recognize the queer community. “This is not a political gesture by any means nor is it meant to stir a response outside of visibility,” he said. “There is a significant amount of queer identifying people at Brandeis . . . they all matter.”
Caballero also felt like this event showcases the university’s support for the student body. “In this way, Brandeis shows unequivocally how supportive the student body is of LGBTQ people and for LGBTQ people,” he said in an interview. “It’s important to know that they are not only supported and welcome, but also celebrated on campus.”