Pride 2022 celebrates intersectionality within LGBTQ+ community

From April 23 to May 12, students attended campus events celebrating the LGBTQ+ community, from Queer Prom to pride-themed trivia.

by Frank Blackburn | 5/10/22 5:05am

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by Lorraine Liu / The Dartmouth

From April 23 to May 12, the College has been hosting Pride 2022, Dartmouth’s celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. This year’s theme is Colors of Pride, which is meant to highlight the diversity within the queer community. 

Pride 2022 Committee co-chair Rebecca Nicol ’22 said the theme emphasizes intersectionality within the community, adding that this year’s three co-chairs embody this intersectionality due to their diverse identities.

“This year we had three chairs who each provided different perspectives and are coming from different identities within the community,” she said. “It allowed us to make a lot of different events that could serve different parts of our community in different ways.”

Pride 2022 commenced with Queer Prom on April 23, an event first launched in 2019. According to Elena Luria ’25, a member of the Pride 2022 Committee who helped organize the event, “a couple hundred people” attended the prom. She added that the space was decorated to imitate a high school prom and involved music and dancing.

“[The event] was to give people who identify as LGBTQ+ or anyone who wanted to show up a safe space, because I know a lot of people didn’t have that in high school,” Luria said. “It was essentially trying to make it similar to a school dance but one where people felt comfortable being themselves and just having a good time.”

Chase Harvey ’25 said he enjoyed Queer Prom because it marked “the first time a bunch of gay or queer people got together in one place” in his experience.

“It was really good energy,” Harvey added. “It was a good place to actually find where the community is at on campus.”

On April 25, Pride 2022, the geography department and the women’s, gender and sexuality studies program co-sponsored a keynote presentation by Blair Imani, a “critically acclaimed historian, author, educator and influencer and a Queer Black Muslim woman,” according to the  Pride 2022 website. The event covered Imani’s life and work in relation to intersectionality and LGBTQ+ politics. It also included a Q&A segment moderated by Nicol.

Other events included “Pride x Collis Trivia” at One Wheelock, as well as Lei Day, a Hawaiian celebration of “culture and aloha spirit” at the Hood Museum of Art. The event was guided by Elizabeth Coleman ’21, who helped attendees make orchid and yarn leis, a traditional Hawaiian garland.   

Pride 2022 also put on Transform, an annual drag show that “actively disrupts the cultural gender policing, cissexism and heterosexism on campus,” on May 6. The event featured members of the House of Lewan, the College’s first recognized drag club, and Adore Delano, a former contestant on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

“It was a pretty engaging event that people were excited about being able to watch,” Haley Banta ’25, a member of the Pride Committee, said. “It was a lot of fun. There was a great turnout, and the performers did a great job.”

Banta said a couple hundred people attended the event, adding that all the seats were filled and students populated the lawn and nearby wall.

On May 7, the Pride Committee and Collis After Dark co-sponsored a screening of the 1999 movie “But I’m a Cheerleader.” The following day, Pride 2022 held an Inclusive Grammar and Romance Languages event to explore language inclusivity in the Romance-speaking world. 

Pride 2022 will conclude on May 12 with Lavender Graduation, a nationwide celebration of graduating LGBTQ+ students. According to the Dartmouth Pride website, the ceremony was founded in 1995 by Ronni Sanlo, a lesbian who was barred from attending her children’s graduations due to her sexual orientation. In turn, Sanlo designed the first Lavender Graduation at the University of Michigan for queer students and faculty.

Nicol said that one of the goals of Dartmouth Pride is to improve the visibility of the LGBTQ+ community.

“[We] are trying to make programming that is not only fun but is also meaningful,” she said. “[We also want to] advance the position of the queer community on campus. I think that’s what has gotten the biggest reaction.”

Angélique Bouthot, the program coordinator of community and leadership development in OPAL, highlighted the importance of student leadership in the planning of Dartmouth Pride.

“OPAL kind of puts out the call asking for students to apply and anyone who’s interested can participate,” Bouthot said. “Then, it is a student committee that plans all of the events, creates the budget, makes the budget proposal, presents to SPEC [Special Programming and Events Committee], fundraises from other departments and then usually chairs very specific events.”

Bouthot also emphasized the importance of intersectionality in this year’s planning.

“Students wanted to be really mindful about thinking about intersectionality in their work,” she said. “Who they were including in things, the speakers or performers that they were thinking about bringing to campus, so it reflected the actual diversity that exists within the queer community.”

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