LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 4, 2021) — June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month. Celebrated nationally in the United States, Pride Month traces back to the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan — a tipping point that changed LGBTQ* activism and the gay rights liberation movement in the U.S.
“Each summer, Pride is an opportunity to celebrate the diversity of identities, experiences and histories in the LGBTQ* community and recognize all who have and continue to advocate for LGBTQ* lives, rights and visibility,” said Rayne Parker, assistant director of the Office of LGBTQ* Resources. “As with other recognition months, this is an opportunity to highlight LGBTQ* pride and advocacy and should continue to be recognized all year long.”
The Office of LGBTQ* Resources, housed in the Dinkle-Mas Suite in the Gatton Student Center, will be celebrating Pride beginning next week.
Opened in 2018, the Dinkle-Mas Suite serves as a hub for accessing the services of the Office of LGBTQ* Resources. The office offers community building, education and advocacy initiatives that support students, faculty and staff in succeeding as their open and authentic selves. All year long, individuals can visit the suite to access direct or referral services related to on-campus housing, holistic health and inclusive institutional identifiers.
For this year’s Pride celebration, the office will share their top picks of LGBTQ* media, answer frequently asked questions, host events and celebrate on their Instagram (@ukylgbtq). The office of LGBTQ* Resources will host the following events:
- Virtual Coffee Chat for employees, 9 a.m. Monday, June 7.
- SafeZone Workshop, 3 p.m. Wednesday, June 16. A 90-minute workshop to equip individuals to be more aware and active allies. This workshop explores LGBTQ* identities, strategies for supporting student experiences and exploring LGBTQ* related campus and community resources. SafeZone Workshops have a capacity of 50 and will be rescheduled if there are less than 12 registrants 36 hours before the event.
- SafeZone Workshop, 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 6.
- Lexington Pride Festival, due to COVID-19, the date has been set for Sept. 25.
Pride has a deeply intersectional history, rooted in taking a stand against discrimination, celebrating diversity and solidarity and speaking up for what is right. In many ways the university has a similar history. Deeply embedded in our identity as an institution is the responsibility to observe and testify to notions of value, community and belonging.
The university’s commitment to creating a campus of belonging and an environment for people of all backgrounds and identities has not gone unnoticed.
The university has received recognition from Campus Pride’s “Best of the Best” Top 30 LGBTQ-friendly colleges. Annually, Campus Pride releases its list highlighting the campuses that score the highest percentages in the LGBTQ-friendly benchmarks for policies, programs and practices.
Although diversity on campus is not measured by awards and accolades, they are a testament to the work of the Office of LGBTQ* Resources to create an inclusive culture not only during Pride Month, but year round.
For more events celebrating Pride Month, the Lexington Pride Community Services Organization will be posting its latest events on Facebook. Additionally, you can participate in virtual Pride festivities taking place across the country from Seattle, Washington, to Washington, D.C.
If you are a student and would like to stay up to date on events hosted by the Office of LGBTQ* Resources, register to join the Discord server.
The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers." We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.