Published: Wednesday, 6 October 2021
Written by Alicia Casey
It’s OUTober at The Beach and the festivities have only just begun! OUTober is LGBTQIA+ history month, and it celebrates coming out and taking pride in one’s personal identities. During the entire month of October, campus departments are bringing you events and programs to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community.
“LGBTQIA+ History Month, is an annual observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer history and related civil rights movements,” said Maythe Alderete Gonzalez, Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) fellow. “It was founded by Rodney Wilson, a Missouri high-school history teacher, in 1994.”
OUTober was selected as pride-month since National Coming Out day lands on Oct. 11. At Long Beach State University (LBSU), many departments come together during this month to empower and support the LGBTQIA+ community.
“It gives an opportunity to educate ourselves on sexual identities,” said Kasey Schoen, Beach Pride Events (BPE) program manager. "It provides resources to those exploring, or learning about their own journey to a LGBTQIA+ identity.”
There are 12 events happening at LBSU during the month-long celebration. Their goal––to provide support and connection for our LGBTQIA+ campus community and allies. OUTober is also a time to become educated on LGBTQIA+ history and issues, so we can foster more open dialogue on campus.
BPE is hosting five fun and exciting events this OUTober; Queer Speed Friending on Oct. 5, Conquering the Closet: Tools for Owning Our Journeys on Oct. 7, the OUTober Celebration on Oct. 13, Drag Bingo on Oct. 15, and Innovation Hour: LGBTQIA+ Entrepreneurs on Oct. 28. Events are hosted in a hybrid format with three events being in-person and two being virtual.
"Drag Bingo’s core mission is to educate and celebrate the history of Drag culture in the LGBTQIA+ community,” Schoen said. “We also partnered with many LGBTQIA+ departments and organizations to create the Conquering the Closet workshop, to talk about how to handle non-affirming relationships in the coming out journey.”
Aside from BPE’s programming the Student Recreation and Wellness Center (SRWC) is also hosting some fun events. Make sure to check out the SRWC’s Womxn and Ally Night on Oct. 13, and Guided Art with Brushstrokes + Beverages on Oct. 19. Aside from these programs, OUTober is filled with an assortment of other workshops and events to choose from, put on by various campus departments. From mental health workshops to sexual health awareness events, there is something for everyone!
“At Long Beach State, you are seen, valued, and validated, and there is no room for bigotry at the Beach,” Alderete Gonzalez said. “As activist and poet Audre Lorde says in her 1986 book, ‘Our Dead Behind Us: Poems,’ ‘It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.’”
Join the campus community from Oct. 1 through Oct. 31 to celebrate LGBTQIA+ history and learn about the experiences of our LGBTQIA+ community on campus. Participate in various events and become to connected to other students, available resources and university organizations. For more information, visit asicsulb.org/calendar. To check out more events, view the full OUTober schedule below.