Lambda Alliance, in collaboration with other campus units, offices and departments, will host UC Merced’s annual Pride Week program celebrating LGBTQ+ identity and culture.
From April 3-9, students and staff and faculty members are encouraged to participate in numerous activities taking place across campus that highlight the campus’s LGBTQ+ community and available resources.
This year’s theme, “Waves,” symbolizes characteristics of the LGBTQ+ community.
“The fluidity of an ocean wave illustrates the fluidity of sexuality and gender identity spectrums. The LGBTQ+ rights movement has acted as a wave of change that reclaims human rights for the community,” said student Andre Frise-Valdez, president for Lambda Alliance. “Additionally, just as smaller waves congregate to form larger and more powerful waves, the LGBTQ+ community bands together in solidarity to embody one powerful and intersectional voice.”
Brandon Baldomero, a third-year cognitive science major, remembers the impact of his first Pride Week on campus.
“Pride Week was one of the first Lambda Alliance events I attended after coming out,” Baldomero said. “Seeing that there is a community of people who accept and support me has since catapulted me into a life of queer activism.
“Pride Week to me means being visible and unapologetically proud of your identity.”
The campus’s LGBTQ+ community and allies can participate through a variety of ways:
- Pride Parade, 12:45-1 p.m., Cat Quad near dining
Help kick off Pride Week by marching together with LGBTQ+ and ally community.
- Pride Carnival, 1-4 p.m., Scholars Lane
Enjoy carnival food and games while learning about the LGBTQ+ community at resource and activity booths at UC Merced’s annual Pride Carnival.
- “Moonlight” film screening, 6-9 p.m., California Room
A film screening of the Oscars 2017 Best Picture, “Moonlight,” examines queer black self-exploration and romance through an intersectional lens.
- Debunking Stereotypes, noon-1 p.m., in front of the Kolligian Library
Can you pick out who fits where in the LGBTQQIP2SAA+ acronym? This panel breaks the “gaydar” myth that people can tell someone’s sexual or gender identity simply by looking at them or speaking to them.
- Pride Expression Wall, 2:30-5:30 p.m., Carol Tomlinson-Keasey Quad
Show your artistic side and express encouragement, support and love for the LGBTQ+ community on the communal graffiti wall.
- Gender Inclusive Treasure Hunt, 2:30-5:30 p.m., Carol Tomlinson-Keasey Quad
Explore the campus to locate every gender-inclusive restroom. Take a selfie in front of each one to win a prize.
- Queer & Religious, 2-3:30 p.m., Crescent Arch Room
Professor Susan Shaw from Oregon State University answers the question “Can you be queer and religious?” followed by a discussion on how culture — not religion — perpetuates queerphobia and transphobia.
- Express Yourself: Art & Open Mic Night, 7-9 p.m., Wallace-Dutra Amphitheater
A night of self-expression through dance, spoken word, poetry, music and other art forms. Guest performers include some of UC Merced’s finest expression groups.
- Building Community Awards, 3:30-5 p.m., Elizabeth’s Garden in the Yablokoff-Wallace Dining Center
These awards recognize the contributions of individuals on campus and in the larger Merced community who have shown outstanding service toward concerns affecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer+ (LGBTQ+) community at UC Merced.
- Lambda Alliance general meeting: Sex Positivity & Healthy Relationships, 5-6:30 p.m., Bobcat Lair
Join Lambda Alliance’s weekly general meeting and share space with Good Vibrations and UC Merced’s CARE Office in an interactive workshop that explores healthy relationships and sex positivity within the queer and transgender community.
- Lavender Community Unite, noon-1:30 p.m., Science and Engineering Building 2 Breezeway
A conversational space for building community with LGBTQ+ and ally undergraduate, graduate, postdoc, and staff and faculty members.
- Queer Picnic, 2-5 p.m., Lake Yosemite
Join us for a day out at beautiful Lake Yosemite with fun games, activities and food.
- Lube Olympics, 2-5 p.m., Mariposa Hall lawn
Celebrate sex positivity and learn about queer culture via a game of Queer Jeopardy. Don’t get an answer wrong or you might get slimed with lube! If you’re not down with lubing up, try your fashion skills by racing in drag while learning about safe sex practices.