Campus Life

October events at Penn State celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month

Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — October marks a month-long observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history as well as the larger queer rights movement. In addition, 2021 marks Penn State’s Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity’s (CSGD) 20th year in existence. Activities celebrating LGBTQ+ history as well as the center’s history will take place throughout the month.

"Penn State Queerstory" Exhibit

Oct. 8-31 — LL011 HUB-Robeson Center

An exhibit of LGBTQ history at Penn State, and specifically the history of the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, will be set up in the center throughout the month. The exhibit will take visitors back in time and showcase photos, documents and artifacts speaking to the amazing queer history at Penn State over the last two decades. From the hiring of the first director in 2001 to the physical move to the HUB Robeson Center in 2020, student staff will narrate short vignettes introducing the listener to the people, groups and actions on campus that paved the way for the center and its existence.

“Putting this exhibit together is such a learning experience for both our professional and student staffs. To read documents, look at pictures and see items that speak to the queer history here at Penn State and formation of the LGBTA Student Resource Center in 2001 was a stark reminder that those that came before us worked hard to forge the path to where we are today,” said Sonya Wilmoth, director for the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity.

LGBTQ+ History Month Rally and National Coming Out Day Kick-Off

Oct. 11, 11 a.m.–noon — HUB-Robeson Center Patio Steps

The center invites the Penn State community to participate in the annual history month rally celebrating coming-out stories within our Penn State community. Student leaders and various members of the Penn State LGBTQ+ community and their allies will say a few words or share stories of support, engage in community reflection and advocate for change.  

Keynote Speaker: Alok Vaid-Menon

Oct. 13, 6 p.m. — Freeman Auditorium and Online

The keynote speaker for LGBTQ+ History Month, Alok Vaid-Menon, will join the Penn State community virtually. WPSU will be streaming the event at Attendees can watch online or from Freeman Auditorium in the HUB-Robeson Center.

Vaid-Menon (they/them) is an internationally acclaimed gender non-conforming writer, performer and public speaker. As a mixed-media artist their work explores themes of trauma, belonging and the human condition. They are the author of "Femme in Public" (2017) and "Beyond the Gender Binary" (2020). They also are the creator of #DeGenderFashion, a movement to degender fashion and beauty industries, and have been honored as one of HuffPo’s "Culture Shifters," NBC’s "Pride 50," and Business Insider’s "Doers."

Conversation and Film Screening: 'All About Evil'

Oct. 27, 5 p.m. — Room 008 HUB-Robeson Center

Penn State alum, noted drag queen and filmmaker Peaches Christ (Josh Grannell, class of 1996) will discuss his experiences during his time at Penn State. The conversation will be followed by a screening of his horror thriller "All About Evil."

'Sustainably Queer'

Oct. 28, 5 – 7 p.m. — 233AB HUB-Robeson Center

To close out the month, Student Engagement Programs, the Sustainability Institute and the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity are hosting an educational night for students to learn about the intersection of sustainability and LGBTQ+ activism. Students can learn about LGBTQ+ sustainable advocates, participate in a thrift meet up and swap, learn about the Clothing Transit and take part in upcycling activities.

Additional events during the month include:

  • "Queer Peers: New & Q Care Packages," Oct. 4, 4:30 – 6 p.m., LL011 HUB-Robeson Center 4:30 to 6 P.M. 
  • "Religious InQueeries," Oct. 4, 6 p.m., Pasquerilla Spiritual Center Garden Room 130
  • HUB Takeover, Oct. 6, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., HUB-Robeson Center
  • "Microaggressions 101," Oct. 6, 10 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., HUB Robeson Center 
  • LGBTQ Center Awareness Day, Oct. 19 
  • Late Night: History Trivia Night, Oct. 20, 5 -8 p.m., LL011 Hub-Robeson Center
  • Honest Tea Hour: "Sex Positivity Past and Present," Oct. 21, 5-6 p.m., LL011 HUB-Robeson Center
  • CSGD Book Club November Discussion, Oct. 25, 5-7 p.m., LL011 HUB-Robeson Center
  • "I Am Not Your Costume Display," Oct. 25-29, LL011 HUB-Robeson Center

The months events are hosted by the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, a unit of Student Affairs. To learn more about LGBTQ+ History Month or for additional details on events, visit the CSGD website or follow CSGD on social media @PennStateLGBTQ.

Last Updated October 01, 2021