On April 6 and April 7, Keene State College students took part in what was known as Pride Weekend at KSC.
Program Support Assistant for LGBTQ+ students Hunter Kirschner said the idea for the Pride Weekend came about when he had been in conversation with both the Pondside and Bushnell apartment hall advisors who wanted to hold an event to support what KSC Pride does.
Kirschner said when the dates were picked out, the Pondside and Bushnell apartments would hold their events, and it just so happened to coincide with when KSC Pride holds their annual Pride Parade.
On Friday and Saturday, events such as window painting and bingo took place in the Pondside apartments, according to Hall Council President Marissa Milley.
“We had window painting and asked people to paint what they identify as, whether it is related to LGBTQ+ or not,” Milley said. “On Saturday night, there was Lingo Bingo. Each number correlated with an LGBT term and, and after each number is called, we gave the definition of the term,” Milley said.
Milley said the purpose for having the events was to provide education for those who don’t know the terms.
She added she feels as though it is important to support the KSC Pride organization, as it is a place on campus that provides safe spaces.
Kirschner said the other aspect of Pride Weekend is a gathering that started Saturday, April 6, on the student center lawn and rallies down Main Street to raise awareness for the LGBTQ+ community.
Kirschner said the event is good for both “visibility and strengthening the community with the KSC community.”
Treasurer of KSC Pride Samuel Whitaker said the annual parade began on the lawn with live music, speeches and the president of KSC Pride giving an address to the people at the event.
Whitaker said after the speeches, the participants walked while saying phrases that support the LGBTQ+ community.
Whitaker said the event holds a lot of importance and is one of KSC Pride’s biggest events.
“It shows that we have a presence and we’re here. We make up a portion of the community that makes up the population here on campus. A lot of people think that, politically, the fight is kind of over for trying to get equal rights, but in reality, some people may be able to get married but safety, representation and equal treatment is honestly just as important if not more.”
Whitaker said despite being a senior, he hopes the future members of KSC Pride continue to host the march.
Whitaker described the vibe of the event to be happy and vivacious with also the call to action to end homophobia and get rid of gender roles.
“It definitely goes from a happy vibe to a powerful message and having something to say,” Whitaker said.
Kirschner said the event is open to the community, not just people who are on campus or go to KSC.
Kirschner said last year, the event had about 30 participants and he expects more this year because of the other events that are a part of Pride Weekend.
Colby Dudal can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org