Lambda Alliance, UC Merced’s LGBTQ+ student group, is hosting its famous annual Pride Week from April 3rd  to April 9th with a variety of week-long events that celebrate and bring awareness to queer and trans identity, culture, and community. This year’s theme revolves around waves, in order to communicate the fluidity of identity and expression as the student body embodies waves of change toward queer liberation. The theme invites the campus community to stand in solidarity with the queer and trans community as well as honoring queer and trans folks in the Bobcat community.

Lambda Alliance shared that this year’s Pride Week will also be centering on the escalating discrimination and violence that the trans community faces across the nation. Just last week, posters that the club hung up in post-celebration of the National Day of Action for Trans* Womxn of Color were defaced at the UC Merced campus. While campus leadership were notified, they remain silent on the attack on trans identity. “Trans students continue to carve out spaces on campus to exist while also being asked to justify their existence,” shared Andre Frise-Valdez, President of Lambda Alliance.

Several students on campus are excited for the upcoming Pride Week events, their excitement has been largely influenced by past Pride Weeks at UC Merced. 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.”

In celebration of Pride Week, there will be a total of fourteen events that revolve around celebrating folks of different identities such as shown below:

On Monday, April 03 2017-

Pride Parade: 12:45-1:00 PM at the Cat Quad
The first event that will kick-off pride week will be a march alongside the LGBTQ+ and allies from the Cat Quad up Scholar’s Lane. Celebrate the LGBTQ+ community by marching and expressing the strength and unity amongst the Bobcat community.

Pride Carnival: 1:00-4:00 PM in Scholar’s Lane
Behind the rainbow of colored balloons that denote pride in the LGBTQ+ community, a carnival with resources, activity booths, carnival food, and games will fill scholar’s lane in celebration of Pride Week.

Moonlight Film Screening: 6:00-9:00 PM in the California Room
In celebration of Pride Week, there will be a film screening of Moonlight that explores the intersection of race, class, and sexuality. As well as exploring great themes, Moonlight is also the Oscar’s 2017 Best Picture of the year.

 

On Tuesday April, 04 2017-

Debunking Stereotypes Panel: 12:00-1:00 PM in Front of the Library
This panel revolves around student interaction and defining which person fits into the LGBTQQIP2SAA+ spectrum. This discussion breaks the ‘gaydar’ myth that often leads to false labeling of sexual orientation or identity from only speaking or looking at someone.

The Pride Expression Wall: 2:30-5:30 PM in the CTK Quad
A communal graffiti wall of expression will be open for all students to express their encouragement, support, and love for the LGBTQ+ community through art.

Gender Inclusive Treasure Hunt: 2:30-5:30 PM in the CTK Quad
Do you know where all the gender inclusive restroom are located? Explore the campus and take a selfie with all of gender inclusive restrooms to win a prize!

 

On Wednesday April, 05 2017-

Queer and Religious Discussion: 2:00-3:30 PM in the Crescent Arch Room
Visit the Crescent Arch Room and join Professor Susan Shaw from Oregon State University to answer the question- can you be queer and religious? And how culture essentially perpetuates queerphobia and transphobia – not religion.

Express Yourself: Art and Open-Mic Night- 7:00-9:00 PM in the Wallace-Dutra Amphitheater
Wednesday night will be filled with spoken word, poetry, dance, music, and other forms of self-expression. Join other guest performers such as UC Merced’s finest expression group for some passionate art.

 

On Thursday April, 06 2017-

Building Community Awards: 3:30- 5:00PM in Elizabeth’s Garden/DC
The Building Community Awards recognizes distinguished leaders within the Merced community that have demonstrated noteworthy services to the LGBTQ+ community. Come out and celebrate these Bobcats as they have continuously empowered, fought, and demonstrated their commitment to building a stronger community.

Lambda Alliance General Meeting: Sex Positivity and Healthy Relationships: 5:00-6:30 PM in the Bobcat Lair
Good Vibrations and the CARE Office are collaborating with Lambda Alliance to host an interactive workshop that identifies healthy relationships and sex positivity within the queer and trans community.

 

Friday April, 07 2017-

Lavender Community Unite: 12:00-1:30 PM in the S&E 2 Breezeway
Visit the breezeway for a conversation revolving around building community with LGBTQ+ and ally undergraduates, graduates, staff, postdocs, and faculty. Food will be provided!

Queer Sleepover: 7:30 PM-7:00 AM (Overnight) in the Bobcat Lair
Ready for a night full of karaoke, video games, drag, and snacks? Join this sleepover to build community, make friends, and enjoy a full night of fun and dance. (Open only to UC Merced Students)

Saturday April, 08 2017-

Queer Picnic: 2:00 PM- 5:00 PM in Lake Yosemite
Go out and visit Lake Yosemite to enjoy games, make more friends, and have some food under the sun!

Sunday April, 09 2017-

Lube Olympics: 2:00 PM-5:00 PM in the Mariposa Hall Lawn
Learn about safe sex and sex positivity though a game of Queer Jeopardy. If you get the answer wrong, expect to get slimed with lube! Are you uncomfortable with the idea of getting lube on you? Race in drag while learning about safe sex!

The action packed fourteen events are expected to build unity, awareness, express pride, and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. Go out and have some fun while making friends. Do you have any questions about Pride Week? Contact Lambda Alliance at: lambdaalliance@ucmerced.edu

Or check out their event page on Facebook
Come out and support your Bobcat community while having fun and learning about LGBTQ+


Photo Credit: Lambda Alliance

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