Pride week makes another appearance

Last Friday’s Drag Show waltzed the campus into this year’s Pride Week celebration.
Organized by the Trans Action Group (TAG), Stonewall Coalition (StoneCo), Queer People of Color (QPOC) and other organizations, Pride Week, an annual Grinnell tradition, began with last Friday Flag Raising Ceremony behind Herrick Chapel.

Margie Scribner ’10 , Jon Richardson ’10 and Ryan Carlino ’10 serve as the leaders of Pride Week.

Countless students have been involved, whether by simply adding their handprint to the wall in the Stonewall Resource Center or attending the Keynote Address by spoken word poet, Julia Serano on feminism and transexuality. Among the new events introduced this year, there is even one that reaches into the area of Admissions.
“We have a Popsicles&Prospies event on Friday this year,” Scribner said. “It is meant as a way to reach out to prospective students and promote the Stonewall Resource Center (SRC) on campus.” Activities are not limited to campus-wide events, but also include participating in nation-wide actions.

“This Friday we are also participating in the ‘Day of Silence’ to raise awareness for communities that are silenced because of their gender or sexual identity,” Scribner said. The Day of Silence is a nation-wide event on which students opt to remain silence all-day to represent the silencing of LGBT communities.
However, some of the successful events of years past could not be implemented this year.

“We are not having a Queer Music Festival this year,” Richardson said. “There were some other events I would have liked to see, but there was no time.”
Pride week would probably not be possible if it had not been for a generous donation by Gilda Frantz in memory of her son Carl Frantz ’79 who was an active member of the gay community in 1970s. Organizers estimated that the Week will cost around $3,000 in total.

“We’re fortunate to have the resources and institutional support that Frantz was never able to have.” Scribner said. “During Frantz’s time there really wasn’t a queer community.”
“Without her donation Pride Week would have been impossible,” Scribner said.

“We are also supported by a lot of different people on Campus; by faculty, staff and administrators.” It is in fact this support that draws more people to take part in Pride Week.
“I think it is really important to be a good ally, to show support and participate in these events, even if you are not necessarily part of the community,” Adam Lange ’11 said.
According to organizers, this year’s participation seems to have been greater than usual. “We had more people participating in, for example the flag raising ceremony,” Scribner said, which kicked off the week by raising a Pride flag alongside the American flag outside of Herrick Chapel.

While the participation in Pride Week events this year grew from last year, Scribner feels next year there should be more events relating to the history of queerness at Grinnell.
“We don’t do a good job learning the history of queer students and queer student activism at Grinnell,” Scribner said. “It’s important to know where we’ve come from.”