For the rest of the world, it’s the end of April. For The Claremont Colleges, where things are looking a little more rainbow than usual, it’s the end of Gaypril.
Gaypril, according to Pharalyn Crozier, assistant director of the Queer Resource Center, is the celebration of pride for the LGBTQ+ community. This month of festivities has been an annual celebration at the 5Cs since at least 2011.
This year’s Gaypril included a fashion show, a drag show, a hike, a barbeque, Gaymer Night, along with art and tea parties. Crozier was impressed that many of these events were student-run.
“Students pick things they’re interested in or passionate about,” she said, “and that shines through in their programming.”
Carol Ambriz PO ’21, a student associate at the QRC, helped run the fashion show that took place April 21. According to Ambriz, about 40 students attended the show, which included about 20 models.
Speaking of the fashion show in particular, and Gaypril in general, Ambriz said that the events “get people together.”
Gaypril “goes beyond just resources,” she said. “People have fun, learn, and celebrate aspects of themselves.”
While the QRC is open in June, which is generally considered Pride Month within the United States, most students aren’t on campus. Most of what goes on in June, and through the rest of the summer, according to Crozier, is projects to improve the QRC and planning programming for next year.
Crozier, along with Manny Diaz, the director of the QRC, and the rest of QRC staff, have already discussed what to keep or improve for next Gaypril.
“We want to show up on more campuses,” Crozier said, “and have more intersectional programming.”
One reason that Crozier wants to make the QRC and Gaypril programming more mobile is that many students, faculty, and staff that don’t usually access such programming to attend Gaypril events. She gave the example of a new faculty member who had never gone to the QRC before but showed up for the Faculty and Staff Luncheon April 19.
“It’s an introduction to the QRC,” she said.
Crozier also noted that QRC staff are planning more educational programming for next Gaypril.
“We tried to have a trans sex ed workshop,” she said, “but the educator we wanted to bring was all booked up for April.”
During and extending beyond Gaypril, both Crozier and Ambriz see the QRC as a “safe haven” on campus for queer members.
“It’s hard being yourself on campus,” Ambriz said. “Gaypril is a time to be ‘in everyone’s face’ and be acknowledged.”
Crozier concurred, saying Gaypril is a time to “build community.” She was looking forward to Lavender Graduation, a celebration for queer graduating students from all 7Cs, which took place April 26.
“It’s been about 10 years since Manny [Diaz] was in his Lav Grad at Cal Poly Pomona,” she said, “and I never got to have one.”
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