New Mexico State University’s largest-ever Pride Season is now underway.
NMSU’s LGBT+ Programs hosts Pride Season each spring to celebrate the diversity of students, faculty and staff in the LGBTQ+ community and promote participation and inclusion in campus life through fun and educational activities.
For this year’s Pride Season, LGBT+ Programs collaborated with several NMSU programs, departments and organizations to host events. Festivities began last month with Pride Night at the New Mexico State women’s basketball game against Utah State and will continue throughout March and April.
“This is surely the largest Pride Season ever,” LGBT+ Programs Director Zooey Sophia Pook said. “I could not be prouder of our collaborations with Chicano Programs, New Mexico State Athletics, ASNMSU, Black Programs, the English Department, Creative Media Institute, American Indian Programs, the Aggie Health and Wellness Center, and Alianza of New Mexico.”
Pook added, “It really shows the commitment of our campus partners to our students and toward equity, inclusion and diversity. I’m excited our program is now under Dr. Teresa Maria Linda Scholz and the Office of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity, and our increased programming reflects that.”
A special lunch co-hosted by Black Programs’ Culture Chat will kick off events for this month. Starting at noon Friday, March 18, NMSU students, staff and faculty can stop by the LGBT+ Programs’ office in Corbett Center Student Union, Room 204a, for a slice of pizza and an afternoon of socializing.
The Cuban-American professional wrestler Diamanté will visit NMSU Tuesday, March 22, to discuss Latinx and LGBTQ+ representation in sports entertainment. The talk, co-presented by Chicano Programs, ASNMSU and NMSU Aggays, will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Corbett Center Student Union ballrooms. It is open to all NMSU students, staff and faculty.
Two film screenings will kick off events in April. A screening of Hayao Miyazaki’s “Howl’s Moving Castle” will start at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, followed by a showing of Rob Reiner’s “The Princess Bride” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, both at the Corbett Center Student Union outdoor stage. The screenings, co-presented by CMI, ASNMSU, NMSU Aggays and the Gay Anime Club, are open to all Aggies and the general public. The first 45 Aggies will receive a free T-shirt at both events.
LGBT+ Programs will then offer free, rapid and confidential HIV testing between noon and 3 p.m. Thursday, April 14, in partnership with Alianza of New Mexico. Testing is available to all NMSU students, faculty and staff, and those interested in getting tested should check in at the LGBT+ Programs’ office.
LGBT+ Programs and ASNMSU will host the annual Pride Season Drag Show at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 21, at the Corbett Center Student Union outdoor stage. Dia Elektra and Gabrielle Stratton Galore will host the show, featuring national, local and student performers. Special guests include Harlee Rainz, who was selected by the Gay Anime Club to perform, and Rosita Thorne, an El Paso performer. The show is free and open to the general public. The first 75 Aggies in attendance will receive an LGBT+ Programs water bottle.
Actor and activist Kiah Amara will lead a discussion on disabled LGBTQ+ representation in TV and film at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 26, in the Corbett Center Student Union Senate Gallery, Room 304. Amara, who creates inclusive work and runs a collective called IndieVISIBLE, is an advocate for disabled, chronically ill, neurodiverse and queer art.
Amara’s talk, co-presented by Chicano Programs and NMSU Aggays, is open to all NMSU students, staff and faculty. Amara also will present a workshop to a select group of Aggies before the evening discussion.
“I am a transgender, disabled, Lebanese-American woman,” Pook said, “and I am very excited this Pride Season to bridge accessibility with work in equity and inclusion and bring Kiah Amara to campus to present a workshop and discussion, addressing the intersectional barriers that minoritized individuals often face.”
Pride Season will conclude Friday, April 26, with a presentation by Lehua M. Taitano, a queer CHamoru writer and interdisciplinary artist from Yigu, Guåhan. A co-founder of Art 25: Art in the Twenty-fifth Century, Taitano will discuss her work at 5:30 p.m. at the Apex Auditorium next to Clara Belle Williams Hall. Taitano’s talk, co-presented by the English Department and American Indian Programs, is open to all Aggies.
“This work will continue into June for Pride Month when we will have additional programming that addresses inclusion and accessibility for our students, faculty and staff who make up so many backgrounds and identities,” Pook said.
For more information about Pride Season, follow LGBT+ Programs on Instagram @nmsu_lgbt.