UW Tacoma’s first ever Pride event will be held May 16 in William W. Philip Hall from noon to 9 p.m. The event is organized by student-led organizations and will include various activities to support and celebrate the local LGBTQ+ community.
A lineup of events will happen throughout the day starting with an LGBTQ+ resource fair — held from noon to 1 p.m. — with snacks. At 1 p.m., keynote speaker Julia Serano will speak followed by a Q&A session, a panel of LGBTQIAP+ students and activists will be held from 2:30 to 4 p.m.
UWT Pride will conclude with a drag show beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Morgan Pasquier — vice president of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance of UWT — is a member of the committee planning the event and sees holding a Pride event on campus as important.
“There are a lot of us [LGBTQ+ students] on campus,” Pasquier said. “This event helps students and the community see that we’re here. We want them to feel welcome.”
The current Gender and Sexuality Alliance of UWT was formed last quarter after the previous LGBTQ+ student organization went inactive in fall quarter. Pasquier sees UWT Pride as an important annual event to be held in future years.
“Pride events are very beneficial for LGBTQ+ students, because they provide them with an opportunity to connect with their community,” Pasquier said. “Particularly on a campus like ours with such a strong ‘commuter campus’ atmosphere, it’s very important to let students know that there is an active and vibrant community here that they can be a part of.”
The first event during Pride — the LGBTQ resource fair — will include multiple campus-based and local organizations. Among participating organizations are UWT’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance, the Center for Equity and Inclusion, the YMCA, the Center for Service and Leadership, Oasis Youth Center and the Rainbow Center.
The keynote speech will be given by Julia Serano — a transgender author, lecturer, biologist and activist. Serano has lectured across the nation and is also the author of three books about queer and transfeminist topics.
The Real Talk discussion panel will be comprised of Serano and multiple students. Pasquier said the goal of the panel is to have a broad range of identities represented. Along with discussing their identities, participants will focus on experiences of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.
The concluding activity at the UWT Pride event will be a drag show. Along with three professional performers, anyone interested is invited to participate in the show.
Pasquier said all students can benefit from UWT Pride, even non-LGBTQ+ students.
“Not only will it be a really fun event, but it also offers non-LGBTQ+ students an opportunity to learn about a group and culture that they may not be aware of,” Pasquier said. “Everybody knows an LGBTQ+ person, even if they aren’t aware of it, so they’re affected by all of this too.”
If you’re interested in performing at the drag show, sign up at: