Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Pride Month despite the lights: How students will be celebrating without Deering display

Ruby Grisin/The Daily Northwestern
Though the annual rainbow light display on Deering Library has been canceled, students can still participate in different Pride Month events on campus.

As the school year comes to a close, a handful of Pride Month events organized by Northwestern students and departments offer celebration and reflection.

While Pride Month is a time to acknowledge queer joy, Gender and Sexuality Resource Center Director Matt A said they hope community members remember how Pride Month began as and remains an act of protest.

“I want people to enjoy Pride,” A said. “(But) I don’t want people to lose, at its core, that it serves as this reminder of the larger movement … toward a more liberated world.”

The events come as the Associated Student Government passed resolutions in May in support of the annual rainbow lights at Deering Library and a new residential space for queer students called the Pride House.

The cancellation of the annual display on the Library’s facade came after the University released an interim addendum to its demonstration policy which prohibited the lighting of campus buildings by student groups.

The change also comes after an October demonstration which lit Deering Library in colors of the Palestinian flag without University approval, sparking controversy online.

GSRC anticipates the lights might resume Fall Quarter 2024 at the earliest, A said.

In the meantime, student leaders in LGBTQ+ organizations said they aim to maintain the spirit of Pride Month regardless of whether Deering is lit up. Here are some of their plans and other University events.

Pride Picnic

A collaboration between Rainbow Alliance, NU Society of Trans and Non-Binary Students and the GSRC will host the annual Pride Picnic at Deering Meadow on Saturday at 4 p.m.

“We still wanted and need a kick-off Pride Month event that we do every year, as is our tradition,” Weinberg junior and Rainbow Alliance External President Zoryah Gray said.

While organizers ask that students bring their own food, Matt A said the GSRC will provide a limited number of Pride blankets and treats for attendees.

Weinberg junior and STANS Treasurer Misty Roe said the picnic is meant to be a space for people to celebrate Pride and experience queer joy.

“We’re hoping to further the efforts we’ve made to bring trans and queer community to campus and solidify that among different students,” Roe said.

Lavender Graduation

Lavender Graduation is a national initiative to honor LGBTQ+ graduates that a number of universities participate in each year. This year, the GSRC will host the celebration on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in Cahn Auditorium. According to the GSRC website, all graduates who attend will receive a complimentary Pride stole to wear when they walk the graduation stage for commencement on June 9.

While the ceremony is primarily for queer students, the GSRC said other guests, alumni and family members are welcome to attend. NU community members will also nominate a speaker for the event.

ISGMH 2024 Pride Panel

This free and open event on Thursday, June 13, at 12 p.m. is hosted by NU’s Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing. The panel, titled “What Pride Means to Us: Engaging LGBTQ Young People in Health and Wellbeing,” aims to encourage more queer involvement in health research.

Lunch will also be provided to those who register before the deadline of June 10.

Since campus events wind down at the end of Spring Quarter, A said they encourage students to explore both Evanston and Chicago for Pride Month celebrations.

“My biggest suggestion is (to) lean into new experiences in ways that feel comfortable and safe for them,” he said. “We are so lucky to be in a city that has such a robust month of events that are going on.”

Email: [email protected]

X: @RubyGrisin

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