Colors Fly for Annual Pride Week Events

The colors of the rainbow on "Gay? Fine By Me" T-shirts symbolize the inclusive nature of Michigan Tech's annual celebration of Pride Week.
The colors of the rainbow on "Gay? Fine By Me" T-shirts symbolize the inclusive nature of Michigan Tech's annual celebration of Pride Week.

A variety of events as diverse as the community they celebrate are planned for the 15th annual Pride Week, March 18–23. The week’s events celebrate the culture of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (GLBTQ) community—specifically on Michigan Tech’s campus.

The following events are scheduled:

Tuesday, March 19

The Education of Shelby Knox film screening—7 p.m., Fisher 135

Join Keweenaw Pride and the Women’s Programming Committee as they co-host a Women’s History Month/Pride Week screening of The Education of Shelby Knox—a film about a Texas high school student who stood up to her school board by demanding comprehensive sex education and equal treatment for GLBTQ students. Free admission; refreshments will be provided.

Wednesday, March 20

“Let’s Talk About Sex!” with sexologist Jill McDevitt—8:30 p.m., Memorial Union Ballroom A

Get ready for an entertaining and educational sex-ed presentation, held in conjunction with Women’s History Month. Jill McDevitt, a professional sexologist, will discuss safer sex practices, positive body image and what’s considered normal in terms of college sex. There will be an anonymous question-and-answer session after the presentation. Come find out everything you wanted to know—but were afraid to ask—about sex.

Thursday, March 21

“One More River to Cross: Black & Gay in America,” by Keith Boykin, former White House aide—7:30 p.m., Memorial Union Ballroom A

Guest speaker Keith Boykin, former White House aide during the Clinton administration, will present a thought-provoking lecture about his experiences balancing some of his different identities: black, gay and professional. Boykin will provide insight into the myths and realities of being both black and gay by discussing homophobia, gay racism and the influence of religion on today’s GLBTQ community.

Friday, March 22

Swing and Salsa Dance—7 p.m.–midnight, DHH Ballroom

Join Keweenaw Pride, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and the Swing Club for a night of dance. Lessons will be given by Swing Club members without regard to traditional gender roles; couples and groups of all gender combinations are welcome to dance the night away.

  • 7–8 p.m.—Introduction to swing dancing, led by Swing Club members
  • 8–10 p.m.—Swing dancing
  • 10 p.m.–midnight—Salsa dancing
Saturday, March 23

Thirteenth Annual Drag Show—8 p.m. (doors open at 7:30 p.m.), Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts

Watch as seven performers—the most ever to perform at Tech’s Drag Show—entertain, dance and dazzle the audience at the best-attended student-run event of the year; almost 1,200 people attended last year’s show. The show will be followed by an amateur competition, with registered students and community members showing off their drag skills. Tickets are $3 for students and $5 for the general public.

“This year, we’ve worked with a lot of other student organizations,” said Dustin Oakwood, Pride Week committee member. “Pride Week is becoming more integrated. We’re working hard to bring new events this year, and getting more people involved in Pride Week.”

Renee Wells, assistant director of Michigan Tech’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion, agrees that this year’s event line-up will be a hit.

“While Pride Week brings a lot of important attention to the GLBTQ community, the issues and struggles faced by the community are mirrored in a lot of other groups and minorities,” said Wells. “We have a variety of events that will interest a lot of different people. These events are important not only for the GLBTQ community at Tech—they are important for everybody.”

All events are free (unless otherwise noted), and all are open to the public.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.