The Center to have event-packed LGBTQ+ History Month


The Center for LGBTQIA+ Student Success is hosting a series of events this month and looking for student input to create more inclusive socials.

October marks the start of LGBTQ+ History Month, and The Center for LGBTQIA+ Student Success is hosting a series of events to celebrate.

LGBTQ+ History Month is an annual month-long event that began in 1994 to bring awareness to queer history and gay rights while providing role models, according to GLAAD. In the U.S., this month is celebrated in October to coincide with National Coming Out Day, which occurs Oct. 11. It is also to celebrate the first and second marches for LGBTQ+ rights in 1979 and 1987.

Within the first week of LGBTQ+ History Month, The Center hosted two events, a tea time with crafts and a social.

The Center, located on the fourth floor of the Memorial Union, is a safe space for those who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community. It is a spacious area with various rainbow-themed decorations, including a rainbow couch and pride flags on the walls.

“We have lots of students who are regulars at the center, but we do have the occasional students who filter in throughout the day to enjoy the space,” Daniel Rau, assistant director of The Center, said.

The first social of the month, the Lesbian Pride Social, was an event for those who identify as lesbian or lesbian-adjacent.

“We all switch off on planning events,” said Morgan LaViolette, a senior studying women’s and gender studies and one of the three student staff members. “It depends on what resonates with us, and as a lesbian, I chose to help with this social.”

An estimated ten students came and went during the social to enjoy “a couple hours of lesbian-related fun.” Students participated in a few different activities, such as bingo and lesbian trivia. Winners received pride memorabilia, such as pride water bottles, rainbow crafts, goodie bags and more.

Tessa Clark, a sophomore studying biological systems engineering, expressed their appreciation for The Center, even though it was only their second time in the space. They said they like the idea of “being in a very queer space” and found that the lesbian social “creates a space for people who aren’t necessarily comfortable being queer outside of a queer space.”

The Center’s goal is to host two identity-based socials per month, according to Susan Harper, the director of The Center. So far this year, Harper and the other staff have put together a social for new students and, more recently, a social for bisexual students.

The Aro/Ace Social is the next social taking place in The Center on Oct. 27 for those who identify as aromantic or asexual.

Other special events lined up for the month include a Family Game Night during Cyclone Family Weekend with games and snacks. The event will occur from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 15 in The Center.

Spirit Day Bowlathon, another special event, will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 20 at CyBowl and Billiards in the Memorial Union. Donations are encouraged, and proceeds will go to The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention and intervention organization for LGBTQIA+ youth.

“It is always important to connect with people who are like you and also different from you,” Harper said. “But it is easy to feel alone and not realize that you’re not the only one who embodies your identity.”

The Center is working to create identity-based socials and is seeking ideas from Iowa State students to be completely inclusive. Stop by and talk to someone in The Center or check out their Instagram for more information.