LGBTQ History Month Opening Ceremony

Amanda Salazar, Editor-in-Chief

The Gender, Love, and Sexuality Spectrum club (GLASS), hosted the LGBTQ History Month Opening Ceremony in the second-floor lobby on Oct. 4.

The event was cosponsored by Encounters Magazine, PAWs, and USG, and kicked off the month with free cupcakes, water bottles, and stickers. Additionally, students could pick up food from USG’s waffle station and LGBTQ artist cards from Encounters.

The ceremony was just the first of multiple events happening this month to celebrate the LGBTQ community and its history, with upcoming events including “Our Stories, Our Voices” and Open Mic Night both on National Coming Out Day and Fright Night on Oct. 30.  Clubs involved with the event, and with the upcoming ones, aimed to attract more attention to the month’s celebrations.

“The purpose of this event that’s happening in the lobby right now is a lobby takeover, just so we can show awareness for the LGBT community that’s at school because a lot of people are LGBT and they are allies but they don’t even know that we have an LGBT club at school,” said William Lin, President of GLASS. “This is just to bring awareness to the entire history month. It’s not a school thing, it’s a community thing.”

This year, LGBTQ History Month is especially important because it’s the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, as well as Baruch’s 50th anniversary of becoming an independent college within CUNY.

“This year is the 50th year since the Stonewall Riot and the 50th year of Baruch, so it’s pretty much like a decade’s theme celebration of progress happening throughout the years for the LGBTQ community and for Baruch in general,” said GLASS E-Board member Vitaliy Stolyarchuk. “All the events that are coming up, today we’re just introducing a small taste, a little taste of what’s to come.”

GLASS’s cosponsors were also eager to help celebrate this milestone for the community, with each club adding to the event in their own way, as Encounters’ Marketing Director Justin Crespo said.

“GLASS, or Cassandra, more appropriately, who’s part of the committee hosting the ceremony, had reached out to us and a select few other clubs because we have been closely involved in past semesters, past years,” Crespo, a marketing analytics major, stated. “Encounters is an ally of GLASS, we cosponsor each other very often for our events, so she just felt it was appropriate to reach out to us. We kind of offer a new side to the ceremony; Encounters is an art and literary magazine, so we had the chance to offer something different.”

Students that attended the event not only enjoyed the free food and club merch but also got to enjoy the vibes of acceptance that the ceremony emanated.

“It’s important for us to know what’s our history, I mean, I think with any other community if you don’t know your history you won’t be able to move forward,” said transfer student Emil Gavrailov. “It’s important for us to know how we got to rights that we have these days, it’s important for us to also know that we actually, with the current administration, lose some of our rights. I think it’s important for us to educate and advocate for our current and future rights, or possibly for what might be taken away from us.”