Pride in Action

June 1, 2023

Dear Brandeis Community,

June is Pride Month, a time to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community with our students, faculty and staff, as well as our families and loved ones.

The original organizers of Pride chose June to pay homage to the Stonewall Uprising, which helped spark the modern gay rights movement. The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, forceful demonstrations by members of the LGBTQIA+ community in response to a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in New York City's Greenwich Village.Pride celebrations in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City began in 1970, when they were organized as a political backlash against police persecution of gay and lesbian people. LGBTQIA+ community members joined forces to demand that city officials and police departments leave them in peace — demanding their right to safe gathering places. In subsequent years, Pride parades and celebrations have become key community events across the country for LGBTQIA+ folks and their allies. In many cities where the LGBTQIA+ community faced systemic discrimination, elected officials and other local leaders now march to demonstrate their support and solidarity.

And yet, despite many years of hard-fought gains by the LGBTQIA+ community, there has been a recent increase in anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation in the United States. According to NPR, 2022 set a record for the number of anti-gay bills introduced in state legislatures. According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), over 120 policies restricting LGBTQIA + rights have already been enacted nationwide in 2023. While Pride has become a celebration — and in some cases an opportunity for consumerism — recognizing and supporting the ongoing struggle for LGBTQIA+ civil rights is as important now as it has ever been.

Here at Brandeis, we invite community members to engage with the resources offered by the Gender and Sexuality Center. The GSC was established in 2014 to provide support for the inclusion of women and members of the LGBTQIA+ community at Brandeis through educational and professional development opportunities for students, staff, and faculty. We are also proud of our Brandeis Faculty and Staff Pride Alliance which has been a source of support for our LGBTQIA+ employees. Accordingly, we invite everyone to participate in Pride events sponsored by Brandeis and local communities during this month of June.

Brandeis Pride Mixer (first ever!)

5-6:30 p.m. June 14 | 99 Restaurant, 110 South Street, Waltham

This drop-in event is co-sponsored by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the Gender and Sexuality Center, and Brandeis Faculty and Staff Pride Alliance. Appetizers will be provided and a cash bar will be available. Please RSVP here for a free beverage.

From the Rose Art Museum

The Queer Lens: Photographers in Conversation

7 p.m. June 15 | Virtual program

Join artists Jaypix Belmer, Jess T. Dugan and C. Rose Smith for a virtual conversation moderated by visionary curator theo tyson. Each artist will discuss how they use the photographic image to construct queer visual histories through intimate representations of individuals with nonbinary, transgender and gender-expansive identities.

Queer Bodies, Queer Souls: Virtual Pride Tour

Noon June 22 | Virtual program

Celebrate Pride Month with a virtual tour highlighting the work of LGBTQ+ artists in the Rose Art Museum's permanent collection. Led by Yasmine Vera, education coordinator, and Julián Cancino, director of the Gender and Sexuality Center at Brandeis, this lunchtime tour provides diverse perspectives on gender, sexuality and identity through the museum's rich collection of modern and contemporary art.

Off-campus events

Waltham Pride Festival

11 a.m.-4 p.m. June 3 | Waltham Common

Trans Resistance March and Festival

June 3. March, 11 a.m., Stonybrook MBTA station, Jamaica Plain. Festival, 12-5 p.m., Franklin Park Playstead, Peirpont Road, Boston

Boston Pride for the People

June 10. Parade, 11 a.m.; festival, 12-6 p.m. Both on the Boston Common

We hope you will join us in celebrating Pride this year!

In community,

Chip Mc Neal
Director, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Education and Learning Initiatives

Lee Bitsóí
Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

*Reference guide to the LGBTQIA+ acronyms:

  • L — Lesbian
  • G — Gay
  • B — Bisexual
  • T — Transgender
  • Q — Queer or questioning
  • I — Intersex
  • A — Asexual
  • + — Including, but not limited to, pansexual, demisexual, ally, non-binary and genderqueer