In the midst of continuing challenges to the lives and rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, the University of Utah Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgendered Resource (LGBT) Center will celebrate Pride Week with the theme “Shades of Queer: Connecting through Difference.” The celebration, which runs from Oct. 18 to 22, provides an opportunity to share the rich diversity of the LGBTQ campus community.
Author and scholar Judith Jack Halberstam will deliver the keynote address on Thursday, Oct. 21, from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Utah Museum of Fine Arts auditorium. Drawn from Halberstam’s soon to be published book, The Queer Art of Failure, her lecture will examine everything from children’s animation to avant-garde performance and queer art to thinking about ways of being and knowing that stand outside of conventional understandings of success.
Halberstam argues that there is more to failure than meets the eye; under certain circumstances, failing, losing and forgetting can offer more creative and cooperative ways of being in the world. Halberstam is a professor of English, American Studies and Ethnicity and researches gender variance, queer subcultures and visual culture.
The Pride Week celebration will include the annual Gay-la celebration dinner and silent auction on Friday, Oct. 22 at 6 p.m. at the Wagner Jewish Community Center, 2 North Medical Drive. The Gay-la keynote address will be given by Reed Cowan, writer, director and producer of the film 8: The Mormon Proposition. Proceeds from the event will go to support programs at the U’s LGBT Resource Center.
The LGBT Resource Center is also joining with the Utah Museum of Fine Arts to sponsor the opening reception of the exhibition Trevor Southey: Reconciliation, on Oct. 21. This retrospective of the life and work of artist Trevor Southey gives prominence to four life passages: his youth in Rhodesia and education in England; his life as a married, practicing Mormon; Southey’s decision to acknowledge his homosexuality; and the reconciliation of his life decisions. This exhibition is generously supported by the B.W. Bastian Foundation, Jim Dabakis and Stephen Justesen, and Tom and Mary McCarthey. An exhibition tour with the artist and a panel discussion focusing on the period known as the Alpine Ideal will also be offered that evening.
Other Pride Week events include: “Shades of Queer” monologues with guest poet, Ely Shipley; a presentation by spoken word artist and activist Andrea Gibson; an assembly with filmmaker, Reed Cowan; documentary screenings and the ever favorite, Pride Pet Pageant.
All events during Pride Week are open to the public, LGBT students, staff and faculty, community members, and their straight allies. For a full schedule of events and more information about the University of Utah Pride Week celebration or to purchase tickets to the Gay-la dinner and silent auction call 801-587-7973 or visit www.sa.utah.edu/lgbt.
Pride Week at the University of Utah celebrates the contributions of LGBT students, faculty and alumni who enrich the culture of the campus and community. Together, we work to create an educational environment that fosters greater understanding and respect for all people.