Award-winning, student-run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield

The Observer

Award-winning, student-run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield

The Observer

Award-winning, student-run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield

The Observer

Queertober 2022

Queertober flyer | Photo Credit: Dre Duvendack, Program Coordinator at Gender & Sexuality Student Services
Queertober flyer | Photo Credit: Dre Duvendack, Program Coordinator at Gender & Sexuality Student Services

Queertober, ongoing throughout the month of October, is a series of events and activities centered around support of the Queer community and education on Queer topics. The theme for this year’s Queertober at UIS is “Protect Queer Youth.” LGBTQIA+ topics are rarely discussed in an academic context, which can often lead to feelings of isolation and dangerous situations for Queer youth. Thus, this Queertober aims to focus on informational and engaging activities and life skill-building events to protect Queer youth better as they grow into their identities.

The organizations sponsoring Queertober and its events this year include Gender & Sexuality Student Services, The Diversity Center, The Women’s Center, Sigma Lambda Beta Int’l Fraternity, inc., Gamma Phi Omega Int’l Sorority, Inc., The Career Development Center, The Secular Student Alliance, TRAC, International Student Services, and The Necessary Steps Mentoring Program.

Week One

10/01– For the Queertober 2022 kickoff, there was a Diva Night where all were welcome to dress as fabulously as they wanted and watch The Queen! 

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10/03– The first full week of Queertober started with QueerNections on 10/3 from 6-7:30 virtually, and was a chance to receive mentorship and help with identifying LGBTQIA+ affirming fields/employers/etc.

10/06– Following this is the H/LGBTea event on 10/6 at 3–5 pm in SLB 22, which will include a discussion on Queer and gender-fluid expression as they relate to Hispanic and Latinx identities and inclusion in media. Keep in mind that National Hispanic Heritage Month is between 9/15-10/15/2022, meaning there is some overlap between these events and the ones for Queertober.

10/07– For this Feminist Friday, a documentary will be screened that addresses the intersections between gender and race, followed by a discussion about the film. This will take place from 3–5 pm in SLB 22.

10/08– The final event for the first week of Queertober will be the Jaripeo Sin Fronteras, 2–6 pm on the Student Union North Patio, hosted by La Familia. This event will be a way to join in on the family weekend activities and allow everyone to experience Hispanic/Latinx culture.

Week two

10/10– The Take Pride in Your Mind event will be in SLB 22 from 6:30–8:30 pm and will provide an opportunity to look at methods for maintaining mental health during World Mental Health Awareness day.

10/11– The next event is a yearly highlight for Queertober, National Coming Out Day, also known as “Closet Door on the Quad.” This will be held from 12–2 pm at the Student Union North Patio, where participants may walk through the decorated closet door and share their coming out stories or reasons for allyship. All are also encouraged to wear their Queertober shirts to this event, which can be picked up in SLB 22.

10/13– DiversiTea will take place from 4:30–5:30 pm in the Diversity Center Lounge (SLB 22) and will be sponsored by GSSS, The DC, The Men of Color Initiative, and International Student Services. Join the discussion on how social support, masculinity, and role models relate to topics of race, culture, and more!

10/14– HLHM Closing Event will run from 12–2 pm in SLB 22; come share final thoughts and favorite experiences from the month and events of HLHM.

Week three

10/17– To start week three of Queertober, Diversity in Resume-Building will be held from 12 pm-1 pm in PAC room C/D, and will serve as an opportunity to learn how to prepare a resume that addresses all the unique experiences and showcases the value of different identities for use in career building.

10/18– The Safe Dating: Safe Zone Advanced Session event is meant to help provide a safe space for LGBTQIA+ students and individuals to learn about meeting, dating, and defining relationships. Confidentiality is provided to all participants and is valuable for properly educating and protecting Queer youth. This event will take place from 3–5 pm in the Student Union South Ballroom.

10/19– Get Down with pronouns will run from 1–3 pm in the Student Union SLC and will serve as an opportunity to learn about gender-inclusive language and receive a pronoun-ciation cheat sheet.

10/20– As the week’s final event, there will be an LGBTea: Queerness & Religion event that will take place between 1–3 pm in SLB 22. Feel free to join and discuss the parallels and overlaps between Queerness and religion/faith and what newer experiences mean for the future of religion and LGBTQIA+ Identities.

Week four

10/25– To begin the final week of Queertober, Aro/Ace Engineering: Beyond Heteronormative Spaces will take place from 3–4:30 pm in SLB 22. This event will address the various identities and important information about aromantic and asexual experiences and how they can be used to support and protect Queer youth. Join in for a chance at winning prizes through trivia! 

10/27– The next event of this final week is the Halloween Party that will be held from 3–5 pm in the SLB. Wear a costume and enjoy movies, snacks, and more spooky fun!

10/29– The Career Development Center and GSSS present the JCPenny Suit Up event from 10 am -1 pm at JCPenny, 1201 S. Dirksen Parkway, Springfield, Illinois. There will be special discounts on professional clothing and accessories for students, alums, faculty, and staff to provide everyone with an opportunity to find affordable professional outfits.

10/31– As a relatively unofficial closing event for Queertober 2022, GSSS will be hosting Spooky & Proud from 1–3 pm, an event that will provide an open discussion and celebration on the historical and cultural significance of Halloween for the Queer Community.

Please feel free to join any of the events through UIS Connection and celebrate HL/HM and the Month of Queertober! For more information, contact GSSS at [email protected] or call (217) 206-8316.   

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