Chico State Queer Week ends with celebration


Love and acceptance all around during this pride march. Photo credit: Mary Vogel

As Queer Week drew to a close, both Gender & Sexuality Equity Coalition (GSEC) and The Hub Productions ended the week on a high note with the Pride march and The Coming Out party.

Queer program coordinator, Drew Gonzalez, and Sawyer McAvoy, Trans Program Coordinator spoke on the importance of events like the Pride March.,

“Queer folks feel like they don’t belong and they should,” Gonzalez said. “Not only here at California State University Chico, but when they are there with family and friends, they should feel like they belong. This event is important because it makes you feel like you’re at home.”

The pride march led from the Student Services Center to Hazelnut and then down Fifth Avenue to Ivy Street and ended at The Hub.

Bicurious? No. Bifurious. Students held up signs to portray their frustrations. Photo credit: Mary Vogel

“The Pride march was orientated around queer voices,” Gonzalez said. “We did it to unify the community that is usually displaced by queer-phobia and transphobia. So, it was a great way and a great reason to unify communities that sometimes feel a little lost.”

One of Gonzalez’s highlights was when onlookers shouted in solidarity for the March.

Fearless Queerness
A poster at the event inspired students to rise up for the queer liberation. Photo credit: Mary Vogel

“When we would pass by Riley’s and Ike’s, people were yelling in support of us, so that’s pretty cool,” they said.

The night wasn’t over, as an hour after the March, the annual Coming Out party hosted by The Hub Productions started. The Coming Out party is a yearly event that is put on by The Hub on National Coming Out Day.

“It’s in the event that we hope people come out and hopefully feel comfortable enough to celebrate with us,” Natalie Ordaz, diversity coordinator for The Hub, said.

The Coming Out party has grown from previous years, having expanded out to the Sutter courtyard.

Ordaz expressed how significant events like these are essential to the community.

“So personally I identify in the LGBT community and just being able to see events like these that cater to a specific audience it makes people feel welcome and want to come out and just enjoy and celebrate that with people. It makes people feel comfortable if that makes sense,” Ordaz said.

Attendee Robin Miki participated in the Pride march, so for Miki, the Coming Out party felt like a time to “Unwind and reprieve.”

“I know that sometimes the University likes to tokenize oppressed people within its circles, but I feel like that’s not what the Hub is doing,” Miki said. “The fact that we are able to have those spaces almost because of that tokenization, not because of it, is convenient.”

For more information on GSEC’s future events, visit their Facebook page.

Alex Coba can be reached at [email protected] and @ThatOneGuyCoba on Twitter.