Rutgers to host drag queen during 'LGBTQIA Welcome Week'

Rutgers University is hosting an entire “LGBTQIA Welcome Week” for gay and transgender students during the first week of classes.

The LGBTQIA Welcome Week will host numerous events, including a LGBTQIA Fall Reception featuring a performance by Big Freedia—a self-described “gay male” drag queen who uses she/her pronouns—and a Social Justice Open Mic Night, which invites students to sing, rap, and do spoken word performances around the theme of “social justice.”

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Gay and queer students are also invited to a “Block Party,” where they’ll enjoy free food, refreshments, and performances from the school’s Asian American Cultural Center and the Center for Latino Arts.

The school will also host a brunch event for LGBTQIA international students, where they’ll help administrators “brainstorm more globally themed programs,” and the week will conclude with a “Big Queer Game Knight," where students can play "life-size games" and fraternize with classmates.

After the first week of classes is over, some of those students will be involved in Q-mmunity, a program for LGBTQ students and allies that offers a “leadership development retreat” and a “mentoring program.” While the Q-mmunity accepted applications earlier this month, the program has since reached capacity.

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The extensive LGBTQIA programming was spearheaded by the school’s Center for Social Justice Education and LGBTQ Communities, which was established in 2005 and seeks to “enhance the quality of life for LGBT students” and “expand training workshops on gender identity to departments across the university,” among other things.

While most of the school’s programming during the beginning of the semester focuses on incoming freshmen, the school also invites recent grads to return to campus for monthly “Lgbtqia Grad Social” events at a local bar, with free food sponsored by the Rutgers Social Justice Center.

Campus Reform reached out to Rutgers University, a public institution, to inquire into how the programming is funded, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen