New Mexico State University’s LGBT+ Programs will host OUTober events throughout October to celebrate LGBT History Month. | Photo courtesy NMSU

NMSU celebrates OUTober with the return of in-person events

It’s October – and that means it’s OUTober at New Mexico State University. NMSU’s LGBT+ Programs hosts OUTober each year to bring together the LGBTQ community and its allies at NMSU to celebrate LGBT History Month with fun and educational activities.

This year marks the return of in-person activities, including a Halloween drag performance.

“The past couple of years have been difficult as we have not been able to gather in person until recently. We did, however, come together as a community online, increasing our services and making sure that everyone has the resources they need,” LGBT+ Programs Director Sophia Pook said. “It will be amazing to come back in person and celebrate this amazing and diverse community filled with individuals who have done so much to look out for each other during this difficult time. I am so proud of our students, faculty and staff who have made safety and well-being such a high priority.”

This year’s festivities will kick off Monday, Oct. 11, with National Coming Out Day. From noon to 2 p.m., LGBT+ Programs will have a table set up outside Corbett Center Student Union, where students can participate in an exercise exploring LGBTQ pride and what coming out means to them. Students can also learn more about LGBT+ Programs and its resources.

LGBT+ Programs will then offer free, rapid and confidential HIV testing between noon and 3 p.m. Monday, Oct. 18, in partnership with Alianza of New Mexico. Testing is available to all NMSU students, faculty and staff, and those interested in getting tested should check-in at the LGBT+ Programs office in Corbett Center Student Union, Room 204a.

On Thursday, Oct. 21, Pook will lead a panel discussion on transgender health starting at 3 p.m. on Zoom. Panelists will include transgender students and community members, advocates, health professionals and Adrien Lawyer, director of the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico.

“The panel will explore transgender experiences with health care, barriers to accessing and receiving care, an assessment of local and state resources, and recommendations for improving care,” Pook said.

To watch the discussion, email [email protected] to receive the Zoom connection information.

OUTober will conclude Thursday, Oct. 28, with LGBT+ Programs’ Halloween Drag Show, a collaboration with the NMSU Residence Hall Association. Dice Santana, an entertainer with national recognition, will host the show, which starts at 7:30 p.m. on the Corbett Center Student Union outdoor stage.

Co-sponsored by NMSU Black Programs, Chicano Programs and ASNMSU, the show will feature guest performer Harlee Rainz, another national entertainer, and New Mexico performers ViLette Stratton and Trey C. Michaels. It will also feature a student showcase, where Aggies will be encouraged to perform.

The show is free and open to the general public. The first 75 Aggies in attendance will receive an LGBT+ Programs water bottle.

For more information about OUTober at NMSU, follow LGBT+ Programs on Instagram @nmsu_lgbt.

Author: Carlos Andres López – NMSU


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