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Published: October 10, 2018 Author: Victoria Kelley

The Ohio University LGBT Center is celebrating its 20th year or “rainbowversary” this year and it has many fun and informative events planned this semester.

LGBT Center Director delfin bautista said that while this is the official anniversary for the Center, there has been an active LGBT presence and expression since the 70s with ‘Open Doors’, an LGBT student group, which is celebrating its 45-year anniversary.

“I’m proud to say we are the first center in the state of Ohio,” bautista said. “Ohio University has been a pioneer in many ways, we were one of the first schools in Ohio to offer gender neutral housing and we now offer trans health care benefits for students and employees. We’ve taken the lead to make campus more inclusive and safer for students and members of the LGBT community alike.”

The LGBT Center located in the Baker University Center encourages inclusion for all students no matter their sexual or gender identities. It’s a welcoming/safe environment that accepts and supports all sexual identities, gender identities, gender expressions, and queerness for the University and Athens communities.

The LGBT Center is having continuations of popular events that it has done in the past like the drag show, alternative Halloween events during OHIO Late Nights at the Living Learning Center on South Green, film showings and SpeakOUT!

SpeakOUT! events educate the campus about sexual orientation and gender identity through panel discussions in classes, residence halls, Greek houses and other university and local settings.

“Out and Proud,” is a queer open mike and art show at Stuart’s Opera house where people can express themselves and their LGBT pride in any and every possible way. A lot of events are happening in the upcoming weeks and there’s still more queertastic surprises in store for the future.

“Every event we host or participate in hits home in different ways,” bautista said. “The start of the semester has already been intense, with the crime alerts and everything that’s happening and I want to create opportunities to deconstruct some of that and address those concerns. We need to focus on taking care of ourselves along with providing folks with a safe and empowering outlet.”

Here’s a peak at some upcoming events from the LGBT Center:

Oct. 13—Halloween Dance featuring DJ Logan Savage at Casa Nueva from 9:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. The cost is $5 at the door and all proceeds go to the Southeastern Ohio Rainbow Alliance. Costumes are encouraged but not mandatory.

Oct. 19—Happy Homocoming Drag Extravagayza celebrating Homecoming and the Center’s 20th rainbowversary; donations will be accepted at the door and will benefit the Hodson LGBT Emergency Fund.

Oct. 31—LGBT History Month Speaker Series featuring Stephanie Skora, a trans and Jewish activist.

Nov. 15 –Trans Day of Remembrance and Resistance Vigil honoring those impacted by anti-trans violence.

For more information about the LGBT Center and other upcoming events, visit the Center’s website at https://www.ohio.edu/lgbt/ or its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/OULGBTCenter/.

Editors note:

* delfin bautista identifies as trans and two-spirits and requests lowercase letters and the pronoun "they" instead of the traditional "he" or "she.”