The Collegian
Tuesday, February 07, 2023

Gay-pril is the new April

What happens when you plan a month's worth of activities celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender history and pride in the month of April? You get Gay-pril.

Gay-pril, a month created by the Student Alliance for Sexual Diversity (SASD), commenced at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6 with a speech by political analyst, TV host and author Keith Boykin.

SASD President, Jon Henry, said Gay-pril's creation was the best way to combine the antiquity of LGBT history month in October and gay pride month in June. SASD's goal was to acknowledge both pride and history in one month during the academic year, he said.

Gay-pril allows SASD to reach out to the University of Richmond community by organizing multiple events, speaker series, a movie premier and an art gallery discussion, Henry said. Some of these events include a talk on LGBT history, SafeZone training and a gallery talk with the museum department on the more than 200 Andy Warhol prints the department has acquired.

Other events included the intercollegiate drag ball competition held on Sunday, April 10 as well as the premiere of "Private Romeo," which will be held on April 20. "Private Romeo," a modern day adaptation of "Romeo and Juliet," is a love story between two young men at an all-boys military academy. This event will be followed by a talk with the director.

"Basically, if it's queer we'll do it," Henry said. "We want to 'queerify' campus by providing queer alternatives."

Vice President of SASD, Johanna Gehlbach, said Gay-pril correlated with the mission of SASD which was to provide advocacy for the LGBT community on campus by scheduling events and protests, pressing for policy changes and creating visibility on campus.

Until Henry mentioned the possibility of having Boykin, an openly gay African-American, speak on campus months ago, Gehlbach said she had never heard of the wpolitical analyst. "Soon thereafter I did some research and I was really impressed. It's nice to depart from the consumerist, white, gay stereotype," she said. "It's important to make sure you're not marginalizing people within an already marginalized group."

Kadeem Fyffe, the co-president of the Black Alliance for Sexual-Minority Equality, said he was pleased with the result of the Boykin kick-off. Fyffe said he had not expected the event to be packed, but was satisfied with the amount of people who had come. It was a mix of students and community members, he said. The people that participated in the event can now spread Boykin's message of hope and the value of diversity, he said.

Contact reporter Liz Monahan at liz.monahan@richmond.edu

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