QueerFest Extravaganza, the final event of QueerFest organized by the student-run group of LGBTQ members Lambda, provided queer students with an opportunity to express themselves and showcase talents in an encouraging environment on Friday, April 13.
“We appreciate all of you taking the time to take back Colgate Day, in a way, by joining us here tonight,” first-year Lambda officer Soren Schilhab said.
Attendees gathered around poet, feminist and LGBTQ activist Staceyann Chin, who was scheduled to speak at WMST the next day. Chin read a few of her poems to the crowd. She talked and joked about how queer identities have been viewed by different generations.
“There was a time when we couldn’t say anything about anything…Then you had distinct identities, you had to be gay or you had to be straight; and anybody who was term called bisexual? Oh Lord,” Chin said. “Mark my words, in twenty years, you’ll be standing here in front of a room full of other motherf***ers and be like, ‘what the f*** is wrong with y’all? Do you know how hard we worked to legitimize fluid?! Fluid is the end stop on the train!… We’ve won the fight, we’re fluid! And they’re gonna be like, ‘No, we are actually gaseous.’”
Chin clarified how her words expressed what she felt the event was advocating for.
“I like to open with a little rant like that to remind you that we are on the same side…Whatever it is you want to do with your own body, all of us are fighting for the choice, for the right to choose,” Chin said.
Students also had the opportunity to share poetry, music and perform drag. The organization of performances was flexible. Some took to the stage at the last minute, while others were encouraged by friends to participate. The themes and styles that varied from performer to performer demonstrated the diversity of thought and identity within Colgate’s LGBTQ community.
During student performances, a piece of paper was passed around the audience, and each member was given the option to add a line to a group poem collected by Lambda officers at the end of the night.
After a few acts, QueerFest Extravaganza ended. It was an intimate get-together for Colgate’s queer community, and an opportunity for queer students to express themselves in an accepting environment.
Contact Madison Jozefiak at [email protected]