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Students organize programming to celebrate Queer History Month – The Dartmouth

October 19, 2022 | Latest Issue

Planned events include an art exhibit, a mixer, discussions and TED talks.
by Noelle Blake | 10/6/22 5:05am
October marks the beginning of Queer History Month, an annual observance and celebration of LGBTQ+ history in the United States. Since the fall term, students have worked to create a series of programs and events to celebrate and explore queer history. These programs are also meant to highlight Trans Week of Visibility, which is set to take place in mid-to-late November. 
According to the Office of Pluralism and Leadership’s website, these events aim to build community, “recognize and uplift Queer history, [and] create intentional space centering Trans experiences.” Rosario Rosales ’25, a chair of the Queer History Celebration Board, said that she was excited for this year’s lineup of events. 
“This upcoming month, we have quite the schedule… I am glad I am able to take part in making [Queer History Month] happen now,” she said.

According to Sonia Meytin ’26, co-chair of the Trans Week of Visibility Board, both committees considered which events would have the most impact on campus, and how to increase participation.  
According to the Queer History Celebration board and Trans Week of Visibility lineup, Queer History Month kicked off on Sept. 24 with a picnic at Triangle House. On Oct. 6, the celebration, along with the LatinX and Caribbean History Celebration Committee, is hosting a portrait session and gallery tour of “Femme is Fierce: Femme Queer Gender Performance in Photography,” an exhibition at the Hood Museum of Art.
The exhibit will celebrate “[the] feminine figure across all genders, sexual orientations, races, ethnicities and time,” Rosales said. 
Other events include a queer and BIPOC mixer that will take place this weekend at Collis Common Ground and a National Coming Out Day concert on Oct. 15. The rest of the month will feature different celebrations recognizing the history of queer people in the Dartmouth community, as well as the greater Upper Valley, according to OPAL’s website. 
Meytin said that recognizing the significance of diversity within the community will be an important theme this month.
“When I was looking at all the admissions materials, there wasn’t very much trans representation in what I was seeing,” Meytin said. “So I just want to show students that we’re here.”
According to an email statement from Angelique Bouthot, program coordinator of community and leadership development in OPAL, Dartmouth has been celebrating Queer History Month since 2016 and has been hosting similar events for even longer. This year, the theme of Queer History Month is “Always Been Here and Queer.”
“While recognizing and celebrating Queer History is becoming more popular, we’re not new,” Bouthot wrote. “We’re actively making history now and we have been making an impact for a long time. We’re just gaining the critical momentum for more people to be paying attention.”
Bouthot also wrote that QHC aims to educate and uplift Dartmouth community members past and present, and remind the Dartmouth community of the history of queer people both within and outside the College. For example, there will be a discussion on Queer History in the Upper Valley, to TED talks delivered by Dartmouth LGBTQ+ Alumni, according to OPAL’s website. 
“My basic hopes include that folks have fun and that they learn something,” Bouthot wrote. “Something about themselves, our history, a new skill, or a new connection with someone on campus.”
QHC and Trans Week of Visibility are important because they celebrate not just local queer expression, but also the ability to celebrate identities nationally and globally, Bouthot added. She wrote that “Always Been Here and Queer” serves as a reminder that queer people have always been and will always be an integral part of the Dartmouth community.
Rosales said celebrating Queer History Month and TWOV means to “give queerness a home here.” 
“It does not matter if you identify as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community or not, queerness is something that can contribute something beautiful for us all,” Rosales said. 
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