Queer-Trans Student Union kicked off the academic year with a flamboyant, welcoming display of the campus’ LGBTQ+ community on Thursday.
Big Gay Welcome is a “great way to welcome everyone in the queer-trans community and the allies,” said senior Emily Latham, a human development and family studies major and vice president of QTSU.
QTSU partnered with several university organizations for the event, including Black Student Union and Undergraduate Student Government.
“I love the free food — love being gay there,” Latham said. “Everything works out super well with the help of other orgs that are a safe space.”
Drag queens, musicians and student performers took the stage while queer students, allies and community members snacked on free food.
Ava Harper, a freshman marine biology major who uses they/them pronouns and had never seen a drag show before, was impressed with the evening’s performances.
One drag queen put on an eye-catching performance, wearing a skin-tight lime green bodysuit that hugged her skin while she danced.
“They’re very talented; they’re all gorgeous. It’s very impressive. I couldn’t do it,” Harper laughed.
Attendees could also seek out LGBTQ+ resources while they weren’t enjoying the party. Information about Honoring, Urging, and Empowering Queer and Trans People of Color (HUE), QTSU, BGSU Votes, the Counseling Center, Grad Pride and other organizations were available for students.
The inclusive event allows many members of BGSU’s LGBTQ+ community to find like-minded friends. Its party-like atmosphere provides ample opportunity to form new relationships.
Latham met her current girlfriend, senior Alexis Rubertino, as a freshman at Big Gay Welcome. Without the event, they wouldn’t have had that immediate connection.
“It’s like a big party. It shows fresh and new coming people that they’re welcome here,” Latham said.