Friday, February 17 was a much-deserved opportunity for members of St. Kate’s Pride Club. The team has worked to raise enough money for a trip to Chicago for the yearly Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Allied Conference, MBLGTACC (pronounced mumble-tech). MBLGTACC is a conference for LGBTQ college students. 17 members of Pride went this year, and those members have definitely worked for it.
The members who went raised money in every way they could, including multiple bake sales raising over 500 dollars. One particular student sold items that she knitted herself, as well as getting grants from MIPS and the Senate to fund their trip. This was the 25th year of MBLGTACC, the theme ‘United In Solidarity’ focuses on how to resist oppression that the LGBTQ community faces in today’s world. MBLGTACC is hosting many events including keynote speakers, resource fairs, workshops, identity forums, student panels as well as entertainment.
So what is all this for? These students are determined to take away as much as possible from this MBLGTACC conference and apply all they can to St.Kate’s to better the community and make St. Catherine University a more welcoming campus for everyone. There are workshops for them to attend and once in a life-time keynote speakers including, Patrisse Cullors, the mastermind who created Black Lives Matter. Along with Cullors, Peter Staley, a gay rights activists and a big player in the American Foundation for Aids research, as well as Jennicet Gutierrez, who many remember as the woman who interrupted former president Barack Obama in honor of the rights of the LGBTQ community. Gutierrez is also talking about preparing for a similar act of protest with current president Donald Trump but is calling for backup.
According to Frencia Stephenson, Art History ‘19, Pride secretary, the group plans to take as much as they can from MBLGTACC. Stephenson says that this year’s group is really set on the future of Pride at St. Kate’s. They seem to have many plans yet to come! Of those plans, Queer Prom is in the works. It is welcome to any and everybody to attend. This is just another one of the team’s ways to raise money and create a loving, welcoming environment to all identities. Activism is high on the list of things to do and was largely inspired by the weekly PRIDE meeting immediately the day after the 2017 elections.