On Sunday, April 25, Binghamton University’s Q Center hosted its fifth-annual Lavender Celebration over Zoom. The event celebrated the graduating class of 2021, including both undergraduate and graduate students. The event also took place on the Q Center’s fifth anniversary of its founding, allowing the community to celebrate two milestones at once. The event was open to all students and members encouraged underclassmen to attend.
Though the event was hosted by the Q Center, other LGBTQ organizations including SHADES, Out in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (oSTEM) and Keshet partnered with the Q Center, playing an important role in organizing and bringing the event to life. Eduardo Gomez, president of oSTEM and a senior majoring in systems science and industrial engineering, spoke on an Instagram story about why organizing the event is so important to him.
“To me, the Lavender Celebration is an opportunity for us to celebrate each other, especially in the LGBTQ+ community,” Gomez said. “oSTEM has played a big part in helping get the Lavender Celebration ready. We’ve designed some of the flyers, we’re helping make the recipe book and we’ve done a lot of cameo research.”
This year’s Lavender Celebration was brunch-themed and everyone who registered for the Zoom received a copy of a brunch recipe book. It was hosted by celebrity drag queen Mrs. Kasha Davis, who performed on season 7 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and is the self-proclaimed “international celebrity housewife.” There were three different courses, and each course included different special events. There was a performance by the Slam Poetry Club, as well as cameo celebrity performances, which included comedian and actress Lea DeLaria and rapper Todrick Hall.
The Pride Awards included the OUTstanding Student Awards for graduate and undergraduate students, the Sunshine Award, Faculty/Staff Ally Award, the Activism Award and the Community Service Award. Interns, volunteers and first-year students at the Q Center were also recognized for all they have done for BU’s queer community. Each award section and student recognition was celebrated with a mimosa toast. To celebrate the five-year anniversary of the Q Center, alumni that were a part of the Q Center when it first opened returned to give speeches.
The event ended with students and faculty alike sharing their feelings and memories with Kelly Clark, director of the Q Center, and wishing her the best wherever she decides to go after leaving the Q Center this year.
After the closing of the Lavender Celebration, Julia Saltzman, graduate assistant at the Q Center and a first-year graduate student studying public administration, invited everyone to join a virtual after-party at Kumospace, an immersive video chat center.
Editor’s note: The original version of this article stated a few inaccuracies about the event. Binghamton Stand-Up did not perform and Gottmilk did not make an appearance at the Lavender Celebration. Additionally, a “Queer Year in Review” slideshow was not shown. Pipe Dream regrets these errors.