National Coming Out Week Recognized in Flag Ceremony and Queer Conversations

Posted on 10/18/21 10:07 AM

Tuesday, October 13, was a historic day at IUP.  In honor of all LGBTQIA+ students, faculty, staff, and alumni, the Center for Multicultural Student Leadership and Engagement (MCSLE) had an official flag dedication ceremony in front of Elkin Hall.

Students, faculty, and staff attend the Flag Ceremony outside of Elkin Hall

The flagpole and flag, made possible by funds from the “It’s On Us” grant via the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office, were unveiled in a ceremony attended by IUP students, staff, faculty, and administrators.  Tedd Cogar, who manages the Office of LGBTQIA+ Support, a part of MCSLE, led the charge to arrange the event.  When asked about the importance of the new flag, Cogar said, “Visibility!  A sense of inclusion!  Being reflected on campus. And, most importantly, a sign of support from IUP for the LGBTQIA community.”

MCSLE and LGBTQIA+ Support would like to thank everyone who attended the event.  A special “thank you” goes out to everyone who spoke during the ceremony, including Tom Segar (Vice President for Student Affairs), Maggie Samijlenko (SGA E-board member), Lara Luetkehans (Interim Provost), Liv/Ollie Martin (Pride Alliance member), Selena Montijo (LGBTQIA+ Support), Elise Glenn (Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer and Title IV Officer from the Office of Social Equity, and Jenn McCroskey (Green Dot Coordinator).  In addition to a chance to come together through the ceremony, attendees also were provided with pride flags and pins. 

The flag ceremony, aptly planned during National Coming Out Week and National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, is just one of many events recognizing members of the LGBTQIA+ community.  On Tuesday evening, Queer Conversations met in the Elkin Hall Great Room to watch “Two Spirits” by filmmaker Lydia Nibley.  The documentary centers around the life and murder of a Navajo ‘two-spirit’ or ‘nadleeh’ person, Fred Martinez.

Students attending Queer Conversations

Following the film, attendees conversed with Carrie House, who attended the screening via Zoom. Carrie, who identifies as a ‘two-spirit’ person, was able to reflect on the film and speak about those who were interviewed for the documentary, having known many of them personally.  Thank you to Carrie, Abigail Adams, and everyone who helped plan and attended this important event.