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(Julia Leiby | For The Post)

Jesper Beckholt, Ryan Vollrath, Amelia Shaw and Daniel Warner pose for a picture for Lacey Rogers at Pride Graduation, a graduation event for LGBT Ohio University students, in Baker Ballroom on Sunday, April 14th, 2013.

LGBT Center’s Pride Graduation to celebrate, reflect

The LGBT Center will be hosting its annual Pride Graduation on Sunday, honoring those graduating and reflecting back on the past year. 

It won’t be about pomp. It won’t be about circumstance. Pride Graduation will be about fun.

The LGBT Center will be celebrating Pride Graduation in Walter Rotunda on Sunday afternoon, honoring those graduating and celebrating their stories.

The afternoon will include a lunch and a small speech by LGBT Center Director Delfin Bautista. Then, Bautista said, those graduating will be honored and allowed about a minute to share what they would like to with those in attendance.

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“Pride Graduation, similar to the drag show is an opportunity to balance,” Bautista said. “We do educational programming, we participate in difficult dialogue on campus, … which is all important but also need to laugh and have fun and be queer in that as well.”

While students and graduating seniors will be in audience, another familiar face will be in attendance. President Roderick McDavis and Provost Pam Benoit will be a part of the celebration, Bautista said. But not in the traditional way most students are used to seeing administrators in.

“This is not their event,” Bautista said. “This is for students, by students. ...What was requested was for him to join in the celebration. ..They don’t have to worry about anything.”

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Emma Holman-Smith, a junior studying math and Russian and a community coordinator in the LGBT Center, helped plan of this event.

Holman-Smith helped solicit food donations for the event. Habibi’s, Casa Nueva Restaurant and Cantina, Baker Catering, Insomnia Cookies have all contributed food to the event, with Sol being the largest portion of the meal.

Holman-Smith said during her time as a student worker, she has seen the center work to be as inclusive as possible and try new planning and programming efforts.

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“I think it’s really great to have people come out and visibly support the members of the LGBTQA who are graduating and leaving this place,” Holman-Smith said. “For the graduates to give a little piece about what they’ve learned or experienced here to some people who are still here.”

Brittany Seals, a senior studying psychology and sociology, said she will be attending Pride Graduation. It will be one of three graduation ceremonies she will attend, along with the Multicultural Center’s graduation and the formal ceremony.

“I think its important for marginalized communities to accomplish each other’s accomplishments because mainstream culture often doesn’t do that so for us to really acknowledge that we made it this far, and going into the workforce or pursuing higher education,” she said. “(It) is an important accomplishment and we need to acknowledge it and feel proud of ourselves for it.”


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