Pride Week starts Monday, free events scheduled all week to celebrate LGBTQ community

Sometimes being proud may mean taking a vow of silence. Other times it can mean speaking out for the truth.

Monday is the start of Pride Week at Central Michigan University, an event celebrating the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning community.

“Pride Week is important (to the LGBTQ and ally community) because it is an opportunity to come together campus wide and celebrate who we are,” said Shannon Jolliff, director of Gay and Lesbian Programs.

The week’s events range from a queer monologue, film screening and drag show, among others. All events are free.

The first event is a Soup and Substance discussion at noon Monday at the Bovee University Center Terrace Rooms.

The “Cherry Bomb!” talk-show style panel is at 7 p.m. in Warriner Hall’s Plachta Auditorium.

Jolliff said that, even though Pride Week is a celebration, she encourages others to get involved for the educational opportunities.

“Students, faculty and staff have an opportunity to go deeper and engage in active learning about the LGBTQ community with the events provided,” she said.

Tuesday is the “EPIC (Queer Monologues) Performance” in the Plachta Auditorium at 7 p.m.

Sterling Heights senior Julz Meray, co-coordinator of Pride Week, said Wednesday afternoon’s “Day of Silence” is a national event sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.

“Individuals on their own (can) make a vow of silence and we recognize that silence by having a march,” Meray said.

The march will begin around 4:30 p.m. in front of the Charles V. Park Library and will end around 5 p.m. at the Warriner seal. Everybody can come to this event, Meray said.

Students also can choose to wear red or black colors in support of the day.

“This Day (of Silence) really is to shed light on the issue of LGBT anti-bullying and harassment in our schools,” Meray said.

The Drag Show hosted by Sabin, a Detroit resident named Tyler Cooper, will be held 7 p.m. Wednesday in Warriner Hall's Plachta Auditorium.

Mount Pleasant freshman Michael Ryniak said he is celebrating Pride Week to show the strength of the gay community on campus.

“(I) believe it will help spread the knowledge of homophobia and discrimination to my heterosexual peers,” he said.

Jolliff said everyone has pride within themselves all year round and this week showcases that.

“In this one week the entire campus community can gather together and celebrate who we are,” she said.