Lavender Graduation honoring LGBTQ graduates to take place May 4

A LGBTQ rainbow flag flies in the wind.

Lavender Graduation, a tradition to honor graduating LGBTQ students, will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. on May 4 at the Center for Student Inclusion and Diversity, Bovee University Center, Room 108.

The ceremony is hosted by the Office of LGBTQ Services and Gender Equity Programs and Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM) student organization. 

Forth-year student Nova Moore, a member of oSTEM, said the students will receive lavender cords from oSTEM, as well as pins from the student organization they have been active in. Lavender Graduation stoles and a dessert bar will be provided, according to Engage Central.

"Everybody gets to celebrate who they are because not all graduates ... get to celebrate the person that they live as some of us have family members who ... (they are) not necessarily out to," Moore said. " During actual graduation, we have to go by our birthday name, or pronouns we don't necessarily identify with, so we just want a chance for all the individuals who who want to attend the Lavender Graduation to attend a ceremony where they feel honored for their full selves."

The tradition of the ceremony has been at CMU for three years, Moore said. 

"I am an avid gender equity advocate and advocate for LGBTQ rights here on campus, and I really hope that Central continues to honor this tradition," Moore said. "oSTEM fought really hard for this honor, and I hope that students who aren't able to be their fullest selves at graduation are able to come and receive their lavender cords and take part in that great honor."

To attend, graduates have to fill out a form and meet the requirements listed there, such as participating in events on campus concerning the LGBTQ community, Moore said. People who are not graduating will be able to attend only with an invitation from a graduate who uses the online form. 

To learn more about Lavender Graduation, visit Engage Central