GIESORC celebrates Pride Month virtually

Netflix parties, Zoom hang outs, ally training offered for June



The Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center may not have planned any in-person events planned for Pride Month, but the community can still connect with Netflix parties and Zoom hang outs.

CHERYL AARNIO, Evergreen reporter

The Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center (GIESORC) will provide online gatherings and an ally training to celebrate Pride Month.

The events will be held virtually. GIESORC Director Matthew Jeffries said the schedule has not yet been finalized.

Typically, the center does not hold many events in June because of the large number of people who have already left WSU, he said.

“It’s like tumbleweeds to some extent in Pullman [in June], or it feels that way to me,” Jeffries said.

Since classes moved online, there is a monthly ally training hosted by GIESORC over Zoom. For Pride Month, Jeffries said he believes the training for June will include more historical context, including Pride’s origins.

Pride started as a commemorative event with riots at the Stonewall Inn in 1969 but has become a way for the LGBTQ+ community to be out and proud in a way they could not before the 1970s, he said.

“They rioted for days, which really pushed LGBT rights to the forefront and really changed the conversation,” Jeffries said.

On GIESORC’s Instagram page, there is a campaign to remind people why the pride flag exists, he said. Their posts include the Philadelphia pride flag, which incorporates black and brown stripes symbolizing Black and brown people in the LGBTQ+ community. The transgender flag with blue and pink stripes is also part of the campaign.

“The reason that we have the rights we have today is because of the tireless work of queer folks of color, trans folks of color and genderqueer folks of color,” Jeffries said, “because they were at the forefront of a lot of these things, like Stonewall.”

The center will also host movie-viewing parties this month. Jeffries said he hopes the center will host two of them, both using Netflix Party, a Google Chrome extension that allows people to remotely synchronize what they are watching on their electronic devices and includes a dialogue chatbox.

One of the movies will be “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar,” a comedy about drag queens who go on a road trip until their car breaks down, Jeffries said. The other movie will likely be a documentary.

“We’re just playing around with ways to still engage with folks even though we’re all remote,” Jeffries said.

GIESORC has also been offering hang outs remotely on Tuesdays and Thursdays after WSU classes went online. It is a way to catch up with people and see how they are doing, he said. GIESORC also offers one-on-one conversations for students who need help or support.

Anyone interested in these online gatherings can follow GIESORC on social media or sign up for the GIESORC newsletter.

With all these virtual events, “I just hope it’s a place for folks to connect,” Jeffries said.