LAWRENCE – Lavender Graduation, a drag performer makeup tutorial and lesbian visibility day are just three of many events on deck for Gaypril, an annual occasion featuring various programs put on by the University of Kansas Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity.
“Gaypril is a time to celebrate, honor and bring visibility to folks in the QT (queer and transgender) community,” said Ash Wilson, director of the center. “These events allow us to showcase the diversity, skills and stories of the community, as well as pay tribute to our QT elders and the origin stories of the community.”
Gaypril is a monthlong celebration of pride that gives people in the KU community a place to outwardly express and celebrate their various queer and transgender identities. It’s an important opportunity for everyone on campus – regardless of identity – to involve themselves in educational and celebratory programming on queer and trans communities and issues.
“We want the KU community to know they are welcome to attend regardless of how they identify,” Wilson said. “These events are not just for the QT community. They’re for everyone. Being able to locate yourself within queer and trans culture is a way straight and cisgender folks can work to make KU a safer community for everyone.”
The monthlong celebration features more than 20 events, with one of the first being a joint Zine Night session with the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity. This event allows attendees to learn about the queer and feminist roots of zine-making and asks: What does the queer future look like? Meg Williams, assistant director of the Emily Taylor Center, will be on hand to answer questions on her fall 2022 course on the history of zines.
Three of the center’s signature events take place later in the month. On April 15, the Be You @ KU Picture takes place at 12:30 p.m. at the Campanile. Attendees are encouraged to wear their inclusive Jayhawk T-shirt and bring pride flags or other props.
The center then invites anyone wishing to celebrate graduating QT Jayhawks to attend the 13th annual Lavender Graduation on April 20. At this event, graduates, as well as students, faculty and staff, will be honored for the work they have put into themselves and the community. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Burge Union Forum D. Attendees must register in advance and are encouraged to nominate someone for one of the Pride Awards.
To close out Gaypril, the center is teaming up with KU Student Union Activities on April 30 to put on the Kansas Drag Showcase, which will bring 16 drag performers from across Kansas to KU’s campus. The night begins with a Pride event from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., with the drag show immediately after. The show is free for KU students, faculty and staff and $5 for all others. Tickets are required to attend the event and can be secured online. All proceeds from ticket sales go to The Trans Closet, a gender-affirming community resource at KU.
More information about SGD and the activities and programming it offers year-round is available on its website.
The center is located on the fourth floor of the Kansas Memorial Union in suite 435.