GSA Kicks Off LGBTQ+ History Month with Pride Flag Raising Ceremony



Twenty-one Pride Flags in the Falcon Hub, via The Point

Meaghan Walsh, Staff Writer, Layout Manager

On Monday, October 3, 2022, at 3:30 p.m., the Fitchburg State Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) kicked off LGBTQ+ History Month with a flag-raising ceremony in the Falcon Hub. LGBTQ+ History Month is an annual month-long observance of LGBT history, and also the history of gay and civil rights. The month of October was selected to be LGBTQ+ History month because it coincides with National Coming Out Day on October 11, and the anniversary of the first march on Washington for gay and lesbian rights in 1979. While the flag raising was the kickoff event for the month, GSA is hosting a whole slew of events on campus during the month of October.


Before any flags were raised, members of the GSA E-board took turns reading poems. Fitchburg State professor Demisty Bellinger read a poem she wrote shortly after the Orlando nightclub shooting in 2016. Before she read the poem, she explained her motivation for writing it; she felt that so much queer poetry was sad and that after the tragedy in 2016, she wanted to write something fun and happy about the queer experience.


Various speakers from across campus took turns presenting four flags at a time, for a total of twenty-one flags. When each flag was announced, a GSA member would carry it onto the Falcon Hub stage, and a speaker would provide a brief history of the flag and who it represents. “I like that they gave a little history about each of the flags,” said Ryan Woods, a student who had attended the event. Another student who attended the event, Bee DeFeo, said that they “…really appreciate the inclusivity of the presentation of all the flags.”


The Fitchburg State Choir, conducted by Jonathan Harvey, also performed a rendition of ‘True Colors’ for the flag-raising ceremony. The performance brought tears to many audience members’ eyes. A few members of the choir could also be seen bringing Pride flags up to the stage. 


Additionally, as advertised, there were refreshments! The refreshments table had Brisk and Pepsi, and some snacks and fun desserts. There were also 6-color Pride flags and Transgender Pride flags at the refreshment table that attendees were also welcome to take with them. The very cute rainbow M&M brownies felt very on-brand for the event. 


Fitchburg State will be celebrating LGBTQ+ History month with a series of events and community gatherings all based on the theme “We Are Everywhere”, based on the book ‘We Are Everywhere: Protest, Power, and Pride in the History of Queer Liberation’ by Mathew Riemer and Leighton Brown.