News

Carnegie Mellon Shows LGBTQIA+ Pride

diversity / students

From Pittsburgh to New York, the Carnegie Mellon University community is showing its LGBTQIA+ pride this month. 

This is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. On June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in New York City's Greenwich Village, leading to fights between bar patrons and law enforcement and six days of protests. The incident sparked the modern lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and ally (LGBTQIA) movement and eventual designation of June as Pride Month. 

To commemorate the anniversary and the legacy of resistance by black and brown LGBTQIA+ people, cmuOUT is inviting alumni to New York-based events later this week. This includes the first World Pride March in New York on SundaycmuOUT is the Alumni Association's official LGBTQIA+ identity-based network.

"This year is unique in that it is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots — a movement that was started by people of color, more specifically, transgender women of color. Without trans women, trans women of color and people of color, the LGBTQIA+ movement and continued fight for justice wouldn't be what it is today," said Ashley Grice, staff partner with the cmuOUT Identity Network.

"For alumni to engage in these spaces, whether as members of the LGBTQIA+ community or allies, it sends a very important message to current and future students, as well as the world," Grice said. "As a global institution, we can set a precedence for how institutions around the world engage critically with social movements that affect their own communities beyond the institution."

Carnegie Mellon graduate student Pierre Gianferrara, a member of the executive board for CMQ+, said that celebrating pride month is an important way to remember and honor intersectional minorities who were the first to fight for lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender rights. It also provides a moment to unite in our diversity and celebrate our differences. 

"Pride is not just a matter of sexual orientation," Gianferrara said. "It's a way for people to own who they are, to oppose acts of violence, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, racism, etc., and to ensure that people are respected and can preserve their dignity as human beings regardless of their identity."

CMQ+, formerly called Allies Grad, formed six years ago to help provide a sense of community for LGBTQIA+ graduate students, foster professional networking and leadership development opportunities and raise awareness of LGBTQIA+ issues on campus. The organization's leadership said that they prioritize creating an inclusive community for their members and elevating the voices of minorities within their group, such as trans members and women.

Earlier this month, on June 9, members of CMQ+ and the undergraduate group CMU Allies joined other students, staff, and alumni in the cmuOUT network to march in the People's Pride parade through Uptown and Downtown Pittsburgh. The event was organized by Sisters PGH, an organization that serves transgender and gender non-conforming youth in the city.

"Since our organization cares about diversity, it is crucial for us to attend events such as Pittsburgh's People's Pride to show our investment in the broader community," Gianferrara said. "We especially wanted to show our support for intersectional, underrepresented minorities, who often happen to be the most vulnerable and oppressed minorities."

To learn more about CMQ+ or become a member, visit their bridge site at: https://thebridge.cmu.edu/organization/cmq.