By Zachary Mongillo, Special to The Chronicle
A colorful display of cultural diversity commenced last Wednesday as students, alumni, faculty and guests met for the opening reception of this year's LGBTQ History Month.
"This is a celebration," announced Gerard Brogdon, the director of Multicultural and International Student Programs here at Hofstra. "It is important that we get together, and that we celebrate this month." Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer History Month is celebrated throughout October.
Amanda Kronemeyer, the current chair of the Pride Network, and Christian Fuscarino, the founder of the Pride Network, also spoke. They shared their personal experiences as people who classify themselves as LGBTQ and how they became involved in the Pride Network. Kronemeyer told the audience, "I didn't feel connected to the LGBTQ related programs at my high school, so I was really excited to get involved here at Hofstra."
Kronemeyer presented the 2011 thirty-one national LGBTQ icons, all influential figures who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community. Notables include Jane Lynch, an Emmy award winning television actress; Langston Hughes, a famous poet and writer who made many innovations in jazz poetry; and George Washington Carver, inventor of peanut butter. Each icon represents a day in the national LGBTQ month calendar.
Kronemeyer was very excited about this year's LGBTQ icons. Some people, she said, "didn't believe there would be enough to fill the month, but there is plenty more."
The University's chapter of The Pride Network hosts events to support the gay community during LGBTQ History Month. These include The Pride Network Coffee House Series on October 8, a screening of the film "Meet My Gay Son" on October 20, and "The Pride Network's Drag Show" on October 26.
Kronemeyer stresses that all students and faculty, straight or LGBTQ, are encouraged to attend and observe the festivities. "I feel people should be open to new experience," she said. " College is a place that you should expose yourself to new things."
All speakers at the reception made it clear that this should be treated as a multicultural celebration in the same way that other celebrative months and days are treated. Gerard Brogdon told the crowd once again during the closing remarks that, "we are more similar than different."
And, he added, "If you are not getting involved, get involved!"