June 1, 2024

Wayne State recognizes June as LGBTQIA+ Pride Month

Wayne State University has issued a proclamation recognizing June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTIQA+) Pride Month in alignment with national recognitions by the U.S. Department of State.  

A graduating Warrior with their family at the 2024 Wayne State University Rainbow Graduation
A graduate with their friends and family at the 2024 Rainbow Graduation and Homecoming.

 “At the heart of Pride Month lies a message of inclusivity and empowerment, in alignment with Wayne State’s values,” said WSU President Kimberly Andrews Espy, Ph.D. “It is a time to embrace diversity, celebrate individuality, and reaffirm our commitment to creating a world where everyone can live authentically and without fear of discrimination.” 

Nationally recognized in June, Pride Month is a time dedicated to honoring the LGBTQIA+ community, promoting equality and fostering acceptance. It serves as an important reminder of the struggles and triumphs of the LGBTQIA+ community throughout history. It also commemorates the Stonewall uprising of June 1969, a pivotal moment in the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights that ignited a global movement toward equality and liberation. 

Three members of the Wayne State University community at the 2024 Rainbow Graduation and Homecoming.
“Celebrating Pride at Wayne State is an important moment for us to pause and recognize the history, contributions, and advancements members of the LGBTQIA+ community have made, not only to this campus, but to the broader Detroit community," said Stephanie Hawkes, senior director for the Office of Multicultural Student Engagement.

To encourage involvement with the wider campus community, Wayne State celebrated Pride Month in April before many Warriors left for the summer. Events included an open mic night and an employee and military service social hour, as well as a seed-starting event equipped with burgundy shamrock, dirt and starter containers.  

“We are thrilled to see President Espy’s proclamation of Pride Month, which is a meaningful recognition of our campus’s year-round Warrior Pride,” said Simone Chess, director of gender, sexuality and women’s studies and director of Wayne State’s Center for Gender and Sexuality.  

Three Wayne State University graduates at the 2024 Rainbow Graduation and Homecoming.
Students with their diplomas at the 2024 Rainbown Graduation and Homecoming.

“This June, we are especially proud to be approaching the first anniversary of the WSU Board of Governors’ approval of the new WSU Center for Gender and Sexuality, a resource for research and community engagement. In our growing Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies program, we continue to expand offerings for our queer studies minor. From faculty research to classroom curriculum to student activities and events with our partners in the city of Detroit, Wayne State continues to invest in and show support for the LGBTQIA+ community.”  

Year-round campus resources include Wayne State’s Pride page, the Center for Gender and Sexuality (CGS), the Office of Multicultural Student Engagement, and the Dean of Students Office, as well as more than 20 LGBTQ-identity-based registered student organizations.  

“Creating a community for our LGBTQIA+ Warriors and uplifting that community will always be a priority,” said Chess.  

A graduate takes a selfie with Wayne State University W mascot at the 2024 Rainbow Graduation and Homecoming.
A graduate poses with "W" at the Rainbow Graduation and Homecoming.

To honor this observance, Warriors on campus and beyond are encouraged to attend a variety of Pride events in Michigan throughout summer, including those where Wayne State will have a presence: 

  • Fundraiser for the Ruth Ellis Center: WSU will host its annual Stride 4 Pride event to benefit the Ruth Ellis Center (tentatively scheduled for June 28). 

“As we reflect on the progress we have made, the programs we have developed, and the work that lies ahead, Pride Month provides yet another opportunity for us to envision a world where everyone can live authentically and proudly,” said Provost Laurie Lauzon Clabo.   

Learn more about Wayne State proclamations.  

By Katheryn Kutil

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