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A sneak peak into Palomar’s pride events

Pride flags are hung proudly along the walls of Palomar’s Pride Center. Photo credit: Monica Garcia

SAN MARCOS– Music, drag performances, and free food are just some of the perks at Palomar’s upcoming Pride events. A series of events will take place in May, including Palomar’s Queer Community In Action Festival.

The festival will take place on May 8 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of the student union. Star Rivera-Lacey, Palomar’s president, will start the festival with a keynote speech before raising the pride flag. At noon, a free lunch will be available. To receive a free taco plate, students will need to stop by the Pride Center booth. Lively drag performances and special presentations will be open to all students as well.

Before the festival, a screening of a queer film yet to be announced will take place on May 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Howard Brubeck Theatre. Students will have the opportunity to engage with other queer community members and allies alike.

The festivities will culminate with a queer gala. A CandyLand Prom will take place on May 9 from 4 to 6 p.m. on the fourth floor of the library, room LRC-438. There will be music, karaoke, light refreshments, and a best-dressed contest.

A flag representing inclusivity and representation across religious groups stands in the Pride Center. Photo credit: Monica Garcia

“We were the second Community College in the whole state to have a Pride Center,” said Pride Center director Abbie Cory, “So those are big accomplishments that we want to celebrate.”

Having been Pride Center director since 2016, Cory will be stepping down from her position at the end of the spring semester. She explains how there has been lots of training done for faculty on LGBTQ+ issues.

Breaking roadblocks has been difficult, but the journey to inclusivity is far from over.

“Folks that 15 years ago didn’t want to be seen with us, to be honest…they come out and celebrate with us now. So it’s really exciting,” said Cory.

Palomar’s literary journal, Bravura, will provide special student readings at the festival. Transgender family support service presentations will also be available for students who are curious, or would like guidance on the transition journey.

“I think that everyone has something to give to the community in some kind of way,” said Pride Center coordinator Dylan Davison. Davison, who uses they/them pronouns, spoke of the changes that have allowed them to be a part of the Pride Center to welcome other queer students and faculty into the college space.

An Art Mural reminds the students of the creativity found at the Pride Center. Photo credit: Monica Garcia

Upon entering the Pride Center, the first thing to stand out is the color. The walls of the center are draped with student art, encouraging messages, and a large open space with comfortable chairs and tables.

As a former student, Davison witnessed the early developments of the Pride Center. Now as coordinator, they continue to indulge in activism through community events and in developing their own published comic books centered on queer characters.

“It’s not just about celebration…it’s about…going up to people and being like, ‘Yeah, too bad, we’re not going anywhere,’ and having Palomar accept that and support it, you know, just means the world,” said Davison.

Evelyn Galan Acevedo, president of the Gender and Women’s Studies (GWS) club is one of many other club leaders who were invited to the festival to provide information booths and gifts for students.

Students are encouraged to make art and decorate the walls of the Pride Center. Photo credit: Monica Garcia

“You know, when you go into college, you kind of discover yourself… so it’s like very important, I think, to have those types of things at college campuses,” said Galan.

Having attended the event in the past, Galan looks forward to seeing the colors, and experiencing the energy and fun once again.

“You’re not hurting anybody,” said Galan. “It doesn’t matter what others may think…you’re just you know, happy to be yourself.”

GWS prepares for the booth decorating contest among other activities that students can come and see at the pride festival on May 8. For more information, visit Palomar’s Pride Center Instagram page here.

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A sneak peak into Palomar’s pride events