On October 6th, 2022, Stockton’s Pride Alliance, the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Center, and Queer and Trans People of Color Society (QTPOCS) hosted a flag-raising ceremony in front of the Arts and Science building on the main Galloway campus. October is LGBTQIA+ History Month and Stockton University’s hosting clubs shared their personal experiences and history regarding the importance of this month.
To start the ceremony, multiple individuals spoke about their personal experiences and thoughts on LGBTQIA+ History Month. Stockton’s Pride Alliance president, QTPOCS’ president, Representative Don Guardian, and Kyle Zack from Stockton’s admissions office all spoke. The ceremony concluded with the flag-raising and Christina Aguilera’s song “Beautiful,” sung by Kamarii Clerge.
This year, the presidents of both Stockton’s Pride Alliance and QTPOCS are committed to breaking stigmas and creating a welcoming community for LGBTQIA+ students at Stockton. River Hammell, president of Pride Alliance, commented on their feelings about the significance of the flag-raising and LGBTQIA+ History month in terms of what that means for the Stockton community.
“This opportunity is amazing for me because it’s personal to me and my journey, especially as a queer person, not just a queer leader. But it’s also important to Stockton as a reminder that we are a giant allyship and that without our allies, without our history, and without our trans people of color we would not be standing here today. So small events like this are major reminders of why we are able to do what we are able to do now. We need to continue to push forward, and continue to keep in mind our history in order to build new milestones,” he said.
Dalia Moamed, president of QTPOCS, discussed her thoughts about LGBTQIA+ History month and the significance it brings to her personal life. “This month reminds me to emphasize communities that often get put aside in the margins that have given us the privileges and the rights as queer people today. And how that work is so meaningful and continuous, it still goes on today, and it doesn’t get enough credit when it should. Essentially queer people of color are often left out of the narrative and forgotten in history when they are part of history and the future,” she said.
Additionally, Mo Keane, public relations for QTPOCS, commented on the impact of the flag-raising ceremony and its importance both personally and for the community.
“This day is both a celebration and a day of mourning for me. Remembering and being able to celebrate is a phenomenal opportunity and being invited to speak on the behalf of queer people here and in the world is an honor, but it really does remind me how far and how hard we’ve had to fight for this opportunity to be here today. It really reminds me to have grace and never lose sight of the goal of liberation and pride for everyone. You know we have fought so hard to exist not just in New Jersey but across the world, and being able to celebrate our existence is something a lot of people never thought would ever be possible. So it’s a really grateful time for me like I am very thankful for the opportunity to be here, and to speak and be authentic and true to myself. But it’s also a day to give thanks to all of those who came before us,” Keane said.
For students who wish to participate in more LGBTQIA+ History month events, both stockton.qtpocs and stockton_pride_alliance Instagram pages will be sharing events happening in and around campus, or on either club’s Osprey Hub pages.