SMU LGBTQ+ Project Hosts First-Ever Queer State of the University Address

Pride Project is a research group working to collect queer history at SMU. The newfound group is hosting their first event, a Queer State of the University Address, on Friday, February 11 at 6 p.m. in Hughes-Trigg Ballroom.

The event is designed to unite LGBTQ+ and allied Mustangs to start a dialogue for the organization’s successes and future goals for campus initiatives and activities.

Bri Tollie, the Queer Senator for Student Senate, hopes the event will bring together queer-affirming organizations on campus and allow other queer students to see what’s offered on campus for them.

“There’s not enough unity amongst us,” Tollie said. “I just want queer students to be aware of what’s going on and what’s actually offered for them.”

The address will also feature a short “talk back” segment during which alumni can share their own experiences.

“Some of the stuff we’re fighting for today are some of the things they were fighting for back then,” Tollie said. “It’ll be nice to get advice from them, [and hear about] things that they’ve done, things that they’re looking forward to, and even just what they’re proud of.”

With the help of SPECTRUM, SMU’s LGBTQ+ student organization, Pride Project also has other events in the works such as an exhibit on April 23rd and Pride Visibility Day on April 29th.

Pride Visibility Day will be the first large-scale official Pride event in SMU’s history. From games and activities on Dallas Hall Lawn to festival-style performances and speeches, the event will host a variety of different ways to get involved and spread awareness on campus.

“My biggest thing that I hope to accomplish through all of this is just queer joy,” Tollie said. “I want other queer students to see not only are you welcome here, but you also have the power, and you have the voice to stand up and get what you deserve.”

Update 2/4/2022: Edits have been made to clarify the organizers of the event