Penn State community celebrates Campus Pride Month in April

Virtual and in-person events to be held at University's campuses across the commonwealth
A short, stout girl with a large beehive hairdo looks on as a large woman wearing a frilly housedress sings emphatically.

Niki Metcalf as Tracy Turnblad, left, and Andrew Levitt aka Nina West (from “RuPaul’s Drag Race”) as Edna Turnblad will lead the cast of touring Broadway’s “Hairspray.”

Credit: Jeremy Daniel

Editor's note: This story has been updated as of April 1.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity (CSGD), a unit of Penn State Student Affairs, in collaboration with partners around Penn State, will be celebrating Pride Month throughout April. In addition, University campuses across the commonwealth will be hosting events.


    UPDATE: The Pride March and rally, originally scheduled for April 1, has been postponed to April 11 at noon due to inclement weather.
    Pride March and Rally —
    April 11, noon, meet at HUB Lower-Level Entrance. Kick off Penn State Pride Month with a pride march and rally on April 1. Meet at the HUB-Robeson Center Pollock entrance at 11am. Join student organizations, campus and community partners to march around the HUB-Robeson Center to Old Main and show support for the LGBTQ+ community. Pride flags and signs of support are encouraged! Sponsored by CSGD.

    Virtual Speaker: Rajee Narinesingh — April 1, 5:30 p.m., Register here. Our first speaker for Pride Month will be TV personality and transgender rights activist Rajee Narinesingh, most known for her appearances on talk and TV shows worldwide. She is also an actor, singer and has written a memoir titled "Beyond Face Value." She appeared on the reality show "Botched" on the E! Network. Register for her webinar here. Sponsored by CSGD.

    Pride HUB Takeover — April 6, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., HUB-Robeson CenterJoin the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, student groups, campus and community partners in celebrating pride! Learn more about resources, watch riveting drag performances, dance with the DJ, win big in drag bingo, and get the opportunity to meet two queens from RuPaul's Drag Race. Sponsored by CSGD.

    Pride TV Marathon — April 6, 2 p.m.–8 p.m., HUB LL011. Catch up on your favorite LGBTQ+ shows at the CSGD. Starting at 2 p.m., students can choose from their favorite LGBTQ+ shows in the conference room of the Center.

    KaraoGaye — April 7, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m., Alumni Hall. It's Karaoke time or should we say KaraoGaye! Show off your karaoke skills or just be part of the audience. Join for pizza and soda, stay for some LGBTQ+ themed karaoke.

    Lecture with Katrina Karkazis — April 7, 6 p.m., 101 Thomas Building. Katrina Karkazis, acclaimed anthropologist and bioethicist and author of “Testosterone: An Unauthorized Biography,” will deliver the Rock Ethics Institute’s 2022 Richard B. Lippin Lecture in Ethics at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, in 101 Thomas Building. Karkazis, professor of sexuality, women’s and gender studies at Amherst College and a senior research fellow with the Global Health Justice Partnership at Yale University, will speak on “Sex Itself: The Science, Politics and Ethics of Categorization.”

    "Super Gay 5K" — Saturday, April 9, 10 a.m., Meet at HUB Pollock Entrance. Register here. Students, faculty, and staff are welcome to run, jog, walk, or strut to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community in the Super Gay 5K. Registration is required. If you wish to volunteer and not participate in the 5K itself, you may also indicate that on the registration form. There will be a few awards given for time and a limited number of shirts are available. We will end on the HUB lawn and celebrate with something special. Email Eric Duran, [email protected], with questions.

    SPA Drag Show April 11, 7 p.m., Alumni Hall. The Student Programming Association presents a drag show with PSU Opulence.

    Cameron Esposito — April 13, 6 p.m., Freeman Auditorium. Join the CSGD for the Campus Pride Month keynote guest speaker: Cameron Esposito, a nationally touring stand-up comedian, actor and writer based in Los Angeles known for her appearances on CBS, NBC, Comedy Central, E!, TBS, IFC and the Cartoon Network. Esposito also is the host/creator of Buzzfeed's "Ask A Lesbian" series and the host of the popular Put Your Hands Together stand-up podcast taped live at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles.

    "Hairspray" — April 14 at 7:30 p.m., Eisenhower Auditorium. Broadway’s Tony Award-winning musical comedy phenomenon features a new tour helmed by original director Jack O’Brien and original choreographer Jerry Mitchell. The cast will be led by Andrew Levitt aka Nina West (from “RuPaul’s Drag Race”) as Edna Turnblad and Niki Metcalf as Tracy Turnblad. “Hairspray” is the story of 16-year-old Tracy in 1960s Baltimore as she sets out to dance her way onto TV’s most popular show. Can a girl with big dreams (and even bigger hair) change the world? Read the full story here. Tickets are available online at the Center for the Performing Arts website and also available by phone at 814-863-0255 or in person at Eisenhower Auditorium from noon to 4 p.m. weekdays

    Pride in Your Ride — April 14, 5:30 p.m.,  Bike Den. The Gender Equity Center, the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, and Penn State Transportation Services are offering a bike workshop for women and the LGTBQ+ community at the Bike Den, located in the West Parking Deck at University Park. This workshop will cover discussions on bike safety and tips for cyclists and a LGBTQ+ related cycling discussion. This is the second in the series for "Pride in Your Ride."

    Graduate LGBTQ + BBQ — April 16, noon,  HUB LL011. Graduate students are welcome to stop by the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity for a picnic style barbecue! Vegetarian options will be offered as well.

    Pride Punchline Comedy Show — April 19, 6 p.m., HUB 008. Derby: A Women’s Comedy Troupe, and the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity will host a Pride themed comedy night.

    Lawn Gaymes — April 20, 5–8 p.m., HUB-Robeson Lawn. Join Competitive Sports and the CSGD for a pride-themed yard game extravaganza. We’ll have multiple cornhole games, each painted a different color of the rainbow. There’ll also be other games available such as Jenga, Connect 4 and more. Enjoy a nice spring evening and help make the HUB Lawn colorful.

    QTPOC Drag Show — April 21, 7 p.m., Heritage Hall. The QTPOC drag show is an event with performances from dance teams and local drag queens. The focus is on showcasing the talents of Queer and Trans people of color. Enjoy the night with various performances and fun.

    Lavender Graduation — April 22, 6 p.m., Heritage Hall. Register for Lavender Graduation here.

    Lavender Graduation is an annual celebration that recognizes Penn State's LGBTQ+ students and acknowledges their achievements and contributions to the University. It is an inspiring and affirming ceremony that celebrates the achievements of graduate and undergraduate students in the LGBTQ+ community from all the Penn State campuses. The ceremony includes recognition of scholarship awardees, campus awards, and a time to thank significant supporters. In recognition of their achievements, graduates receive a rainbow tassel, stole, and graduation certificate.

    • Who can participate? Students from any Penn State campus who have graduated the winter prior to the ceremony or will be graduating the spring, summer, or winter after the ceremony. (December 2021–December 2022).
    • Who can attend? Anyone can attend the ceremony! We encourage graduates to bring friends, family, and other supporters to the ceremony. Attendees may also attend if they want to support the graduating class as a whole, even if they do not have a specific student they are supporting.


      State Gayla — April 30, 7 p.m.,  Alumni Hall. To end Pride month, we are holding a premiere event for LGBTQ+ students and allies — the Penn State Gayla. This event is a second chance at prom or just a night to feel fancy and celebrate the last year with your peers. If you are not involved with an LGBTQ+ student organization, email [email protected] to learn more about how to register for the event.


      Drag Brunch — Monday, April 18, 5-8 p.m., Lares Cafeteria. The Penn State Abington community is invited to the Drag Brunch, co-sponsored by the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Student Engagement and Leadership; and the Springfest Committee.


      Pride Field Day — April 1 at 2 p.m., on the lawn in front of Spruce and Maple. Tie-dye t-shirts, create sand art, play lawn games, eat cotton candy, and grab some Gatorade!

      Show Your PrideApril 5. Whether you're a member of the LGBTQ+ community or an ally, wear your rainbow apparel to support Pride Alliance's Pride Week. Post a pic of you in your outfit on Instagram and tag us @psua_pride!

      Dinner and DialogueApril 5 at 5:30, Port Sky Cafe, Mountain View Room. This is a time for a free meal (soup, bread, drink, dessert) and conversation with your peers. This is a no stress event. Come, talk, listen, eat, enjoy. Register here. 

      Pride Party — Wrap up Pride Week with a party featuring games, music, and community at Slep Pond View. Register here

      Pride Alliance meeting — April 18 at 6 p.m., Adler 104. Connect with the LGBTQ+ community and build connections through open discussion and group activities. Register here. 


      LGBTQ+ Jeopardy with Curtis HooverApril 11, 5-6:30 p.m., Student Union Parsons Hall. Family Feud and Jeopardy merged together! Test your knowledge of LGBTQ+ history, people, places and pop culture. Students can compete to win prizes. Open to Penn State Brandywine students. Sponsored by Student Engagement. Event contact: Tina Brackett-Wood, [email protected].

      What To Do Wednesday: Pride Blanket and Pillow Making April 13, 5-6:30 p.m., Student Union Fireside Lounge. Make yourself a cute pride takeaway with either a pride-themed blanket or pillow. Open to Penn State Brandywine students. Sponsored by Student Engagement. Event contact: Tina Brackett-Wood, [email protected].

      Late Night Drag Show and Brinner with Bev & FriendsApril 14, 7 p.m., Student Union 114-117. Come and enjoy some breakfast food while enjoying a drag show featuring local Philadelphia drag talent. The show will be headlined by the 2019 Philadelphia Drag Queen of the Year — Bev! Come see Bev and her friends knock your socks off with amazing performances. Open to Penn State students, faculty and staff. Sponsored by Student Affairs, Student Engagement, Residence Life and the Chancellor’s Commission on LGBTQ+ Equity. Event contact: Don Brennan, [email protected].

      FriYAY Event: Glow Jam Pride CelebrationApril 15, 7 p.m., Student Union 114-117. Come and celebrate Campus Pride Month with a Glow Jam Pride Celebration Dance Party. There will be fun, music, food, dancing and a few other surprises. Open to Penn State students. Sponsored by Student Engagement, Student Affairs and the Chancellor’s Commission on LGBTQ+ Equity. Event contact: Tina Brackett-Wood, [email protected].

      SaturSTAY Movie: HBOMax We’re Here Season 1 Marathon April 16, 8 p.m., Student Union Parsons Hall. Come and watch three episodes of HBO’s “We’re Here.” The show features three stars of the RUPAUL’s Drag Race Alumni — Shangela, Bob the Drag Queen and Eureka O’Hare — as they explore and try to discover what the LGBTQ+ communities look like in small town rural America. They explore the stories of real life members of the LGBTQ+ community from these small towns and the importance of having a strong, visible, supportive community. Open to Penn State students, faculty and staff. Sponsored by Residence Life and Student Engagement. Event contact: Don Brennan, [email protected].


      Pride History Art ExhibitApril 15 to April 25, location TBD. Student Services and Engagement will hold a traveling art exhibit focused on the history of Campus Pride month.

      Pride History LuncheonApril 21, from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m., Slusser/Bayzick Building. The campus community is invited to come together for a luncheon in celebration of Campus Pride month.


      Pronoun ProtocolThursday, March 31, 12:15 p.m., Conference Center, Main Classroom Building. The Pronoun Protocol program hopes to educate and raise awareness concerning the use of pronouns in the LGBTQ+ community. The free program, featuring Tesla Taliaferro, president of the Rainbow Rose Center in York, Pennsylvania, is free and open to the public. Pronoun Protocols is sponsored by Rainbow Paws and Penn State York Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee. Read more here.


      Pride Week Flag-Raising CeremonyApril 11 at noon, at Hager Lifelong Education Center Loop.

      Paw Talks — April 12 at 7 p.m., Klump Academic Center Auditorium. A panel of students, faculty and staff will discuss aspects of the LGBTQ community and answer questions.

      Decorate with PrideApril 14 from 3 to 6 p.m. Come decorate cookies in the Bush Campus Center Lobby.