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September 21, 2023

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Big Gay Welcome kicks off academic year for LGBTQ+ community


Students enjoy Big Gay Welcome’s speakers and performers in the BTSU Ballroom. The event is the kick off of the year for the LGBTQ+ community.

If students didn’t get the chance to attend Big Gay Welcome on Sept. 4 in the Grand Lenhart Ballroom in the Union, they missed out on an experience to see drag, dance and singing performances.

Big Gay welcome is a “showcase of the LGBTQ+, there is spoken word, poems, it’s just a great kick off,” said Victoria Johnson, president of Vision.

“It’s also a great way for freshman to get involved and meet new people. It’s open to everyone and it starts off the new year,” said Vice President of Vision Dakota Patton. “It’s also put on through the resource center and we invite different LGBTQ+ organizations that are on campus.”

The event is geared to everyone LGBTQ+ and people of the straight community. If there are people who identify themselves as LGBTQ+ but are afraid or nervous because they aren’t “out” yet, but still want to participate in the LGBTQ+ community, Johnson encourages those students to attend the Vision meetings.

The Vision meetings start Sept. 9 at 9 p.m. in Hanna Hall.

Students can also go on to, where all the organizations are listed.

The Big Gay Welcome is an important event to many people on campus.

Patton said the event is important to him because it is a great way to meet new faces.

Johnson agrees with Patton.

“It’s a great way to meet other people in the LGBTQ+ community and everyone is open to new friends,” said Johnson.

Student Assistance and Advocacy Specialist at the Counseling Center Patricia Helyer thought it was well organized, there was a lot more structure and the food was good.

Senior Emilia Durand attended the event and said, “I liked it. I liked how they did different song genres and how it was set up.”

Denise Litterer, assistant director and training director at the Counseling Center, also enjoyed the event.

“I thought it was excellent, I liked how everyone came out to support the community and the event,” she said.

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