With the decades-old Pride Alliance and newer Queer and Trans Outreach Center, Oswego has two student organizations that stand as examples of supporting LGBTQ communities for Pride Month and beyond.

Pride Alliance provided programs, activities, movie nights, speakers and safe-space gatherings during the past year, even if the pandemic limited what the organization could do during the spring semester.

The highlight was Lavender Graduation, a pre-graduation acknowledgement of all students, with participants receiving a rainbow cord and certificate.

“It’s really about celebrating, acknowledging, honoring their leadership positions,” said Pride Alliance advisor Ellen Gooch, also of the Counseling Services Center. “It’s also a time for them to be embraced by that community and to be honored. It’s really about celebrating the students in the gay community.”

Pride Alliance also has been involved in the greater Oswego community, participating in the city’s Pride parade and festival, as well as other events.

The campus Queer and Trans Outreach Center, founded in 2019, provides another resource and community.

“I wanted a space for folks in and outside of the LGBTQ community to come together and to focus on the outreach, to focus on peer-to-peer conversations and dialogue so we can have more engagement about this topic and have a more inclusive, diverse, aware campus,” said music major Nicky Radford, who founded the center.

The organization had Monday meetings, with open coffee events where faculty and staff met with students for productive conversations.

Communication studies faculty member Francisco Suarez, advisor for the group, said he hopes to work on a short documentary film to explain and educate what it’s like to be transgender in the Oswego community, to inform and educate those who might have prejudice.

He added that the organization has plans to present to departments, faculty and staff, although they only were able to do so with the communication studies department before the pandemic altered plans. “It went so well,” Suarez said. “We feel if we educate the faculty, it can help build the bridge with the students.”

Oswego joins with the State University of New York to celebrate Pride Month virtually during June. For more information, visit the SUNY Pride page