ASU LGBT clubs collaborate to celebrate Pride Week this spring

Students can enjoy events across all four campuses

From drag shows to mechanical sharks, ASU Pride Week 2018 is a fun-filled series of events for all students to celebrate a sense of community and acceptance.

ASU LGBT+ student organizations Spectrum, Confetti, Prism and Rainbow Coalition are uniting to deliver events and activities to help students celebrate spring semester Pride Week

Rafael Gabriel Esquer, a student working toward a master's degree in social justice and human rights who oversees Confetti as an adviser, said this pride week is unique because the LGBT+ student organizations at ASU are collaborating closely to create a campus-wide celebration.

“We are all working together to make sure that we, as a community at ASU, have a stable resource and family at all four campuses,” Esquer said. Confetti is ASU's downtown Phoenix campus LGBT+ group.

Read More: New LGBT student organizations come to two ASU campuses

The largest event of the week is the second Pride Fest, which Confetti is hosting. The group says that the support from other ASU organizations helped to make the event possible and smoother than before.

Pride Fest, which is free for ASU students and $1 for guests, will be held in downtown Phoenix at Civic Space Park and will include a stage set up for live performances as well as food trucks and inflatables. All the money collected from guests will be donated to charity.

Keeley Phillips, a freshman majoring in biological sciences and a member of Confetti, said she's most excited about the mechanical shark. 

“If I’m going to be real, we got a mechanical shark, which is like a mechanical bull, but it’s a shark, and I'm super excited for that,” Phillips said. “Whenever I tell someone about Pride Fest I plug the mechanical shark.”

There is also a drag show happening at the West campus on April 11. Xavier Morett, vice president of Spectrum and a sophomore forensic biology major, said that five professional drag guests from Arizona Drag will be in attendance performing two numbers each, with additional shows by student performers. 

Although ASU Pride Week is officially April 9 to 13, clubs started hosting events in late March and will continue through April 14.

The Pride Pool Party will be a luau-style event at each campus's Sun Devil Fitness Complex on April 6. The event will include a log rolling, swimming and food.

ASU's LGBT+ groups are also hosting multiple events in partnership with the Pacific Islander and Asian Association, of which Morett is a social chair. The headline event is True Colors, which sets out to promote the discussion of wrongful stereotypes in Asian, Pacific Islander and LGBT+ communities. 

Makenna Dowling, the president of Spectrum and a sophomore majoring in elementary and special education, said the event will allow students to “paint over the stereotypes that exist within the Pacific, Asian American and LGBT communities.”

 Read More: Students can use art to fight stereotypes at the upcoming 'True Colors' event 

The entire city will celebrate the week at Phoenix Pride Parade on April 8. The Rainbow Coalition will represent ASU in the parade, with students and other guests welcome to join. 

One of the last events of the series will be Second Chance Prom, hosted by Spectrum at ASU West on April 14. This dance event will allow students to have another go at attending prom if they missed out on the opportunity during high school.

Each of the pride events is tied together by a hashtag and shared mantra furthered by Rainbow Coalition: #ASUStillProud

For Esquer, whose club Confetti won a Pitchfork Award on April 5 for most promising new student organization, the message couldn't be much clearer.

"We're here, we're queer and we're here to stay," he said. 

Reach the reporter at or follow @quintinbingham on Twitter.

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