U gearing up for Pride Week

By By Carlos Mayorga

By Carlos Mayorga

As more people identify themselves as mixed-race and queer, the meaning of what it means to identify as queer is constantly changing, said Andrew Jolivette, a San Francisco State University professor. Jolivette will deliver the Pride Week keynote address, “Culture with a Q.”

Jolivette teaches in the American Indian Studies department and the Ethnic Studies program. An author of two books, he tackles a number of issues in his research, such as queer identity, unique issues among queer individuals of color, mixed-race identity and HIV/AIDS among racial and ethnic minorities.

San Francisco is known as a “gay mecca,” however, individuals who identify as queer don’t just come from communities in major urban centers like San Francisco, but are coming together in places like Utah and middle America as well, Jolivette said.

He will discuss how issues of racial privilege play a part in queer identity and who defines what it means to be queer in his keynote address on Thursday at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts Auditorium.

“Jolivette adds an expansive string of letters to the queer alphabet,” said Gerda Saunders, associate director of the Gender Studies Program at the U, in a written statement. “He is an expert in the areas where mixed-race issues in the queer community, HIV/AIDS and privilege interact.”

Jolivette will also speak at the “Gay-la” fund-raising dinner and silent auction, with proceeds benefiting the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center, at the I. J. Jeanne Wagner Jewish Community Center on Thursday night at 6 p.m.

The keynote is just one of many Pride Week events hosted by the LGBT Resource Center and various student groups.

“Pride at the U provides an opportunity for us to reflect on our commitment to that educational mission by bringing dialogue and information to our campus,” said U President Michael Young in a statement. “We welcome the intellectual and cultural contributions this event brings to the U.”

Individuals who identify as queer are often misunderstood and misrepresented, but interaction among students and faculty at Pride Week events could lead to understanding and education on gay issues, said Cathy Martinez, director of the LGBT Resource Center.

[email protected]