Oregon State takes pride in being an LGBTQ+ friendly campus. Ranked by Great Value Colleges as the No. 12 LGBTQ+ friendly school and by College Magazine as the No. 10 Transgender Friendly school, Oregon State offers multiple support structures for LGBTQ+ students. This includes the Pride Center, which provides a safe space for all members of the community to explore aspects of gender and sexual identity.
Oregon State’s Pride Week is May 2-7, and Pride Center peer facilitator Shannon Sandy encourages the entire campus community to come out, participate in fun events and learn.
“I think the university does a really good job of welcoming LGBTQ+ students, but I also think OSU is not exempt from a lot of problematic ideas because you find that wherever you go,” Sandy says. “The events at Pride Week encourage communication and education. Students and faculty can share their experiences and some of the issues they’ve faced.”
Sandy’s favorite event at Pride Week is the annual drag show.
“Drag shows are always fun,” Sandy says. “Everyone, including the performers and the audience, are learning more about gender expression.”
Sandy, a sophomore majoring in computer science, says everyone is welcome.
“Just show up and be respectful. You’ll understand and see that we’re normal,” Sandy says. “There’s no harm in learning about the community or how to call out problematic things you see on campus. That’s the biggest way to show solidarity.”
Peer facilitator Jessica Perez agrees.
“I think Pride Weeks are important everywhere,” she says. “It’s a great way to celebrate the individuals who identify within the LGBTQ+ community. In a small town like Corvallis, it’s even more important to emphasize that we exist and are doing positive things.”