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A Gay Time at PSU’s Gay-la

By Jessica Bowman; For the Clock
On April 16, 2018

A Gay Time at PSU’s Gay-la

Jessica Bowman

For the Clock

jlbowman1@plymouth.edu

On April 10th, in the HUB Hage room, Plymouth State University Pride hosted a Gay-la. It lasted from 7-9:30 pm and allowed members of PSU Pride to gather for food and drinks, in an inclusive environment that proved to be fun for everyone involved. Upon walking up the second floor steps of the Hartman Union Building, I immediately heard the music playing from the Hage Room. Upon walking towards it I could see that Andrew Dawe, Vice President of PSU Pride, and Spencer Bernard-Kreigl, PSU Pride President, had decorated the Hage Room in a dance hall style. There were lights in the dimmed room spinning around all edges of the ceiling, and hanging streamers that glowed vibrantly when the ashing, swirling lights made their rounds.

It was a wonderful sight to behold; to see that even on our college campus groups can be encouraged to throw parties and have a blast dancing and mingling with each other. “The Gayla is one of two annual semi-formal dances that PSU Pride hosts every year,” Dawe said, “The first of which being the "Equality Prom" in the Fall semester.” When interviewed Dawe confided that such events come from almost a purely enjoyable basis. PSU Pride hosts these events because they are a fun way to create safe and open spaces for members of the LGBT+ community and allies. In turn this allows attendees of such events to connect on a deeper level of understanding and acceptance.

Dawe emphasized the judgement free zone surrounding PSU Pride’s events and weekly meetings. Since Dawe has been Vice President, he has seen the Gay-la for the past three years and in his words, the responses have been very positive. It’s not hard to see why, when surrounded by an energized crowd, with food, drinks, and a sweet music playlist. A few of the songs that got the party-goers dancing enthusiastically was A-ha’s “Take On Me,” Panic! At The Disco’s “LA Devotee,” and more than a few Ke$ha and Katy Perry songs.

I can honestly say that the Gay-la is an energetic event full of fun and with the added benefit of being in a judgement-free zone. “We encourage anyone who wants to attend these dances to dress as formally or casually as they want, so long as they are comfortable,” Dawe said, “We believe we create an atmosphere where people don't have to worry about being judged for dressing how they wish to. And above all else, it's simply an opportunity to have fun!”

I know that I am definitely looking forward to next years Gay-la and any upcoming events PSU Pride may be hosting. Dawe mentioned that PSU Pride’s events and meetings are not simply for the LGBT+ community on campus, but for allies from all around campus as well. After all the very idea of Dawe and Bernard-Kreigl’s group is to bring people together. “We want to try and get rid of the us vs. them stigma,” Dawe said.

Anyone looking to attend a PSU Pride event can find major events posted to the PSU Pride Facebook page, or attend one of their weekly meetings at the student senate room, every Tuesday at 7pm. As expressed before, PSU Pride is open to any participants, and not just members of the LGBT+ community.

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