LGBT BBQ: Food and inclusion on campus

Kansas State Students enjoy the LGBTQ welcome back to school cookout in Manhattan, Kan. on Aug. 30, 2017. (Photo by Justin Wright | Collegian Media Group)

On Wednesday, many LGBT groups on campus came together at the Campus Creek Amphitheatre for one of their two annual barbecues, where attendees were encouraged to become acquainted with all the different organizations focused on gender and sexual identity in the Kansas State University community.

The organizations at the event included the Gender Collective, Broad Spectrum, oSTEM, Positive Connections Topeka, Sexuality and Gender Alliance, the Flint Hills Human Rights Project and the Junction City Teddy Bears.

State representative Sydney Carlin gave a brief speech about gender equality in the state cabinet, and Mike Herman, board member of the Flint Hills Human Rights Project, spoke about the organization’s goals and how they support human rights through political activism and education.

Brandon Haddock, coordinator of the university LGBT Resource Center, was proud to state that K-State was ranked among the top 25 schools in the nation for LGBT inclusion, as well as the highest ranking school in Kansas and the only Big 12 school on the list.

Another represented organization was Positive Connections, a program that focuses on educating members of the LGBT community about safe sex and one of only two HIV/AIDS service organizations in the state of Kansas. Their outreach program provides free condoms to high-risk regions in the state as well as free monthly confidential HIV screenings conducted at K-State.

Adam Carr, junior in human relations and SAGA president, spoke about the purpose of SAGA and how it is founded on the ideal of inclusion for all, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity, while also giving anonymity to its members by not having a revealing title that may give more information about its members than they are comfortable giving.

K-State’s LGBT organizations have various events planned throughout the rest of the school year. There will be a scholarship fundraiser drag night at Throwback Lounge on Sept. 22, as well as a drag competition at McCain Auditorium on Feb. 9, 2018. SAGA will also be holding an end-of-the-school-year barbecue in May.

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