College Hosts First SUNY Pride Conference
Organized by students and staff from SUNY Oneonta’s Gender and Sexuality Resource Center (GSRC) and Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA), the conference included more than two dozen workshops and activities aimed at creating a more inclusive SUNY environment through education, collaboration and networking.
SUNY Oneonta welcomed 120 official registrants and even more SUNY Oneonta students who attended specific workshops. Participants included students and faculty/staff mentors, as well as many local community members and SUNY Oneonta faculty and staff presenters.
The events of the weekend included a welcome by Courtney D’Allaird, GSRC coordinator at SUNY Albany, and the college’s annual drag ball with special guest MiMi Imfirst from RuPaul’s Drag Race.
On Saturday, SUNY Oneonta track and field athlete Patrick Weinert, head men’s lacrosse coach Dan Mahar and assistant lacrosse coaches Andrew Daly and Andrew McIntosh were panelists for a “Coming Out In Athletics” discussion moderated by Director of Athletics Tracey Ranieri. A SUNY Oneonta graduate and former lacrosse team captain, McIntosh talked about his decision to come out during his senior year—and the outpouring of acceptance he received from his teammates. McIntosh’s story made national headlines when it was featured in The New York Times Sports section, and he was named one of 2010’s “Out 100” by Out Magazine for his groundbreaking role in college athletics. Weinert has come out as well and has seen the same kind of acceptance amongst his teammates and other student athletes.
The athletics panel was one of 18 workshops and panel discussions on topics ranging from LGBT parenting to gender-inclusive housing held throughout the day.
SUNY Oneonta GSA President Mitch Hymowitz called the conference “a tremendous success” and said his organization will work with other stakeholders in the SUNY LGBTQAI community to plan next year’s event. “After over a year of continuous hard work and determination, it was absolutely beautiful to see my creation come to life,” he said. “There’s nothing more rewarding than helping folks feel comfortable and at peace with their respective gender and sexualities.” Big things are in store for SUNY Pride.”