OMA Pivots To Virtual Events for LGBTQ History Month


LGBTQ+ History Month runs throughout the month of October, and the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) LGBTQ History Month Committee has planned events throughout the month to celebrate. 

They hosted their annual event Flags on the Lawn; a digital dialogue on the intersection of Religion, Culture and Sexuality; a virtual art showcase; a virtual lip sync battle; a letter exchange program for queer people at Fordham; a book giveaway and a speak out in collaboration with Fordham PRIDE and Rodrigue’s coffee house. They will be hosting a virtual drag makeup tutorial this Friday, Oct. 30. 

“The events brought members of the LGBTQ community together, we met some new people and reconnected with old friends,” said the LGBTQ History Month Committee in a statement to The Fordham Ram. “It was great to hear the experiences of members of the community through the dialogue and speak out, but to also take the time to celebrate each other at the lip sync battle.”

They said Juan Carlos Matos, assistant vice president for Student Affairs for Diversity and Inclusion, participated in the lip sync battle. Orit Avishai, Ph.D., participated in the dialogue, and a mentor from the Athletics department participated at Flags on the Lawn. 

“It was great to see a mixture of students, faculty and staff connect both virtually and in person,” they said. 

The committee said planning began in April, so they were able to keep COVID-19 guidelines in mind when planning virtual and hybrid events. 

The cultural programming coordinators on the committee had weekly meetings with Shaya Morgan, a graduate intern from the Office of Multicultural Affairs, as well as weekly committee meetings. The planning process was mainly virtual. 

The committee worked together to brainstorm ideas for events before the start of the month and worked towards bringing them to life. 

The committee said the most significant difference between this year’s events from last year was the virtual element. Due to statewide and Fordham-specific restrictions, they were unable to hold in-person events such as last year’s Pride Brunch. 

“The one event that we did host entirely in person this month was Flags On The Lawn; we set up tables outside with coloring materials, blank flags and ready-made and had a good turnout,” said the committee. 

In the coming years, they said they hope to diversify the committee and its programming. One event in particular they said they want to plan is a digital dialogue about race, sexuality and gender identity. 

“We want to highlight the voices of people of color within the Fordham community, whether they be students or faculty members,” they said. 

They said their aim for this committee was to bring the LGBTQ+ community at Fordham together, build a safe and welcoming space and provide resources for those seeking them. 

“Students and faculty members have reached out to express their gratitude for the work we are doing to bridge the physical gap between members of the community during the pandemic, which we thoroughly appreciate and take to heart,” said the committee. “Above all, we hope that queer students at Fordham feel seen, heard and appreciated by our committee and the work we have done and will continue to do. We are here for every one of you, always.” 

The committee said allies to the LGBTQ+ community should continue to advocate for their friends and peers and educate themselves on topics that are central to the community. 

“Regardless of whether you are an ally or member of the community, always remember to include underrepresented communities in your activism –– this means Black trans folk, particularly Black trans women,” they said. “We need to speak up about all forms of discrimination and aim for intersectional activism in every aspect of our lives.” 

For more information about the LGBTQ History Month Committee and their programming, they can be found at @fordhamlgbtq on Instagram.