Grant Funds Warrior Cross Cultural Center’s Variety of Activities
October 11, 2023
Stanislaus State celebrates LGBTQ+ History Month with a series of activities open to the entire campus community.

It started on a sun-dappled day with Mariachi Arcoiris, the first LGBTQ+ Mariachi in the world, serenading the Stanislaus State community with “The Impossible Dream” and will end with a Queer Prom on Dec. 8, open to all Warriors.

In between, LBGTQ+ History Month — which will extend beyond October — will be celebrated with panel discussions and student-led fun activities.

“It makes me really happy,” said Theodore Alvarez, a student employee in the Warrior Cross Cultural Center (WCCC) who worked with Director Carolina Alfaro to plan events for the month. “People always come up to me asking where to find community for LGBTQ+. A lot of them come from families that are not accepting.

“A lot of people are excited to see what’s coming up and who is involved. Students ask if they can volunteer at our next event. I tell them they don’t need to volunteer, just show up.”

The next event, happening Wednesday, Oct. 11 on National Coming Out Day, features a panel discussion with a student, faculty member and staff member about their experience.

Alvarez said he hopes one lesson taken from the panel is that it’s OK not to come out.

“I hope it shows people it’s OK to be proud. No matter what, there’s always a community, wherever they are.” 

-Theodore Alvarez, Student 

“Students have expressed to me if they come out to their family, they’ll be kicked out,” Alvarez said. “That’s not rare. Last year at Warrior Expo, a student came up to our Warrior Cross Cultural Center booth and asked if this was a safe place and, ‘Can I come out?’ That hurts my heart. I'm from a place (Gilroy) so open, and then I’ve come to a place that’s so conservative. I try to get out there and build community.”

The month-long celebration was made possible by a donation from the Norris-Rocaberte Family Foundation, which was started by Interim Senior Associate Vice President for Human Resources, Equal Opportunity and Compliance Paul Norris and his husband.

“Paul is so humble,” Alfaro said. “He said, ‘All I want is to lift up and bring joy to the LGBTQ+ community at Stan State. That’s it. I want to bring them joy. I want them to feel celebrated.’

“It was another reminder of the true commitment to uplifting and increasing morale on our campus and lifting up the voices of our LGBTQ+ students, staff and faculty. Mariachi Arcoiris was a wonderful program and a taste of the lineup to continue, bringing communities together, helping create awareness of the programs of our LGBTQ+ members on campus and how to continue promoting inclusion and a sense of belonging.”

More than 200 people watched the Oct. 4 Mariachi performance, Alfaro estimates, based on the number of people who stopped by the WCCC booth.

“I’m happy with the turnout and the joy this mariachi group brought to this campus community,” Alfaro said.

She is looking forward to this year’s Trans Day of Remembrance on Thursday, Nov. 16, which will be expanded from the last few years when trans lives lost were recognized.

Following the remembrance, there will be “gender-affirming activities,” Alfaro said, with hair and make-up consultations for all students and for students of the LGBTQ+ community.

Alvarez said he is most excited for the Oct. 17 Drag Loteria, which celebrates both LGBTQ+ and Hispanic Heritage months. It will include local drag queens.

It’s intended to be fun, as are some of the “Queer Peer” student-led scheduled activities. The broader purpose is to let students know there is a place for them to feel safe on campus.

Alvarez hopes the collective events have an impact.

“I hope they show people it’s OK to be proud,” Alvarez said. “No matter what, there’s always a community, wherever they are.”

Remaining Planned Activities for LGBTQ+ History Month:

National Coming Out Day

11 a.m.-2 p.m., Oct. 11
Library L-201

A panel of Stan State students, faculty and staff will share their personal experiences of “coming out” followed by an open discussion and arts and crafts activity.

Drag Loteria

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Oct. 17
Library L-201

Snacks and a game of Loteria will be hosted by a fabulous local queen.

Queer Peer Night

6-8 p.m., Oct. 18
Library L-203

Queer Peer Night provides a space for queer students to come together and build community and friendship! 

Hello Drag Night!

6-8 p.m., Oct. 19
Student Center, Valley Multi-Use Room

It’s showtime! Get ready to dance the night away with the most fabulous drag performers around. This event is co-sponsored by ASI and WCCC.

Queer Game Night

6-8 p.m., Oct. 25
Library L-203

Students, staff and faculty are invited to come together for a night of fun and games in the spirit of mentorship and community building. Board games and card games will be available!

Trans Day of Remembrance

11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Nov. 16
University Quad and L-201

A celebration of the lives of trans brothers and sisters lost in the past year.

Queer Prom

7-10 p.m., Dec. 8
Location TBA

WCCC is hosting Queer Prom to affirm and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. The event is an inclusive, accepting and safe space for fun and dancing for all who have never attended a prom or would like to experience another one.