MT Lambda will celebrate its 25th anniversary as an MTSU student organization throughout October with events designed to celebrate tolerance and diversity.
The student group was formed in 1988 to support the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community at MTSU. It is the oldest Lambda at any public college or university in Tennessee.
“Lambda has long been a safe haven for LGBTQ and allied students on campus,” Joshua Rigsby, the group’s president, wrote in the Fall 2013 newsletter.
“And, while the need for a safe environment free of discrimination has lessened over the last few years, primarily due to a more accepting university and student body, Lambda has always been here for those students who needed it.”
To kick off the observances, all of which are part of LGBTQ History Month, the James E. Walker Library will display artifacts from every era of the organization in its first-floor atrium from Oct. 1 to Oct. 31.
In addition to posters depicting a timeline of events, the exhibit will include event fliers, campuswide newsletters, rainbow banners and other items.
A series of three lectures, each delivered by a different MTSU faculty member, will focus on different aspects of the LGBTQ community.
At 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 1, Dr. Pippa Holloway, an MTSU history professor, will speak on “What Do You Need to Know about LGBTQ History?”
Marisa Richmond, adjunct professor in the MTSU Department of History, will address “Transgender Awareness” at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7.
At 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23, Lambda will host a lecture by Dr. Jessica M.W. Kratzer, assistant professor in the Department of Speech and Theatre, focusing on “Gender Identity.”
All three lectures will take place in the State Farm Lecture Hall of the MTSU Business and Aerospace Building.
A collection of yard signs, each displaying a different figure in LGBTQ history, will be posted on the Keathley University Center Knoll from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 7-11.
“Tennessee Queer,” a film that puts a comedic spin on the tension between small-town Tennessee politics and local LGBTQ communities, will be shown at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, in the Keathley University Center Theater. Mark Jones, the film’s director, will talk about the film and answer questions from the audience.
MT Lambda will host the inaugural LGBTQ Alumni Dinner at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building. Tickets are $25 each. Reservations must be made by Thursday, Oct. 10, at email@example.com.
Boutique luxury cake designer Jay Qualls, a 2003 MTSU graduate, and current MT Lambda President Joshua Rigsby will deliver addresses at the dinner, as will John Weaver, a 1989 MTSU graduate and one of the founders of Lambda.
The 2011 documentary “Bully,” which follows the lives of five youngsters who are bullied on a daily basis, will be screened from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, and Friday, Oct. 25, in the Keathley University Center Theater.
Tickets are $5 each. All proceeds will benefit the Middle Tennessee Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network Jumpstart Program, a nonprofit organization that supports acceptance of LGBTQ youth.
All events mentioned are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated. For more information and a complete list of events, go to http://capone.mtsu.edu/mtlambda or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
—Gina K. Logue (email@example.com)