On Wednesday, the UNC LGBTQ Center hosted “Uncovering LGBTQIA+ History” — an interactive presentation on queer history prior to the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City — at Varsity Theatre.
Community members and students who attended the event were greeted by tables in the theater lobby with items like buttons, bracelets and hats and appetizers.
The event was hosted to celebrate National Coming Out Day and LGBTQ+ History Month, its Heel Life page said.
“Every National Coming Out Day is not the same,” Jamillae Stockett, LGBTQ Center assistant director said. “We do different things on those, but this year we really wanted to concentrate on learning about the history and the importance of the queer community.”
Eric Reeves, a senior at Wingate University and a member of Equality North Carolina’sRural Youth Empowerment Fellowship program, led the event. He spoke about centuries of LGBTQ+ history, facilitating conversations about activists and historical figures like Frances Thompson, Thomas(ine) Hall and William Dorsey Swann with the audience.
UNC junior Kaela Curtis said the presentation’s focus on Black, queer political figures was illuminating because it highlighted the nuances of what it meant to be marginalized and queer centuries ago.