Students and staff gathered at the Holmes Students Center on Thursday to relax, color, and learn more about Hispanic figures in the LGBTQ+ movement. “A Full Color Moment, Latinx Edition” was an event organized by the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, named after a series of coloring books created by Trevon Smith, a major student in women’s studies, the Gender and Sexuality and Graduate Student Assistant at Gender and Sexuality. Resource Center.
When asked why he created this event, Smith said, “The original edition came about because I wanted to focus on bringing joy for Black Heritage Month while contributing something impactful. Then (I made one for a day of trans visibility to pair with “Disclosure” the Netflix documentary. At this point I knew this might be a coloring book series I could create and I had planned to create one for Latino Heritage Month.
Many students and staff came through the event. One such student is Tatum Dale, a freshman nursing major. Dale said she felt intrigued enough by the event to attend.
“I saw coloring books and I lit up,” Dale said. “I guess it’s like a way to relieve stress, I just put all my anxiety on paper…the colors just help you express yourself.”
Dale also shared that she loved learning more about drag performer, comedian and costume designer Bianca Del Rio, whose real name is Roy Haylock. Del Rio is known for winning “RuPaul’s Drag Race” in Season 6. After winning the show, Del Rio went on to pursue a lucrative multimedia career.
While coloring, Smith said they wanted people to “think about the different ways Drag Queens have shaped culture.”
Tamara Boston, Project Coordinator for the Division of Academic Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, was also present and took part in the event. Boston repeated that it was linked to the story of Coronel Amelio Robles Ávila.
Ávila is often considered one of the first transgender men in Latin American history, before such language even existed. He lived like a man and was treated like one. Boston shared how much she loved the strength of his sense of identity and his commitment to being himself.
Smith explained that this coloring activity should help people reflect on the legacy of transgender people in Latinx history.
This event was very impactful for some; Ariel Owens, Deputy Director of Women and Gender Programs, explained why she felt so keen on this program.
“I feel like I wasn’t taught a whole lot about LGBTQ+ people growing up, and the ones I was taught about were mostly white,” Owens said. “So I thought this event was a good opportunity to learn more about people of color who are part of the LGBTQ+ community and who have made significant contributions to history.”
Smith plans to create a coloring book for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, celebrated in May. He also expressed interest in trying to get more people to attend events.
some to come events include What I Embody on September 20 and the Sisterhood Culture Summit on September 24.