By SUE WUETCHER
Published April 4, 2023
TS Madison, social media star, influencer and LGBTQ activist, will deliver the University Pride Lecture as UB celebrates Pride Week April 10-15.
Madison’s talk — the marquee event of Pride Week — will take place at 7 p.m. April 11 in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall, North Campus. The talk — the second University Pride Lecture — is free and open to the public. Due to limited seating, tickets will be required and priority given to UB students, faculty and staff. The lecture is presented by the Intercultural and Diversity Center (IDC) and co-sponsored by the Office of Inclusive Excellence.
Madison will take part in a student-only event prior to the lecture, from 3-4:30 p.m. in 240 Student Union. Students who wish to attend should RSVP.
An openly transgender woman, Madison stars in the reality show “The TS Madison Experience” airing on WE TV. She also is featured on “Cozy,” a song from Beyonce’s 2022 album “Renaissance.”
Madison and Honey Dijon, a producer on “Cozy,” are the first Black trans women to land a top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.
UB’s Pride Week kicks off April 10 with the Pride March and Mixer. The march around campus leaves at 2 p.m. from Knox Quad at Progress Pride Paths and ends at the Student Union, where a mixer with speakers and food will take place until 6 p.m.
Other Pride Week events include a Pride Paint & Sip in the Ellicott Complex and LGBTQ FSA meet-up at Tappo Pizza, both on Wednesday; a session on Queer Climate Justice on Thursday in the Student Union; the PRISM OTA (open to all) ball on Friday in Harriman Hall; and the Queer Prom to close out Pride Week on Saturday in the Center for the Arts. Visit the Pride Week website for details.
Around the country, many pride parades and festivals take place in June, including Buffalo Pride Week. But with many students and faculty away for the summer after the spring semester ends in May, the April timing of UB’s Pride Week gives members of the university community a chance to celebrate together on campus.
Tajé Jenkins-Jones, assistant director for programming for the IDC, explains that Pride Week commemorates well-known movements like the Stonewall and Black Cat Tavern uprisings, and other queer and trans movements “that pushed the LGBTQ+ community to where we are today.”
“We are committed to weaving UB Pride Week into the fabric of UB’s culture because Pride celebrations help affirm our on-campus queer identities while displaying how allyship supports the normalization of LGBTQ+ students’ on-campus experience,” Jenkins-Jones says.
“UB Pride Week 2023 is a celebration of diverse identities and experiences.”
Tom Vane, assistant director for student governance and organizations, Student Engagement, and vice president of the LGBTQ Faculty and Staff Association, calls Pride Week “an incredible time to recognize and celebrate UB’s entire LGBTQ+ community,” since most community members are gone during Buffalo’s Pride Week.
“It’s appreciated that the university acknowledges and takes specific action to honor systemically marginalized identities,” he says. “Being acknowledged, recognized and accepted by this institution makes a meaningful impact on both students and employees.”
IDC diversity advocate and junior civil engineering major Victoria Pimenta-Reyes says the best part of Pride Week is the inclusion of student voices in the planning process, “making the events all the more meaningful.”
“It’s important for students to know that they are an accepted part of the community, especially in light of recent events,” she says.
The IDC organized Pride Week activities in collaboration with the LGBTQ FSA, UB PRISM, LGBTA and the Office of Inclusive Excellence.