COC students partner to host ‘LGBTQ+ Pride!’ event

QueerSCV President Kelly Ramnarine said events like the one held Tuesday are important because they show there is a space for the LGBTQ+ population in the Santa Clarita Valley.

In an effort to promote inclusion and community, College of the Canyons’ Gender-Sexuality Alliance partnered with QueerSCV Tuesday for an LGBTQ+ Pride! event featuring live music, carnival games and other activities.

Both of the local groups seek to alleviate the social isolation that is often felt by members of the queer community, according to leaders of QueerSCV and the GSA. They say one of the best ways to do so is through events like the one held Tuesday, which shows there is a space for the LGBTQ+ population in the Santa Clarita Valley.

“Santa Clarita is in a 60-mile LGBTQ center gap,” QueerSCV President Kelly Ramnarine said, mentioning the closest centers are in San Fernando and Palmdale. “We just started this year, so we’re not big enough to fill the whole gap, but what we try to do is organize queer events, carpools and field trips to other communities so people who live here and who are LGBTQ+ can get together and build a community outside of social media.”

The event would’ve been held in June during Pride Month, which marks the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, but Ramnarine said school isn’t in session so the event was held this week to allow students the opportunity to have some fun prior to finals.

Those who stopped by the Honor Quad in the afternoon were treated to songs by vocalists from the student-run record label Hipified Records, as well as carnival games that awarded participants prizes. Local support groups and representatives from the school’s Health and Wellness Center were also on hand to provide informational pamphlets, condoms and other resources.

GSA Vice President Sydney Swett called the day a success prior to the end of the “LGBTQ+ Pride!” event.

“We’re really, really happy to be here today, because there aren’t a lot of organizations in the area,” Swett said. “But this allows us to get together and congregate and celebrate being gay.”

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About the author

Brennon Dixson

Brennon Dixson

Brennon Dixson covers education for the Signal. He comes to Santa Clarita from Long Beach, where he was previously employed by the Press Telegram in Long Beach and the Daily Breeze in Torrance.