Up on the Student Union’s fourth floor in room 403 lies the Rainbow Center, one of the university’s cultural centers on campus. The most recently established center among the five, since the September of 1998, the Rainbow Center has been working to provide a safe space, resources and programs to members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies.
Tuesday, Oct. 11 markes National Coming Out Day, which the Rainbow Center recognized through an installment in their weekly Out to Lunch Gender, Sexuality and Community lecture series. Rainbow Center Program Coordinator, Julia Anderson, led the discussion entitled, “Complicating ‘Coming Out.’” The lecture strove to highlight misconceptions associated with “coming out” and the variety of experiences LGBTQIA+ community members may face.
The week following Bi-Visibility Day on Sunday, Sept. 23 is widely referred to as Bisexuality Awareness Week. First celebrated in 1999, a year after the Rainbow Center at the University of Connecticut was founded, Bi-Visibility Day and Bisexuality Awareness Week dates differ from place to place, but overall the week is recognized as a time to focus specifically on the bisexual community and the challenges they face.
Dressed as a watermelon and with a crown of fruit upon her head, Tiggy Upland brought energy and excitement to her Rainbow Center lecture entitled “Redefining Bisexuality 101.” A colorful character, Tiggy Upland is actually a persona created by Jen Bonardi, who gave the first half of the talk as Tiggy Upland and the second half as herself.