Many events take place throughout the week. The Drag show always brings a large crowd.

When the George Mason University Pride Week planning group got together in January to discuss details for this year’s celebrations, bear culture, bullying and trans and gender issues were among the many subjects at hand.

“We are addressing some of the hot-button LGBTQ topics, like bullying and suicide prevention,” said Ric Chollar, associate director for the Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Resources. “Following several years in this tradition, we also continue to explore intersectionality, the connections between our race, culture [and] class with our gender and sexuality.”

In previous years, the Drag Show highlighted the festive week. This year, LGBTQ Resources and everyone involved with Pride Week hopes to move the spotlight to other issues in order to provide fair promotion of all events, according to Chollar.

Among the many events to be showcased this week are “Shaping Queer Asian/Pacific Islander Community,” “Homo-Normative Politics of LGBTQ: Why the T & Q need to be First,” various film screenings and, of course, Friday’s famous Drag Show.

According to some of the participating students, this year’s Pride Week revolves around many themes including body image, poverty and overall inclusiveness and self-acceptance.

“This year we have a lot of events that focus on different aspects of the community because we want to be all-inclusive to everyone,” senior English major Jon Vela said. “Aside from that with such events as ‘Completing the Picture: Mental Health in the LGBTQ Community’ and ‘Queering Body Image,’ we also want to promote self- acceptance and self-love.”

Others believe this year’s Pride Week will focus more on the overall internal diversity of the LGBTQ community at Mason.

“I’m hoping that this Pride Week is more diverse in culture than previous years,” senior music major Julio Diaz said. “There are cultures in the LGBTQ community that don’t get addressed as often such as the bear and the leather communities.”

After months of dedication and hard work, this year’s Pride Week is shaping up to be an educational and festive series of events. Hopes are high in many respects, especially amongst those on the administrative end of things.

“My hope is that more members of the Mason community, regardless of their identities, attend Pride Week events,” program manager for the Office of Diversity Programs and Services Teejay Brown said. “For those of us who work in diversity-related programming, we often hear that students do not attend programs centered on a particular identity or group if they do not identify as a member of that group.”

Pride Week 2011 is sponsored by the Office of Diversity Programs and Services, LGBTQ Resources, The Multicultural Research and Resource Center and Women and Gender Studies. To learn more about the events and to find one that you might enjoy, visit