Detroit Mercy Pride has semester full of events ahead

For Winter 2024, Detroit Mercy Pride will be hosting activities for queer people and allies to feel represented on campus with a documentary screening, pride week, theatrics, service learning, panels, sports, tea parties and graduation gear. 

Advisor Megan Novell, the Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, will have Curtis Chin discuss with people from the club before his reading of his book, “Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant,” on March 26. They will be touching on his identity as a queer Asian man from Detroit who became a first-generation University of Michigan student out of a working-class immigrant family.  

“Interested folks from Pride Club will be able to meet with him for a half an hour before the talk,” Novell said. 

Novell also shared that they would have a screening of “Wonderfully Made” on April 2, a recent documentary about being Catholic and LGBTQ+ as well as following a photography project of queer, transgender and non-binary people portraying Jesus. Detroit Mercy Pride will have the University’s Mission Officer, Dignity Detroit, Gesu Parish, Executive Producer Mark McDermott as well as people from the Sisters of Mercy and Society of Jesus there. 

“When I mentioned the film to Pride Club, people were engaged with the content more than I expected,” Novell said. “I’ll be interested to see who the documentary resonates with and what the impact will be.” 

Finally, Novell and the club will be celebrating Pride Week through curating a moth story hour – or an open microphone session – for people to share stories or songs during the first week of April. Novell will also be searching for volunteers from Detroit Mercy Pride to help Ferndale’s Affirmations and Detroit’s Ruth Ellis Center through participating in a group tour or donating to a clothing swap. 

“There’s a lot of appetite for engaging with our communities and doing something good,” Novell said. “I’m trying to find those opportunities in ways that are meaningful and worthwhile for us.” 

Co-President Katie Bilello, a biology Junior and member of the women’s lacrosse team, advertised that there will be a panel about queer people from the medical industry on April 2 as well. 

“[We’re] focused on how to provide each student with experiences that are meaningful for what they are studying,” Bilello said. 

Bilello announced that the women’s lacrosse team will be hosting the Pride Games on April 2 too, where they will be selling merchandise and conducting fundraisers for every game. Before planning the event, her coach consulted Novell as the Title IX Coordinator, a transgender player and the bomen’s Basketball coach, who identifies as a lesbian with a wife and child. 

“I’m really excited to have a Pride lacrosse game,” Bilello said. “I never had one during high school, so I’m glad to represent the community. 

Event Coordinator Jade Putney, a computer science junior, encourages people who are new on campus to accompany the club for a tea party every other week in Peter Pierce on the second floor of the School of Architecture and Community Development (SACD) building. 

“It is a Christian school, and it can be easy to feel like you’re the only LGBTQ+ student here,” Putney said, “I want to make sure that freshmen especially know that we’re here.” 

Detroit Mercy Pride could be playing a part during multi-cultural graduation where rainbow cords are passed out for the queer student body on May 4. Otherwise, the club will be coordinating another panel for queer sororities as well as assisting with Women’s History Month, though the dates are not determined yet.