by Kiera Przygoda
This Thanksgiving season, it is important to celebrate our gratitude and love for the “families” in our lives. Our blood relatives are not the only family worth celebrating, and the Pride Center’s annual Friendsgiving offers an event that celebrates those special friends in our lives who became our family in college.
Friendsgiving: Celebrating our chosen family, a difference between the family that you’re born into and the family that you craft for yourself.
For many years the Pride Center has held its annual Friendsgiving, where students who are unable to travel home or may not be affirmed by their families as their authentic self are able to celebrate this holiday of gratitude.
“Working with these students every day I see the relationships, connections, and support they give one another, and this event gives them an opportunity to celebrate just that!” -Bonnie Johnson, Coordinator of The Pride Center
At this year’s Friendsgiving, Aramark will be providing the turkey, but the side dishes for the event are primarily potluck style. ALL students, faculty, and staff, regardless of identity, are encouraged and welcome to attend.
Students want to see that there are people around campus that accept and support them but are also people they can be comfortable around. To be a friendly face on campus to students within the LGBTQ+ community, can affirm them that we are a family on this campus, and we all support and love one another.
“As a department within the Division of Student Life, the Pride Center aims to supplement the student’s experience outside of the classroom. The role of Friendsgiving is to affirm those in the community, that not only do they have a seat at the table, but that the table was made entirely for them.” – Ciara Gazaway, Graduate Assistant for the Pride Center
Check out the sign-up sheet to see what you could bring to Friendsgiving. Even if you are unable to stay and hangout the opportunity to bring a dish and be a part of an event where students, faculty, and staff come together as a whole, can be eye-opening and make those who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community feel that they are connected to you.
“I hope Friendsgiving is a way for our students to feel more connected to our campus. This is one event that is just celebrating them and the relationships that they have built here at the university.” -Bonnie Johnson, Coordinator of the Pride Center
Friendsgiving will be held on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 from 5-7 p.m. in the Frieson Black Cultural Center Multipurpose Room. Bring some food, your friends, and enjoy some great company expressing gratitude during this holiday season with the ones that encourage us to be all that we were meant to be!
Kiera Przygoda is a senior at UT majoring in communication studies. She is the undergraduate public relations intern for the Office of Communication and Marketing. She has a passion for writing and media and a love for Disney. Kiera is also a student assistant at SEC Network and VFL Films.