By H Edwards 26’
H is both a Student Ambassador for the McMullen Museum and the Policy Coordinator for the Queer Leadership Council (QLC) here at Boston College.
Creative minds in the Queer community are no secret. The Queer community has always worked to transgress norms and signal to others their queerness and their differentness. This beauty is precisely what the Queer Leadership Council hopes to celebrate and cherish in the Boston College community. The Queer Leadership Council, formerly known as the GLBTQ+ Leadership Council, started Pride Week with a re-naming of its council and ended Pride Week with a Queer film night at the McMullen Museum.
Changing the name to include the word Queer was one of profound importance to the community at Boston College. As the primary student organization that exists for LGBTQ+ students, we have the responsibility of channeling a practice and environment that cherishes unity, acceptance, and care. QLC believes the name GLC represents an inequitable centering of cisgender male students who identify as gay and a neglect of women and gender non-conforming students. Through this name change, we recenter the experiences of people of all sexual practices and all gender performances as a unified community under the Queer label. With the integration of Queer resources into the Bowman AHANA+ Intercultural Center, Boston College has entered a new era that can impact the experiences of Queer students. Additionally, it allows us to take part in impactful change more broadly and reflects the commitment we have in QLC to cultivate community.
Pride Week, a week surrounding National Coming Out Day, was the perfect day to release the re-naming news. We hoped to start our celebration of Queer lives, joys, and experiences with a reclaiming of who we are. The Pride Week events had a central theme of connecting Queer students to resources. We wanted to remind students that the school, its resources, spaces, and administrators exist for all of us. The McMullen Museum collaboration was one of the connections we hoped to bridge for Queer students during Pride Week. We wanted to introduce students to the museum and, by showing an explicitly queer film, prove to them the space is for them.
Students came to the terrace of McMullen to watch Portrait of a Lady on Fire: a French film from 2019 with themes around forbidden queer love, memory, and the complexities of gender and sexuality in a patriarchal, hetero-normative society. Through the complicated relationship between an artist and her subject, this film beautifully connects the ways that being Queer, being a female artist, and taking up space all transgresses the norms drawn by society. The crowd was joyful, enjoying the film and giving commentary. The McMullen was a safe space that night and will continue to be for diverse identities across Boston College’s campus. As a student ambassador, I want to continue to hold space for all identities and work to connect students to the magical resources of our beautiful museum through its art, programming, and space.