The GSRC hosts Latino Heritage Month event


Caleb Johnson

Freshman Tatum Dale (left), student staff assistant at GSRC Trevon Smith (middle) and assistant director of Women and Gender programs Ariel Owens (right) participate in A Full Color Moment, Latinx edition. (Caleb Johnson | Northern Star)

Students and staff gathered Thursday in the Holmes Students Center to unwind, color and learn more about Latino figures in the LGBTQ+ movement. “A Full Color Moment, Latinx Edition” was an event organized by the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, named after a series of coloring books created by Trevon Smith, a women, gender and sexuality studies major and student staff assistant at the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center.  

When asked why he created this event, Smith said, “The original edition came to be because I wanted to focus on joy for Black Heritage Month while also contributing something impactful. Then (I) did one for a Trans Day of Visibility to pair with ‘Disclosure,’ the Netflix documentary. At this point, I knew this could be a series of coloring books that I could make and planned to make one for Latino Heritage Month.” 

Many students and staff members passed by the event. One such student is Tatum Dale, a first-year nursing major. Dale said she felt intrigued enough by the event to participate. 

“I saw coloring books and I lit up,” Dale said. “I guess it’s like a stress relief way, I just put out all my anxiety out on the paper … the colors just help you express yourself.” 

Dale also shared that she liked learning about the drag performer, comedian and costume designer Bianca Del Rio, whose real name is Roy Haylock. Del Rio is known for winning “RuPaul’s Drag Race” on season 6. After winning the show, Del Rio went on to have a lucrative multimedia career. 

While coloring, Smith said they want people to “think of the different ways Drag Queens have shaped culture.” 

Tamara Boston, the project coordinator for the Division of Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, was also present and took part in the event. Boston iterated that she connected with the story of Coronel Amelio Robles Ávila. 

Ávila is often considered one of the first transgender men in Latin American history, even before such language existed. He lived as a man and was treated as such. Boston shared how she liked how strong his sense of identity was and his commitment to being himself.  

Smith explained that this coloring page activity should help people reflect on the legacy of transgender people in Latinx history. 

This event has been very impactful for some; Ariel Owens, the assistant director of Women and Gender Programs, described why she felt so inclined to this program.  

“I feel like I wasn’t taught a lot about LGBTQ+ people growing up, and the ones I was taught about were mostly white,” Owens said. “So I thought this event was a good opportunity to learn about people of color who are in the LGBTQ+ community and have contributed significant things to history.” 

Smith plans on doing a coloring book for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, which is celebrated in May. He also expressed interest in trying to get more people involved in coming out for events. 

Some upcoming events include What I Embody on Sept. 20 and the Culture Sisterhood Summit on Sept. 24.