GSMA Celebration

Gender and Sexual Minorities and Allies (GSMA) Celebration 2021
Monday, October 18—Saturday, October 23

Our Stories, Our Voices

UMW continues to monitor campus, local, and statewide COVID-19 data and has instituted protocols to protect our campus community.  These protocols include requiring proper mask wearing while indoors, obtaining contact information from event attendees for contact tracing, and requesting that the University be notified of any positive COVID test within 14 days of attending an event at UMW.  The University may also implement additional restrictions if cases increase on campus or in the region including, but not limited to, requiring proof of vaccination or a recent negative test, reducing occupancy limits at events, or restricting attendance to UMW community members only.  We encourage you to check our website for updates prior to arriving to campus for a scheduled event.

Kick Off

Monday, October 18, 2021 | 4 PM |  Ball Circle (Chandler Ballroom: Rain Location)

Join us on for food and fun! We will be giving out free food, playing lots of games, and introducing the rest of our GSMA events for the week.

Rainbow Night

Monday, October 18, 2021 | 5 PM | Top Of The UC

Campus Dining, in partnership with PRISM, will be hosting “Rainbow Night” at the Top of the UC, the 4th floor of the University Center, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m, featuring rainbow cakes and rainbow sherbet. This feature is included in the regular dinner price.

Poetry Slam Competition

Tuesday, October 19, 2021 | 6 PM | The Underground, Lee Hall

Got a poem that you’d like to share? Join us in The Underground at 6 PM for a chance to share your work (in front of a panel of UMW Faculty) and win prizes! Details on how to enter can be found at

GSMA & Disability Awareness Month Keynote Speaker:  Kenny Fries

Wednesday, October 20  |  4 p.m.  |  Chandler Ballroom A/B, University Center

If you would prefer to attend this event virtually, please use the registration form to receive a link.

Kenny Fries is the author of In the Province of the Gods, which received the Creative Capital literature award; The History of My Shoes and the Evolution of Darwin’s Theory, winner of the Outstanding Book Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights; and Body, Remember: A Memoir. He edited Staring Back: The Disability Experience from the Inside Out and was commissioned by Houston Grand Opera to write the libretto for The Memory Stone. His books of poems include In the Gardens of Japan, Desert Walking, and Anesthesia.

Kenny’s work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Granta, The Believer, Kyoto Journal, LiteraryHub, Electric Literature, The Progressive, Catapult, Los Angeles Review of Books, and in many other publications and anthologies. He wrote the Disability Beat column for How We Get To Next, and developed the Fries Test for disability representation in our culture. His work has been translated into Spanish, German, French, and Japanese.

Kenny is recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Arts and Literary Arts Fellowship, and was a Creative Arts Fellow of the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. He has twice been a Fulbright Scholar (Japan and Germany), and has received grants from the DAAD (German Academic Exchange), Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, and Toronto Arts Council. He was an honoree on Diversability’s inaugural Disability Impact List.

His work-in-progress is Stumbling over History: Disability and the Holocaust, excerpts which are featured in his video series What Happened Here in the Summer of 1940?

He teaches in the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Goddard College.

Movie: Howl (2010)

Thursday, October 21, 2021 | 5 PM | Colonnade Room, University Center

Howl (2010) starring James Franco is an American film which recounts the 1957 obscenity trial of 20th-century American poet Allen Ginsberg’s noted poem Howl. Join us in the Colonnade Room for a brief lesson on the events in the movie and some discussion afterward! Refreshments will be provided.

PRISM Prom: Decade Theme

Saturday, October 23, 2021 | 8 PM |  Chandler Ballroom, University Center
Admission Fee: $2 for the UMW Community, $3 for the General Public
COVID vaccination card required at entrance

LGBTQ+ people and their stories have existed throughout the ages, and they deserve to be heard and celebrated. To commemorate all the amazing stories we have heard and learned about throughout our GSMA celebration, show up in your best decade-inspired outfit! Don’t limit yourself to just the 20th and 21st century, any time period goes!


For more information, contact the James Farmer Multicultural Center at 540/654-1044 or  Visit  

Please email us at if you have any questions regarding disability-related accommodations.