LGBTQ Pride Month to Begin
Author speaks about growing up gay in North Dakota
Published: Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 18:09
According to Regina Ranney, the Diversity Program Coordinator, LGBTQ Pride Month is an opportunity to recognize the contributions of individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. NDSU will celebrate throughout the month of October to support National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11.
At 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday in the Arikara Room of the Memorial Union, the Equity and Diversity Center is sponsoring LGBTQ Pride Month’s key speaker, Melanie Hoffert.
As stated on the NDSU website, Hoffert grew up on a farm near Wyndmere, N.D. where she spent her childhood meandering gravel roads and listening to farmers at church potlucks.
“Connections run as deep. This unique closeness is often complicated when one has a secret that does not seem to fit into the archetype of small town-goodness,” the event poster states.
Hoffert is the author of “Prairie Silence: A Rural Expatriate’s Journey to Reconcile Love, Home and Faith.” On Oct. 1 she will share her experiences as a gay woman growing up in the conservative state of North Dakota.
“Melanie has such courage to allow anyone and everyone to read their souls in writing. I am looking forward to meeting her,” Ranney said.
She summarized Hoffert’s book and said, “Melanie’s book weaves back and forth between memories of her growing up experience and a present-day visit to her family farm during harvest time where she has volunteered to help. Any of us who have lived away from our hometowns, whether a small town or metropolitan city, return with a different lens after spending time with new people, scenery and experiences”.
“Prairie Silence: A Memoir” is available at the NDSU Bookstore and will also be available at the event. Hoffert will be signing copies of her book after the event.
Hoffert has established a professional career and personal life in Minneapolis, Minn.
Furthermore, at 7 p.m. on Friday in the Prairie Rose Room, the NDSU student group “The Gathering” is sponsoring an “Inside Out Faith” event with Jennifer Knapp. Knapp is a well-known Christian music artist who came out publicly in 2010.
This event on Friday is a blend of Christian contemporary music and personal storytelling from Knapp. She has received much backlash for being an LGBTQ person of faith and is speaking out with openness and honesty about her unique identity.
As stated on the LGBTQ poster, “Knapp’s story is one of an honest, vulnerable and questioning soul, living out a journey of life, love and faith.”
Both of these events have been programmed in support of LGBTQ Pride Month to encourage and recognize those throughout the NDSU and F-M community who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.