The Pace University community had the opportunity to hear from several standout voices on a range of topics in the fight for LGBTQ+ equality, including activists, editors, and a Hollywood actor. During the spring semester, the Pace School of Performing Arts, the Department of Film and Screen Studies, and the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies presented “Julia Weldon: On Being a Queer, Non-binary, Trans-Identified Actor In the TV/Film Industry.” A critically acclaimed singer, Weldon landed a breakout acting role opposite Meryl Streep and Liam Neeson in Before and After), and appeared in numerous other film and TV projects.
Two other events commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, an event that galvanized the fight for LGBTQ+ rights.
On April 23, student activists participated in a discussion with movement founders including Pace distinguished professor emerita, activist, and author Karla Jay; Robert Vázquez-Pacheco (ACT UP and Gran Fury artist-activist collective member); Mark Segal (National Gay Newspaper Guild and National Gay Press Association former president, Philadelphia Gay News founder and publisher); and Jay Toole (Queers for Economic Justice co-founder, activist, storyteller, and butch).
On June 4, the director of both the MS in Publishing Program and the Pace University Press, Manuela Soares, moderated a panel discussion about the state of the publishing industry regarding LGBTQ+ cultural breakthroughs, career choices, and must-read publications. Two of the distinguished panelists were Michael Denneny, editor of And the Band Played On by Randy Shilts, and Arthur A. Levine, editor of the Harry Potter series and now head of his own publishing company.