UIndy Pride opened up its traditional kiki to the entire campus on Sept. 30 in celebration of Homecoming Week. According to Wikipedia, kiki gatherings grew from the black and latino-based gay cultures as a gathering that inspires laughter and lighthearted fun.
UIndy Pride supplied refreshments such as water, lemonade and cookies for those who needed a break from the various available activities. The main activity for guests was dancing to the music provided by disc jockey and senior communication major Kameron Casey. Games, such as water-pong, were also provided for guests who preferred something other than dancing or simply wanted a break from the dance floor.
Sophomore social work major and executive of UIndy Pride Austin Elliott said the purpose of the Homecoming Kiki was to relieve stress, have fun and simply celebrate homecoming.
He also said the turnout of 250 students was a great improvement from the 25-30 of past years. UIndy Pride had only opened the kiki to UIndy Pride members beforehand. But this year, they decided to open the event to all students on the University of Indianapolis campus.
Sophomore studio art major Cody Coovert said that the guests at the Homecoming Kiki were very accepting, creating a free and nonjudgmental environment that allowed him to release his inner personality on the dance floor.
“It was liberating to be able to dress how I wanted and to express myself,” he said.
Besides dancing, refreshments and games, raffle prizes also were given out. As guests arrived at the kiki, they wrote their name on a raffle ticket and placed it in one of two bowls, one bowl for commuters and one for those living on campus. At the end of the Homecoming Kiki, two students’ names were drawn, one from each bowl.
Senior human biology major Brandon Smith won the drawing from the commuters’ bowl. Smith said he was not completely aware what the event was and decided to check to satisfy his curiosity.
The turnout was much larger than he had expected for a campus event. He also said that the people who attended were very nice, and everyone seemed to be having fun.
After winning a Fitbit, he said he was surprised that the club would give out prizes during the first open-to-the-campus event.
“It was a fantastic event to raise awareness for UIndy Pride,” Smith said.
Coovert said that with the help of the Homecoming Kiki, UIndy Pride is breaking stigma. Since the turnout grew tremendously from last years’ kiki, Elliott said, the awareness of UIndy Pride is growing every day and the students at the University of Indianapolis can expect another homecoming kiki in the future.