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Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion hosts Queer Expo as one of many activities for Queer Week on campus

Claire Lawrence / Hilltop Views
One booth features jewelry from Cosmic Chaos Jewelry, a small, local business that produces dazzling and whimsical earrings, necklaces, bracelets and hair clips.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion hosted their annual Queer Expo on Ragsdale Lawn on Oct. 17. The event hosted many local, queer-owned and queer-supporting small businesses and organizations to showcase and sell their products. Some of these vendors were St. Ed’s students and alumni. The expo was one of the many events planned for “Queer Week,” which took place Oct.16-20. This dedicated week is meant to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community on and around the hilltop.

There were a variety of vendors and booths at the event. The shops and organizations that appeared and participated at the expo were Pink Flamingo Candle and Soaps, Cosmic Chaos Jewelry, Beaded by Sandy, Emsbryn Art, Art by Cryptiddotjpeg and booths for the Trans Wellness Organization and SEU Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

There was a good variety of products that were sold by the different vendors, which included jewelry,trinkets, art prints, bath and body products, apparel and tote bags. 

One booth that was put together by Trans Wellness Organization and was selling pronoun buttons and mini prints. (Claire Lawrence / Hilltop Views)

One of the vendors, Emsbryn Art, was founded and currently run by St. Edward’s alumna Emily Lawson. Lawson signed up to be a vendor at Queer Expo because she worked as an outreach coordinator for the Equity Justice Council when she was attending St. Edward’s, and she enjoyed coordinating and participating in the various markets that were hosted on campus.

“St. Ed’s has a large queer population,” Lawson said. “So it’s always good to highlight any and all different minority groups to show the diversity of students reflected in life.”

Lawson said that showcasing queer-owned businesses was important in helping them express themselves and encouraging other queer students to do the same. 

“It shows an array of what queer people can do with their talents,” Lawson said. “It’s also nice to have a one stop shop where students can peruse the area and see that everything in front of them is made by queer people.”

Lawson sells second-hand products that she prints her hand-drawn artwork onto second-hand products to sell. Her work and designs are geared towards immigration and queer rights; a way for her to spread awareness and represent the communities that she is a part of. SWith the money she makes from purchases, she gives back to her community by donating 10% of her proceeds to grassroot organizations that help those going through the process of migration.

Students stop momentarily to glance at the items displayed by vendors as they make their way to and from class. (Claire Lawrence / Hilltop Views)

Freshman Alexia Duncan was one of the many students that decided to stop by the event. She said she enjoyed that she was able to hang out with her friends and socialize with vendors. Sheespecially enjoyed the jewelry vendors that made their appearance at the expo. 

“I used to run a jewelry business in high school, so it was amazing to see other jewelry businesses run by students,” Duncan said.

Duncan also said she believed events that cater to queer students are very important in a state such as Texas that has been under scrutiny for being less-than-welcoming to queer folk in recent years. 

“Lack of representation in the state of Texas is very prominent, so having that representation is huge in regards to showing acceptance towards our community,” Duncan said.

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About the Contributor
Zemira Recio
Zemira Recio, Staff Writer
Zemira is a freshman and this is her first year being a Staff Writer for Hilltop Views. She is a political science major and aspires to become a lawyer someday. When she's not writing or doing schoolwork, her favorite past times are reading and painting.

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