Editor’s Note — This Q&A is part of a weekly conversation series that is celebrating Pride Month on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Medium page. The series will feature Huskers who are making impacts on campus and look to maintain that momentum in future careers.
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For this week of Pride Month 2022, we’re talking with Mack Gonzalez, an English major from Carmel, Indiana. Gonzalez is an outreach coordinator on campus and helps fellow Huskers find resources. LGBTQA+ Center.
Talk about your role in the outreach coordination LGBTQA+ Center.
Being the Outreach Coordinator for the Center has been an amazing experience. It’s been wild to see how much the Center has changed between when I started and now. My favorite moment was organizing a little hide and seek game on our social media platforms last fall semester. I hidden the same photo of a cooked shrimp in several social media graphics. I then revealed the game to our finals week and offered a free shirt to anyone who found all the hidden shrimps. It was more people than I expected, and it gave me some much-needed stress relief. I feel very grateful. “shrimp”ly blessed to have worked this job!
You were a first year student when you entered your first drag event. What does drag mean to you/provide you?
Drag has helped me find my performance style. I know that I can’t dance, so I’ve learned to work around that by trying to have a solid makeup/fashion look and by making character and movement choices as opposed to dancing. In that regard, it’s been a good lesson in learning to play to my strengths. It’s also done wonders for my confidence, but getting cheered on by a crowd of beautiful, queer people will do that for anyone.
Is there anything you hope to accomplish in your lifetime?
Recently, I’ve been allowing myself the room to create, and I think that’s one of the most important things anyone can do. No matter what career path I choose, I hope to be able to continue my hobbies in writing and collaging. Creation for the sake of creation and being okay with non-monetized hobbies is more important to me than any recognition.
What or who inspires you?
Just because he’s been on my mind lately, the answer is Félix González-Torres. We not only share a name but his artwork is powerful, relevant and relevant to today’s world. It’s also massively important to remember our history and the people who came before us during Pride Month. I’d like to specifically point out “Untitled”(Portrait of Ross in L.A.) as a significant work of art related to the AIDS crisis.
What is your advice to other students looking to make an impact on campus?
I believe that curating a support network is one of the best ways for students to make an impact on campus. UNL can seem large or intimidating to incoming students, but when you finally find your crowd, loving them and being loved back can both keep you sane and allow you to make the changes you feel are necessary.