Sniffleparty, a music group, performed at the Queer Concert. Sniffleparty’s singer is nonbinary and is also UW-Eau Claire graduate.
A traditional concert setting is often seen with an indoor venue or club scene. When seeing a pride flag hanging across the Davies Student Center on campus, local musicians explored the boundaries of a performance environment at the Queer Concert hosted by freaQweek.
According to the university calendar, the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center put together the Queer Concert as the first event to kick off freaQweek.
Amelia Montie, a fourth-year sociology student and freaQweek student programmer, said this is the event’s first year and was organized by current student members of the organization.
“This is the first year of freaQweek and I just wanted to be involved to support the queer community on campus,” Montie said. “We are having this Queer Concert to highlight different artists in Eau Claire who are a part of the community.”
The freaQweek itinerary showcased Sniffle Party, TeahwhYB and Soren Staff as the main performers at the event.
Eau Claire resident and artist TeahwhYB said members of the GSRC approached him to perform at this event based on his previous LGBTQ shows in the area.
“They had approached me about the event and told me it was going to be coinciding with Homecoming so I was very excited for the opportunity and to be sharing my message in music along with (the GSRC),” TeahwhYB said.
Montie said she was most looking forward to having the organization highlight different perspectives of the queer community through the music and the film showings throughout the week.
“freaQweek is a huge celebration of identities in the LGBTQIA+ community,” Montie said. “This concert is great because it is out in an open space to just have fun and a relaxing celebration.”
The Queer Concert was set up in the Campus Mall alongside the spirit kickoff events for Homecoming week on campus.
TeahwhYB said it was a monumental moment for him to be performing with the backdrop of a pride flag and was glad he got to share the experience with the students.
“It is monumental for the campus in general to have that kind of scope and atmosphere surrounding them,” TeahwhYB said. “It was really exciting to be outside in the beautiful weather with different activities going on as well; for everybody to be coming together for one positive cause.”
According to the freaQweek itinerary, movie screenings of LBGTQ films will follow the live events that take place around campus and are free to the general public.
Montie said the upcoming films were selected through a trip to San Francisco the organization took previously, and encouraged any student who is interested to become involved for future events.
“Continue to engage in conversations,” Montie said. “We will continue to have information out for next year if people actually want to be a part of the cohort.”
TeahwhYB said he hopes students who may not have attended the Queer Concert will attend future events to learn new information about the LGBTQ community and understand their perspectives.
“I think it is very important to broaden the perspectives of yourself,” TeahwhYB said. “If you find that you do not share the same ideologies, just knowing somebody familiar with them can provide you with an understanding to respect and provide empathy.”
For more information about the events of freaQweek contact [email protected].
Nelson can be reached at [email protected]