As school starts back up again, Lambda will feature brief interviews with some cool people from Penn’s queer community. Read below to find out how they get involved on and off campus and what they do to relax amidst the energy of Penn.
Here, we speak with Stephen, a rising senior in the Engineering school.
1. What activities do you participate in at Penn?
Queer People of Color, Philly AIDS Thrift, Engineers Without Borders, Carriage Senior Society, Hexagon Senior Society, Sphinx Senior Society
2. Describe your Penn queer experience.
Stephen, in stylish white overalls from his job at Philly AIDS Thrift.
I’d be lying if I said my Penn queer experience started when I got to Penn. It started way before when I had visited during previews. Straight up// it took three and a half minutes on Locust to be swept up and taken in by the QPOC mothas. It took another three and a half months over the summer and into my first semester to realize the queer community was large enough to keep me hype, but could never truly meet all of my expectations. And it’s taken three and half years to see that there are people at Penn, in and out of the queer community, who damn well try to transcend those expectations and create spaces for those who need them.
Still, my queer experience is hardly limited to Penn and it would be reductive to dismiss the opportunities Philly has to offer the queer scene, especially 4 people of color and other marginalized homies. Penn’s cultural houses work with each other to offer intersectional students support and encouragement for collaboration. Because of that I’ve never had to subscribe to any sort of “gay experience” at Penn. Penn is getting queerer with each incoming class (thank you bbs) and that’s only going to create more challenging spaces and make the old ones more engaging.
3.What’s the best coffee on campus?
Earth Cup. They have a lovely seating situation outside that’s ideal for sipping local roasts and throwing local shade.
4. What’s your favorite thing to do on weekends?
You can probably find me off of South Street at Philly AIDS Thrift on weekends digging through piles of vintage and other stuff. South Street is a kitschy part of the city, complete with metal heads, eccentric grannies, and oversized pizza. I mean, there’s nothing better.