For the first year ever, Virginia Tech is celebrating October with a series of events in honor of LGBT history month.
The month-long celebration includes a variety of events each week, including a special library exhibit in Newman, the presentation of “8” at the Lyric and a coming out celebration on Oct. 24
One of the main focuses of the month is the “Dining OUT for Equality Restaurant Week” which is taking place from Oct. 22 to Oct. 26.
Downtown Blacksburg Inc. and the Multicultural Programs and Services at Virginia Tech have come together to offer specials at nine local restaurants that show their support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community.
Catherine Cotrupi, the LGBTQ coordinator for the Multicultural Program and Services office, brought the idea to Laureen Blakemore, director of DBI, after hearing of other cities having a “Dine Out for Equality Week.”
“We hope this will get students engaged with Downtown, and get to know some of the restaurants that support them and want their business,” Cotrupi said.
By partnering with DBI, the local restaurants can be promoted while encouraging a sense of community.
“It shows that we’re supportive of everybody. We want to include Tech students and people from other towns and cultures in what we’re doing Downtown,” Blakemore said.
“Downtown restaurants will be able to showcase their diverse cuisine, from Thailand to Italy and from vegetarian to sweet treats as well as their acceptance of the LGBT and Ally Community," she said in a press relsease.
Cabo Fish Taco, Gillie’s, Champs and several other restaurants will offer discounts throughout the week on entrees, drinks, appetizers and other special deals.
Gary Walker, owner of Cabo Fish Taco, was thrilled to have the opportunity to support the LGBT community and personally get involved.
“We’ve done the restaurant weeks, just for the simple fact to raise awareness of variety in Downtown. But actually having a cause behind the week is pretty exciting,” Walker said.
Walker noted that he's already had a considerable amount of people coming in and mentioning the deals.
Though only discounts are being offered this year, coordinators hope this will become an annual event that can bring donations to an LGBT organization.
The week will end with a “Gay at Gillie’s” dance party on Friday night starting at 8 p.m. Gillie’s, which has been a big supporter of the LGBT community, made special arrangements to move their musical performance schedule around to host this event. Entrance to the event will cost $5 and all proceeds will go to benefit campus LGBT groups.
Caroline Sapyta, president of the LGBT Alliance at Tech and a senior environmental resource management major, thinks the history month will bring awareness around campus.
“I think that LGBT history month is definitely helping to spread the word across campus and the NRV about LGBT issues,” Sapyta said.