What started as a rainy, cloud covered day became clear and sunny just in time for the second annual Long Beach State LGBTQ Splash Mob Thursday.
The event took place at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center pool as part of Associated Student Inc.’s Respect Diversity Week, and was promoted as an event where, queer, trans, and all body positive people could come together, eat food, play games and hang out.
SRWC Aquatics and Safety coordinator and current grad student Michael Freeman said that the event was an opportunity to learn and see different perspectives.
“I think that we all live in our own bubble,” Freeman said. “Events like this where we mix fun and information help students to understand and become better.”
Freeman who himself has struggled with body image issues, stressed how important it was to him that students recognize the body positive aspect of the Splash Mob.
“I’d like them to come here and know that this is a safe place for students.” Freeman said. “I want people to feel confident about themselves no matter what their shape.”
The event had games and activities that attendees could participate in, some of which incorporated LGBTQ trivia. There was also free pizza and a live DJ.
Third year marketing major Sandy Stolz saw the activities as both fun and a learning experience.
“I think it’s a great reasoning behind it, spreading awareness,” Stolz said. “I didn’t know any of the answers to the questions but now I do.”
Representatives from Long Beach State Queers and Allies had a table at the event where they chatted with attendees about their club. Fourth year psychology major and member of the Queers and Allies club, Mlou Aquino said that they felt the event was validating for students.
“It just kind of shows students that the campus recognizes the LGBT community,” Aquino said. “I think that’s really important.”
Another representative from the club, fourth year sociology major Juan Soto said that the event was a great opportunity to unwind.
“For me, I feel like these activities are a space where people can come together after having midterms and being all stressed,” Soto said. “They can just get together and have fun.”
For Freeman, it was important that the event be fun and relaxing as well as educational for the attendees.
“If I can trick them to come and learn something about the LGBTQ community by giving a slice of pizza, that’s what it’s all about for me,” Freeman said.