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Programs & Events

LGBTQ+ Initiatives is honored to provide opportunities for the UC Merced community to engage with and affirmed the lived experiences of our LGBTQ+ community. We partner with programs and organizations across campus to provide intersectional programs and event throughout the year where you can learn about topics and issues that directly impact and affirm the lived experiences of our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters. Below are a few of our annual offerings.


LGBTQ+ Leadership Retreat

The LGBTQ+ Leadership Retreat is a weekend long opportunity for LGBTQ+ and ally students to build relationships, find community, and learn how to create a more inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ students on campus. Focusing directly on developing leadership skills, building collaborative networks and advocating for the LGBTQ+ community, the LGBTQ+ Leadership Collaborative will educate, inspire, and empower the next generation of leaders through a social justice lens. The retreat takes place annually in Feburary.

LGBTQ+ Initiatives Volunteer

LGBTQ+ Initaitives has multiple opportunities to get involved! We host a number of programs, provide resources and support student development. If your interested in supporting a specific program, develop your own program or simply want to create resources, this is the place to be!


Rainbow Social

The Rainbow Social is an annual event hosted during Welcome Week to introduce incoming LGBTQ+ identified first year students to current LGBTQ+ students and resources. Our hope is to build community, affirm our support for the LGBTQ+ community and introduce resources that students can utilize while at UC Merced.

Trans Empowerment

Trans Empowerment is designed to engage our trans and ally community in raising awareness and addressing issues faced by our trans community. Trans Empowerment Week takes place the week before Transgender Day of Remembrance and includes multiple programs that address various aspects and issues that directly impact the trans community. Reoccuring programs include the Wall of Remembrance and Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil.

World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day, 1st December annually, is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever-global health day and the first one was held in 1988. UC Merced honors this day by creating impactful events that address the various issues faced by those living with HIV/AIDS, provide resources across the central valley and honor those who have passed.

Pride Week

LGBTQ+ Initiatives is honored to support our LGBTQ+ community by collaborating with Lambda Alliance and many other campus programs to bring our Annual Pride Week to life!

Building Community Awards

Building Community Awards recognizes the contributions of individuals within the University community who have shown outstanding service regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer+ (LGBTQ+) concerns. The Building Community Award honors nominees who are active participants in improving the climate of diversity and inclusion for LGBTQ+ people at UC Merced. We accept nominations across campus and recognize all nominees, with special recognition going to one faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate for going above and beyond in advancing and supporting the LGBTQ+ community. The Building Community Awards Ceremony will be hosted annually during Pride Week at UC Merced.

Fabulosity Drag Show

Fabulosity Drag Show, the culminating event for UC Merced’s annual Pride Week, brings together LGBTQ+ and Allies to celebrate the possibility of gender performance through the exaggeration, illusion and parody of gender norms. Fabulosity utilizes performance to experientially deconstruct the socially constructed categories the man/woman gender and straight/gay/lesbian dichotomy in an entertaining environment that celebrates the Drag community. It also provides an opportunity to introduce the broader UCM and Merced community to the LGBTQ+ community.

Lavender Graduation Reception

The Lavender Graduation Reception is an annual cultural ceremony that recognizes LGBTQ+ and Ally students of all races and ethnicities and acknowledges the tenacity for creating positive social change by being part of the UC Merced graduating class. Our dedication to honoring the lived experiences and triumphs of our LGBTQ+ and Ally graduates is rooted in the desire to create a welcoming, inclusive and affirming environment.