UNF LGBTQ Center told to delete webpage with drag, sex education event information

Carter Mudgett and Mallory Pace

A portion of the University of North Florida LGBTQ Center’s website containing information about drag queen brunches, sex education and other annual events disappeared on Thursday. 

Housed in a drop-down menu beneath “Events,” there used to be a section titled “Signature Events” which explained all the events the center holds. It also linked recaps of past ones but is now nowhere to be found. 

Using the Wayback Machine, an Internet archive that saves past versions of websites, Spinnaker found the LGBTQ Center’s website as it appeared on Oct. 6, 2022, before the page was deleted. 

The LGBTQ Center’s website is not controlled by the center’s staff but by the university, according to Director Manny Velásquez-Paredes.

Unfortunately, yesterday we were told to delete the signature events page from our website,” he told Spinnaker in an emailed statement Friday morning. “The reasons why are, unfortunately, above my pay scale.”

The now-deleted section in question highlighted information about all of the LGBTQ Center’s major events as far back as 2017. Events on that page included the Building Bridges Creating Community Fundraising, Drag Queen Brunch, the Lavender Celebration, LGBTQ History Month and Sex Week.

What’s missing?

The Building Bridges Creating Community fundraising event is an annual gala celebrating the center scheduled for next Friday. The Drag Queen Brunch is a fundraising event where drag queens are invited to perform and it happened as recently as last June.

The Lavender Celebration is an LGBTQ Center-hosted graduation to honor queer and ally UNF students.

The LGBTQ Center also hosts multiple events each October in honor of LGBTQ History Month. Lastly, Sex Week is a week’s worth of events meant to engage the community about various topics from health and wellness to diversity and inclusive language. 

Those pages had pictures of the events and explanations for the UNF community to see. It was also there for potential sponsors and future sponsors to see where their money would go toward. 

“This was a way for us to showcase the events that have helped thousands of LGBTQ+ and ally students and community members,” Director Velásquez said. 

It also served as “bragging rights” for the LGBTQ Center team, he explained, because they can see the full collection of educators and performers they’ve invited.

Why were they told to delete it? 

Spinnaker asked UNF for a statement from President Moez Limayem about why the webpage was removed from the LGBTQ Center’s website. Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President Dr. Richmond Wynn responded instead and emailed the following message to Spinnaker Friday morning.

“I asked [Director Velásquez] to remove the old outdated calendar date archives from the signature events tab and update the tab with current descriptions of the events and general timing of when the events occur throughout the calendar year. Once the signature events tab is updated it will be back on the website. A list of upcoming events is still featured on the LGBTQ Center web page.”

The Oct. 6, 2022 version of the webpage viewed by Spinnaker already included generic descriptions of the events and when they occur each year, highlighted in bold. 

The current published website lists a calendar of events and Building Bridges Creating Community 2023. The calendar was already on the site in October. 

When Spinnaker pressed Dr. Wynn about why the page needed to be updated, he said that there has been a “misunderstanding on the best way to update the signature events tab.”

The state of drag shows in Florida

This comes in the wake of recent efforts by Florida politicians to ban drag and eliminate funding for diversity efforts in education, according to past Spinnaker reporting. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s administration recently aimed at drag shows. In early March, the Republican governor’s administration moved to revoke the liquor license of a Miami hotel that hosted a Christmas-themed drag show. 

The administrative complaint alleged that the performance was “sexually explicit,” and that children were present for the “lewd, vulgar and indecent” display, according to the Associated Press.

Florida lawmakers are also targeting drag with new legislation. House Bill 1423, sponsored by Representative Randy Fine, would ban drag performances if children might see them in bars, restaurants and other venues if passed. 

Spinnaker asked the UNF Pride Club for comment on the deletion of this webpage, but they declined to comment because they didn’t have enough information. 


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