Code Pink highlights LGBTQ community, brings music video artist SSION to Oxford

Posted on Oct 12 2016 - 8:01am by McKenna Wierman

Tomorrow, Oxford’s LGBTQ community will celebrate queer culture across town and the University of Mississippi campus.

The celebration will be highlighted by two events presented by Code Pink, in partnership with The Lyric Theater, Proud Larry’s and the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies.

Code Pink is an organization that celebrates LGBTQ art and culture around the Oxford-Lafayette community. It was started as part of the Isom Center’s mission to create more LGBTQ public spaces and events in Oxford.

The first event tomorrow will be a Q&A session with Cody Critcheloe of SSION (pronounced “shun”) at 4 p.m. in Bryant Hall, room 207. Following is a special performance by SSION at 9 p.m. at The Lyric.

Theresa Starkey, associate director for the Sarah Isom Center and a co-founder of Code Pink, said the Q&A is a great way for people to get thinking about LGBT history month.

“It is a chance for students to meet an artist whose craft crosses so many genre boundaries,” Starkey said. “The goal is to get inspired and celebrate queer culture.”

Critcheloe, who is known for his wild and spectacular stage performances as well as for his music video directing, will be the focus of the Q&A.

Matt Kessler, a student organizer for the Sarah Isom Center and co-founder of Code Pink with Starkey, said Critcheloe will mainly be discussing his experiences as a performer and music director.

“Cody is an LGBT performer who grew up in Kentucky,” Kessler said. “He fronts the band SSION and directs music videos for performers like Kylie Minogue, Robyn, Perfume Genius, Lower Dens, Santigold, and Charlie XCX.”

Kessler said Critcheloe, who he calls “an excellent performer,” will perform in front of video projections for SSION.

SSION is one of the best live bands in the country,” Kessler said. “Truly unique.”

The show at The Lyric will also feature local dancers Blake Summers and the Hip Hop Rebs, as well as sets by local DJs Shep and DJ Skin.

“[It] will be a great night,” he said. “DJs, dancing and live music. What else could you ask for?”

Starkey also stressed that the night would feature some of the best talent from Oxford’s LGBTQ community.

“In short, there is a lot to experience,” she said.  “It is important to thank The Lyric and the folks at Proud Larry’s for being partners and supporting the event.”

Overall, Code Pink works to bring events to Oxford-Lafayette where all feel welcome and everyone feels comfortable being themselves and accepting one another. Starkey said she and Kessler envisioned Code Pink events as spaces that could bring people together, as well as showcase student DJs, queer artists and culture. Thursday’s Q&A and live performance by SSION will be another chance for Code Pink to do just that.

“The night is for everybody and for our LGBTQ community,” said Starkey.

The Q&A with Critcheloe is free and open to the public; all are encouraged to attend. Tickets to SSION’s performance at The Lyric later Thursday evening are available online or at the door.

“[Code Pink] gives everyone a place to hang out together,” Kessler said. “All are welcome.”