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Celebrate gay history at UCOP Pride’s ice cream social Friday, June 29

Did you know that Mark Bingham, a national hero who helped resist the hijackers of United Airlines flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001, was an alumnus of UC Berkeley and a proud gay man?

This is just one of the stories told in the UC Berkeley online exhibit Gay Bears! The Hidden History of the Berkeley Campus, co-edited by Steve Finacom, who will speak at UCOP Pride’s second annual ice cream social, June 29, 3 to 5 p.m. in the Franklin fifth floor rooftop garden.

The event is being held in recognition of LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex) Pride Month, celebrated each June to mark the Stonewall Riots in New York’s Greenwich Village in June 1969, considered the genesis of the LGBTQI movement.

UC President Mark Yudof will also be on hand at the event, which is cosponsored by UCOP Pride (formerly UCOP’s LGBTI Staff Association) and the OP Staff Assembly. Several varieties of ice cream and toppings will be served.

Finacom, a career staff member at UC Berkeley and president of the Berkeley Historical Society, will speak about the Gay Bears! exhibit, which tells the story of sexual minorities who have studied, taught, worked at and visited the Berkeley campus.

The exhibit grew out of a lesbian/gay-themed campus tour and was created in 2002. Finacom will also talk about A Place at the Table, a gathering of LGBTQI texts, images and voice on exhibit at UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library through the end of July.

The Stonewall Riots occurred at the Stonewall Bar on June 27, 1969, following a police raid, a common occurrence for gay-patronized establishments at the time. Patrons resisted, sparking five days of protest and igniting the modern struggle for equal rights for LGBTQI people worldwide.

UCOP Pride is dedicated to providing advocacy, education and community building for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex community within UCOP and beyond.

All staff are also invited to attend UCOP Pride’s monthly meetings, 12 to 1 p.m. every third Wednesday of the month. To get meeting locations or join the listserv, email co-chairs Karin Rice at or Brad Niess at

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