LGBT+ College Conference Keynote Speaker, Author to Discuss PRIDE Symbol’s Holocaust History at MTSU

Apr 10, 2023 at 02:05 pm by WGNS News

Above Left: Keynote Speaker Dr. Jake Newsome

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — A scholar of American and German LGBTQ+ history will give a public talk during the upcoming LGBT Plus College Conference hosted at MTSU that explores the connections between the original pride symbol and the Holocaust.

Jake Newsome, who holds a Ph.D. in history, will give the conference’s keynote address based on his book of the same title, “Pink Triangle Legacies: Coming Out in the Shadow of the Holocaust,” from 1 to 2:15 p.m. Thursday, April 13, in the Second Floor Ballroom of the MTSU Student Union, 1768 MTSU Blvd. His visit, co-sponsored by the conference and the MTSU Holocaust Studies Program, is free and open to the public.


Newsome, who currently works as a museum professional in Washington, D.C., will share “the dynamic and inspiring history of the LGBTQ+ community's original pride symbol by tracing the transformation of the pink triangle from a Nazi concentration camp badge into a widespread emblem of queer liberation, pride, and community.”

“I encourage the community to come out to hear about how Dr. Newsome uses unexplored archival sources and original interviews to center the voices of LGBTQ+ Holocaust victims and those in the queer community who found meaning in the pink triangle after one of history’s great evils,” said Elyce Rae Helford, MTSU professor of English and director of the Jewish and Holocaust Studies minor.

According to Newsome’s website, his work is dedicated to making high quality scholarship accessible, engaging, and relevant to diverse audiences beyond the classroom.” Newsome has published in academic journals as well as popular media outlets such as the Washington Post. Copies of Newsome’s book will be available for purchase at the event.

His presentation kicks off the 2023 LGBT Plus College Conference, which runs through Saturday, April 15, on the MTSU campus and carries a theme this year of “All Identities–Pulling Together.”

Conference organizers say the event is focused on helping participants to be more effective advocates for themselves and their communities, and to help them leverage the power that comes from working as a team.

“We are thrilled to partner with the MTSU Holocaust Studies Program to host this lecture on the history of the pride symbol that is a key element of the conference logo,” said William Langston, one of the LGBT Plus College Conference’s organizers. 

The conference presenting sponsor is Nissan. All conference activities are free and open to the public except for the conference award dinner April 15, which is a ticketed event. For more information or to register, visit conference website

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