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Lecture Series to focus on growth of LGBTQ+ population in West Virginia

Marshall University’s student body president will present a lecture on his personal experiences of growing up as gay in West Virginia and how the region’s culture may be attributed to a growth in the LGBTQ+ population in the state.

Matt Jarvis will present his lecture, “Mountainqueer: Identifying as LGBTQ+ in West Virginia and Appalachia,” from 6 to 7 p.m. Monday, June 26, in Huntington City Council chambers at City Hall, 800 5th Ave. The lecture is the fifth installment in the City of Huntington’s quarterly “Huntington Lecture Series” and is free and open to the public.

“The goal of the Huntington Lecture Series is to open dialogue and cultivate the collective brilliance in our community to identify opportunities for advancement and address future challenges,” Mayor Steve Williams said. “Through Mr. Jarvis’ personal experiences, his presentation will provide insight on how we can advance our ongoing efforts to embrace and promote diversity in our community.”

Jarvis is a senior Finance and Economics major from Nitro, West Virginia, and is currently serving his second term as Marshall University’s student body president.

“Often defined by negative portrayals of our region in the media, it is not uncommon for the people of West Virginia and Appalachia as a whole to be unfairly stereotyped as jobless, uneducated, and ignorant,” Jarvis said. “Yet, even with these stereotypes projected onto our state and this area of the country, LGBTQ+ populations are experiencing significant growth in the Southern and Appalachian regions of America, specifically in West Virginia.

“This presentation will be a conversation on my own experiences growing up in West Virginia identifying as gay and discussing why this growth in the LGBTQ+ population may be attributed to the culture of West Virginia and its surrounding states.”

The presentation will be broadcast live on channel 24 of the Comcast cable system and will be streamed live online at

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