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Coming Out Week events to unite University community in support of LGBT people
Coming Out Week events to unite University community in support of LGBT peopleOctober 07, 2005Matthew R. Snydermrsnyder@syr.edu
Starting Oct. 10, Syracuse University will host a campus-wide celebration of Coming Out Week, an SU tradition within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and straight-allied community. The week is part of a larger celebration throughout the world, recognizing the lives, experiences, voices and struggles of LGBT people. Tuesday, Oct. 11 is National Coming Out Day, commemorating the 1987 March on Washington for LGBT Rights.
As a show of support, SU’s LGBT Resource Center plans to publish an “Out List” and “Straight Ally List” in the Oct. 11 issue of the Syracuse Daily Orange. The Out List, a full-page advertisement listing the names of “out” lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students, faculty and staff, celebrates the contributions of the LGBT community and invites the campus to join in raising awareness. The Straight Ally list provides supporters of the LGBT community with the opportunity to demonstrate their opposition to homophobia, inequality and injustice directed against LGBT people.
“Coming Out Week creates visibility for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people,” says Adrea Jaehnig, director of the LGBT Resource Center. “This visibility provides hope for those who are not yet out, and healing for those who have experienced rejection or discrimination. Events also provide visible educational opportunities for straight allies.” According to Jaenig, coming out is not a one-time decision, but a life-long series of choices that “consume time and energy that could be applied to learning, teaching, service or research.” A variety of groups are sponsoring or co-sponsoring Coming Out Week events at SU, including the women’s studies program, Pride Union, OUTRAGE and the University Lectures.
The following events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted:
Monday, Oct. 10: Women’s Studies Lecture by Leslie Cagan. 4-6 p.m., Maxwell Auditorium. Cagan is national coordinator of United for Peace and Justice, a widely published writers and an internationally known leader of progressive activism.
Meeting of Planet Orange. 7-9 p.m., LGBT Resource Center, 750 Ostrom Ave. This drop-in discussion group will share a talk on being out on the SU campus.
Chalking the Quad. 9 p.m. Participants will meet at the LGBT Resource Center, then march to the Quad to cover sidewalks with pro-LGBT messages. Hosted by Pride Union.
Tuesday, Oct. 11-National Coming Out Day:Human Rainbow Bridge. 1:30 p.m., center of the Quad. Members of the student group OUTRAGE invite all members of the University community to help create SU’s first rainbow bridge across the quad. Those who wish to participate should wear a solid red, orange, yellow, green, blue or purple shirt. Participants should send their color choices by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Big Gay Pep Rally. 6:30 p.m., Grant Auditorium. Pride Union will host a spirited discussion centered around the theme, “How has your life changed for the better since you came out?” Older community members will share their insights into the progress the LGBT movement has made since they came out. As part of the pep rally, student members of OUTRAGE will perform “Whose Closet is It, Anyway,” an original skit of people’s reactions to a student coming out.
Meeting of Open Doors. 7:30 p.m., LGBT Resource Center. SU and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry graduate students are invited to join the Open Doors crew for a laid-back, entertaining movie night.
Women’s Studies Lecture by Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz. 7-9 p.m., Gifford Auditorium. Kaye/Kantrowitz, a writer, scholar, teacher and activist, has taught writing, women’s studies, Jewish studies and race theory all over the United States, including stints as the Jane Watson Irwin Distinguished Professor of Women’s Studies at Hamilton College and the Belle Zeller Professor of Public Policy at Brooklyn College.
University Lecture by George C. Wolfe. 7:30 p.m., Hendricks Chapel. Director, writer and producer George C. Wolfe has had a distinguished career in the theater. In addition to directing such works as Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America,” Wolfe has written a number of plays and musicals emphasizing diversity. Since 1993, he has been the producer and artistic director of the New York Shakespeare Festival and the Joseph Papp Public Theater, positions that give him one an influential voice in American theater.
Wednesday, Oct. 12:Film: “Bad Education.” 7 p.m., Gifford Auditorium. This film, which opened the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, explores transgender issues, homosexuality within the Catholic Church and being in a same-sex relationship within Hispanic culture. Screening sponsored by Pride Union.
Thursday, Oct. 13:Cafe Q. 7-10 p.m., LGBT Resource Center. A fun-filled night of music, quirky lighting and delicious coffee blends as the LGBT Resource Center morphs into a chill coffeehouse.
Friday, Oct. 14:The Big Gay Dance. 10 p.m.-2 a.m., The Underground, Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center. This Pride Union-sponsored evening of music and dance returns with an optional theme: “Come as your favorite gay icon.” Tickets are $3 with SU I.D., $5 without, and may be purchased at the Schine Box Office.
For more information, visit http://students.syr.edu/lgbt/.The LGBT Resource Center is a principal unit of the Division of Student Affairs.