The coming of October marked the beginning of Temple’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Awareness Month.
Temple’s Lambda Alliance, Student Friends of Lesbians and Gays (S-FLAG) and Main Campus Program Board (MCPB) coordinated this month’s activities. They are designed to break down barriers between the LGBT community and heterosexuals.
“There’s not enough focus or positive light on the LGBT community,” said Christina Molieri, Lambda’s advisor. “We hope to break through that, and we want people to realize that the stereotypes about LGBT’s aren’t true.”
“We’re hoping for open and safe discussion of LGBT representation and issues at Temple, both during this month and afterwards,” said Victoria White, vice president of Temple S-FLAG.
The month’s events began with a screening of Jim In Bold Oct 5. A documentary chronicling the life of Jim Wheeler, a young gay man who committed suicide, the film examines homophobia and its effects on gay youths. Following the screening, Wheeler’s mother spoke during a question and answer session.
Lambda celebrated National Coming Out Day Oct. 10. At the Bell Tower, participants walked out of a specially designed closet to symbolize “coming out of the closet” as a homosexual.
A student and faculty panel dealt with the teaching of LGBT issues on campus Oct. 13. Participants in the panel included professors Laura Levitt and Rebecca Alpert.
Philadelphia’s annual AIDS Walk will occur on Oct. 19. Lambda has organized a Temple team for the eight-mile walk. Members of the Temple community, whether gay or straight, can walk to raise money to stop the spread of AIDS.
Professor Joyce Joyce will lead a lecture on “Pedagogy & Black Lesbian Writers,” Oct. 20 in the Women’s Studies lounge at Anderson Hall.
Temple S-FLAG and MCPB will also host a “Victor/Victoria” drag show Oct. 23. The drag show, named after a popular film, features six contestants: three males and three females.
The $5 admission fee will be donated to the William Way Community Center, a Philadelphia center providing resources and support for sexual minorities.
Prior to the drag show, Molieri will host a workshop called “The Art of Drag.” The workshop will give an introduction to the world of drag and will teach participants how to dress, walk and act in drag.
An Oct. 29 panel in Anderson will discuss religion in the LGBT community. An Oct. 31 workshop in the Tuttleman Learning Center will deal with race in the LGBT community.
Organizers hope that people in attendance enjoy themselves while learning about important topics.
“Hopefully, the events will create opportunities for the heterosexual and homosexual communities to join each other and have fun,” White said.
After October, other events will take place to increase the visibility of the LGBT community on Temple’s campus. A transgender workshop is in its planning stages. The workshop will bring together several expert panelists who will provide an overview of transgender issues.
Additionally, Lambda is organizing a trip to Gay Bingo, a monthly fundraising event benefiting the Lifelong AIDS Alliance.
Molieri hopes the events will encourage people of all sexual orientations to come together. “We want people to have fun with us, talk with us, laugh with us, and maybe even cry with us,” Molieri said.
“We’re not exclusive,” she said. “We like straight people and we want to be friends with them.”
For more information about this month’s events, contact Victoria White at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jessica White can be reached at email@example.com.