October 02, 2009

GLBT History Month activities planned at SIUC

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- “Déjà Vu: The Past is the Present” is the theme of the October observance of GLBT History Month at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

GLBT History Month explores the past, present and future of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and their quest for acceptance and equal rights.

“GLBT History Month is a time to challenge ourselves and others to be more inclusive in the ways that we see, navigate and create meaning in the world. Open to all members of the SIUC community, GLBT History Month provides numerous and diverse opportunities to ask questions, gain answers, expand knowledge and examine our individual humanity regarding a culture within our culture of communities,” said Carl Ervin, coordinator of Student Development-Multicultural Programs and Services.

Film, guest speakers and presentations, a vigil, forums, panel discussions and much more are on the schedule with students, faculty, staff and the public welcome.

“When I think of GLBT, I think of the rainbow and how beautifully all the colors work together, each playing their individual part to create such an amazing image. However, one must not forget to acknowledge how apart from the rainbow, each color is equally important and still shines bright and vibrantly,” said Jasmine Harris, a higher education graduate student from Milwaukee, Wis.

One of the highlights will be an Oct. 21 presentation by E. Patrick Johnson, professor, chair and director of graduate studies in the Department of Performance Studies, as well as professor of African American Studies, at Northwestern University. Extensively published on the topics of race, gender and sexuality, John’s presentation is “Pouring Tea: Black Gay Men of the South Tell Their Tales.” The one-man show about coming of age in the South, religion, sex, transgenderism and love is based on the oral histories Johnson collected for his book “Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South -- An Oral History.”

“I have two brothers who are black homosexual males. I think the issue of acceptance in the black community and in society overall is an important topic to cover worldwide. Bringing awareness to this during GLBT month will only help the issues of AIDS/HIV and family acceptance come to the surface. I am excited to see this month contribute to bringing awareness to everyone,” said Cerra Raquel, a graduate student from Carbondale majoring in higher education.

Wrapping up the month is a performance by Metahuman, also known as Kalil Cohen. He’s a multifaceted performer who will do hip-hop, speak, and screen a pair of films. Metahuman identifies himself as a genderqueer transman and his music and poetry examine politics, gender, race, class and citizenship with humor and a bit of “funk.”

He’ll screen a short documentary filmed after California passed Proposition 8. limiting marriage to one man and one woman. He’ll also screen “Queerer Than Thou,” a comedy that explores the feelings and tensions within gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning communities. The film is shown worldwide at various film festivals.

“It’s not uncommon to look back on fashion and notice that the same trends of the 1970s have somehow resurfaced in the year 2009. The same is true with the history of GLBT month. The past is the present and this month promises to bring awareness to SIUC and the Carbondale community of ways we have grown and where we still need to get to,” said Devin Moran, a graduate student in higher education from Lexington, Ky.

The schedule for GLBT History Month 2009, with all events free and open to the public unless otherwise noted, includes:

Sunday, Oct. 4

• “Celebrate Our Community” community pride picnic, 2-6 p.m., Church of the Good Shepherd, 515 S. Orchard Drive, Carbondale. The event for GLBT people and friends features games, music, contests, food, door prizes, information tables for supportive organizations, art and more. Local celebs “Jodie” and “Blanch DuBois” will appear too. For details contact the church at 618/457-2232.

Monday, Oct. 5

• Indoor candlelight vigil, 6-7 p.m., Student Center’s Thebes Room. The vigil commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots during which GLBT people took a stand against the New York city police department’s frequent raids on local gay bars, an event that many regard as the spark that started the gay rights movement.

Tuesday, Oct. 6

• “Queer,” 4:30-5:30 p.m., Student Center’s Mackinaw Room. A facilitated dialogue about the word “queer” and its use -- past and present.

Wednesday, Oct. 7

• Everything You Want to Know But Were Afraid to Ask: Defining and Understanding GLBTQQIA, 7 p.m., Student Center Illinois Room. A panel from the local GLBTQ community will tell of their own sexual and gender identities and experiences and field questions from the audience about life and labels like gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, genderqueer, intersex, transsexual, questioning and ally. S.J. Creek is the host.

Thursday, Oct. 8

• “Glory Box,” performance by Tim Miller, 8 p.m. Marion Kleinau Theater, Communications Building. Miller’s show is a humorous, sexy, emotional story of love, gay marriage and the immigration rights struggle for gay people. It’s free but call 618/453-5618 for reservations.

Friday, Oct. 9

• Shirts and Sharpies, all day around campus. GLBT people and allies will wear plain white shirts labeled “I’m Out” or “Ally” and welcome others to show their support by writing words of encouragement on the shirts.

• Lavender Lattes with Lauren Jensen -- Exploring Attitudes Toward Transgender Clients, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Student Center’s Mississippi Room. Over a cup of coffee, see what’s happening with GLBTQ research in Southern Illinois according to professors and graduate students.

Saturday, Oct. 10

• SIUC Homecoming parade, 9:30 a.m. start, the Saluki Rainbow Network and friends bring GLBT community and allies participation to the parade.

• Homecoming GLBT tailgate, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. with free food and drinks courtesy of the GLBT Resource Center and advisory board. The first 500 guests get commemorative color-change cups.

• “Stories from Our Lives,” 8 p.m., Marion Kleinau Theatre, Communications Building. Tim Miller, guest artist and the writer/performer of “Glory Box” earlier in the week, leads this show. “Stories” is the result of a Miller’s workshop with student performers. It’s free but call 618/453-5618 for reservations.

Sunday, Oct. 11

• National Coming Out Day, a national observance commemorating Oct. 11, 1987, when a half million people marched on Washington, D.C., in support of gay and lesbian equality. This year’s National Equality March again brings to the nation’s capital the quest for equal civil law protection for the GLBT community.

Monday, Oct. 12

• Echoing Audre: Queer Women’s Voices Past and Present, 9-11 p.m., Bobby’s Restaurant, 406 S. Illinois Ave. It’s an open microphone and poetry evening celebrating the contributions of queer women poets, songwriters, playwrights and fiction or non-fiction writers now and those gone before. It’s a special installation of The Transpoetic Playground, a Bureau of Artistic Resources Corporation production.

Wednesday, Oct. 14

• Strength in Numbers, 4 p.m., Student Health Center auditorium. Via this interactive discussion, you can learn what it means to be an advocate/ally for GLBTQ people, how you can get involved on campus and how you’ll benefit assisting others.

Thursday, Oct. 15

• Progressive Masculinity Mentors present “No Homo -- Confronting Homophobia in Hip-Hop,” 7-9 p.m., Student Health Center auditorium. It’s a discussion of homophobia within the hip-hop culture and how to confront it.

Friday, Oct. 16

• Lavender Lattes with Christopher Wienke: “Does the ‘Marriage Benefit’ Extend to Gay and Lesbian Relationships?” 12:30-1:30 p.m., Student Center Mississippi Room. Join professors and graduate students for coffee and discussion of GLBTQ-related research and study in the Southern Illinois region.

Monday, Oct. 19

• Safe Zone Training, 4:30-6 p.m., Woody Hall Room A310. This is a national training workshop program offering information about being supportive to GLBT students and colleagues. After completing the program, you have the option of becoming a Safe Zone member and displaying a SIUC Safe Zone placard.

Tuesday, Oct. 20

• Sexytime: A Fun, Safer Sex Fair, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Faner Hall breezeway. The Wellness Center, Graduate Sociology Club, Church of the Good Shepherd, Southern Illinois Pagan Alliance, the SIUC GLBT Resource Center and others are joining to host the event featuring information, ideas, discussions, details about the University’s human sexuality study opportunities. You can even get a coloring book.

Wednesday, Oct. 21

“Pouring Tea: Black Gay Men of the South Tell Their Tales” by E. Patrick Johnson, 6:30 p.m., Morris Library Auditorium. Johnson’s one-man show is based on oral histories from his book “Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South -- An Oral History.” C.C. Carter will open the performance.

Thursday, Oct. 22

• Safe Zone Training, 4:30-6 p.m., Woody Hall A310. The national program provides information via a workshop about how to show support for GLBT students and colleagues.

• “Milk,” movie showing, 6-9 p.m., Sam Rinella Field. This Academy Award-nominated biographical film tells the story of Harvey Milk, veteran and politician, as he became California’s first openly gay man elected to office and how he fought for gay rights. Free popcorn served.

Friday, Oct. 23

• Lavender Lattes with Margaret Cooper: Stigma and the Negotiation of Identity for Rural Lesbians, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Student Center, Mississippi Room. Find out from area professors and graduate students what’s happening in the region regarding LGBTQ research and theory.

• Family and Friends Open House, 3-5 p.m., Woody Hall Rooms B202 and B260. Bring friends and family for refreshments and activities at the GLBT Resource Center to kick off Saluki Family Weekend.

Wednesday, Oct. 28

• GLBTQ Women Staff and Faculty Gathering, 3:30-5 p.m., Student Center Mississippi Room. It’s a safe place for GLBTQ women professionals at the University to discuss their experiences and challenges. University Women’s Professional Advancement and the GLBT Resource Center are co-sponsors.

• “The Most Trusted Stranger in America: Frank Warren’s PostSecret,” 8 p.m. (doors open at 7:15 p.m.), Student Center Ballrooms. Warren created the popular “PostSecret” blog and during this presentation he’ll discuss the blog’s importance, why he’s made suicide awareness part of his life’s work, and the stories behind the memorable postcards and secrets people send him. Students can pick up their free tickets at the Student Center Central Ticket Office beginning Oct. 12. There’s a limit of two tickets per student with valid University ID. You can obtain general public tickets, limit two per person, at the ticket office starting Oct. 19.

Thursday, Oct. 29

• Hip Hop, Spoken Word and Film Screening by Trans Artist Metahuman. Metahuman, aka Kalil Cohen, will speak, perform hip-hop and screen two short films. Via music, poetry and more, Metahuman uses humor and funk as he leads his audiences to look at politics, gender, race, class and citizenship.

“SIUC is a very diverse school and by attending all the different activities and events on campus you might learn about a group of students you knew nothing about,” said Guillermo Flores, a junior from Villa Park majoring in public relations.

“People should attend GLBT History Month because gender and sexuality are pieces in the beautiful mosaic of our lives,” added Bryant Payne, a speech communications graduate student from Chicago.

Student Development-Multicultural Programs and Services, Saluki Rainbow Network, GLBT Resource Center, theater department, Student Health Center-Wellness Center, cinema and photography, women’s studies department, University Housing Residence Hall Association, speech communication department, Black Affairs Council, Student Programming Council and Bureau of Artistic Resources Corporation are sponsors for GLBT History Month.

“GLBT Month is a time to reflect on the past, to learn and to envision new ways to improve the future,” said Leah Reinert, a graduate student in higher education major from Decatur.

GLBT History Month is one of the many initiatives of SIUC’s Student Development-Multicultural Programs and Services. It also hosts Latino Heritage Month, Native American Heritage Month, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Recognition Week, Women’s History Month and Asian American Heritage Month along with other events and activities promoting cultural awareness at the University.

For more information about GLBT History Month or any of the other programs, call 618/453-5714 or visit the Web site at www.stddev.siu.edu.

E. Patrick Johnson

E. Patrick Johnson Download Photo Here