September 30, 2011

University ready to celebrate GLBT History Month

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- “Looking Back and Moving Forward” is the theme for Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s GLBT History Month.

Special activities throughout the month of October celebrate the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender population and its history.  There are panel discussions, movies, an open house, socials, guest speakers and even the popular “Divas of Diversity” and accompanying workshop.

“October represents an exciting time for us to come together as a community, reflect on our past, celebrate our present and prepare for our future.  The planning committee worked to create events that would connect with enduring and emerging segments of the GLBT community on campus and across the region.  We are excited about opportunities for old and new traditions to be marked this year,” said Wendy Weinhold, coordinator of the GLBT Resource Center.

The schedule for GLBT History Month 2011, with all events free and open to the public unless otherwise noted, includes:

Sept. 30

            •  Open House:  Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at SIUC, 3-5 p.m., WGSS House, 913 S. Oakland St., Carbondale. Visit with faculty, staff and students in the WGSS department and learn more about the program and opportunities it offers.

Oct. 3

            •  GLBT Kick-off Social, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., lawn near Morris Library.  Stop by and enjoy free food and drinks as you learn more about GLBT History month and the many activities it holds as well as meeting members of the Saluki Rainbow Network and staff from the GLBT Resource Center.

Oct. 4

            •  GLBT Resource Center Open House, 3-5 p.m., Rooms 326-327 on C Wing of Woody Hall.  Everyone is welcome to visit the center, meet the staff, enjoy refreshments and learn about the services and assistance offered there.           

Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26

            •  Safe Zone Training, 5-6 p.m., GLBT Resource Center.  Safe Zone is a national program whereby faculty, staff and students can designate “safe space” for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning individuals on campus.  Allies can participate in the Safe Zone program as well.  The workshop and membership in the group are free and voluntary and the idea is to work toward social justice and understanding of the diversity that exists.  Those participating in the training can choose to become members in the Safe Zone group afterward.

            •  Saluki Rainbow Network meeting, 6-8 p.m., Student Center, Thebes Room, first floor.  The oldest gay-straight alliance in the U.S., the Saluki Rainbow Network is celebrating 40 years on campus providing LGBTIQ students and their allies a forum for discussion, problem-solving, activism, development and the development and growth of leadership and other skills.

Oct. 5 and 6

            •  Sex in the Dark, 8-10 p.m., Grinnell Hall, lower level on Oct. 5 and Lentz Hall, lower level on Oct. 6.  This event presents the opportunity to have any of your questions about sex answered in a confidential setting by a panel of experts from the Student Health Services.

Oct. 6

            •  HIV Testing, 2-6 p.m., Newman Center.  The Jackson County Health Department is providing free, confidential HIV screening with results given the same day.  The testing process takes about an hour and counseling is available on site.

            •  Free Bowling and Billiards, 9-11 p.m., Student Center.  All students can join with Sigma Lambda Gamma Sorority for free bowling and billiards and social in celebration of diversity.

Oct. 7

            •  Kiss Out, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Free Forum Area near parking garage.  Everyone is welcome to join in this public demonstration of affection and celebration of the GLBT community.

Oct. 11

            •  National Coming-Out Day, national observance of the 1987 march by 500,000 people in Washington, D.C., on behalf of gay and lesbian equality.

Oct. 12

            •  Shirts and Sharpies, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Faner Hall breezeway and throughout campus.  GLBT people and their allies will wear plain white shirts bearing the words “I’m Out” or “Ally” and people can use markers to add words of encouragement to the shirts.

•  Discussion with Rick Garcia, 8-10 p.m., Student Center, Illinois Room.  Garcia will talk about progressive work in the state regarding civil rights issues and the passage of the civil union legislation as well as his experiences as a Latino male working to build coalitions among different groups.

Oct. 13

            •  Coming Out as an Ally webinar, 2-3:30 p.m., Student Health Center, Rooms 111-112.  As GLBT individuals may be the victims of harassment, bias and hate crimes in the world, having allies and “upstanders” is important.  Upstanders are those who recognize bias, harassment, bullying and other negative behavior and take a stand against it rather than just being a spectator to hate and prejudice.  The webinar will discuss behaviors, obstacles to intervention and skills and resources to assist upstanders.  There will also be a message from Ben Cohen, former World Cup Rugby star and chair of the StandUp Foundation.

Oct. 14

            •  Identities Film Fest, 7-9 p.m., Parkinson Building, Browne Auditorium.  The Saluki Rainbow Network will show several short films, including “Trevor,” that explore identities within the GLBT community. 

Oct. 15

            •  Homecoming Parade:  HomecomingOut, 10 a.m., downtown/campus.  Join members of the Saluki Rainbow Network and the GLBT community and allies and friends as they participate in the University’s homecoming parade.  In conjunction with this year’s homecoming theme of “Once Upon a Time,” SRN is presenting “Homecoming is a Drag!” with drag queen and kings on parade.

            •  GLBT Tailgate, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.  Stop by the GLBT Resource Center tent for food, freebies and a chance to relax with friends.  It’s the fifth year for the tailgate.

Oct. 17

            •  Open Closet, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., GLBT Resource Center.  Anyone can drop by the office during the day to meet with center staff, administrators and volunteers to interact, learn more and celebrate GLBT History Month.

            •  Ally Week Reception, 3-5 p.m., GLBT Resource Center.  The reception will feature free food and fun.

Oct. 18

            •  Civil Union Panel Discussion, 1-3 p.m., Lesar Law Building, auditorium.  This panel discussion will focus on legal issues relative to the new Illinois civil union legislation.  The panelists include Catherine Staerk, field director for Equality Illinois, and a couple wed under the civil union law.

Oct. 19

            •  “There’s Nothing Wrong with Me” panel discussion, 7-9 p.m., Student Center, Mackinaw Room.  Sarah Self, a student at SIU Carbondale, and other members of the GLBT community will participate in a discussion about the potential that they are at risk because others perceive there is something wrong with them.

Oct. 20

            •  GLBT College Students:  Use and Abuse of Alcohol and Other Drugs webinar, 2-3:30 p.m., Student Health Center, Rooms 111/112.  Statistically, GLBT students are at greater risk of having alcohol and other drug use and abuse issues than their heterosexual counterparts and this event looks at the risk factors, including the homophobic climate, that puts the students at higher risk.  Participants will also learn of intervention skills, treatment options and research.

Oct. 21

            •  Speech Communication Department Students’ Queer Performances, 8-10 p.m., Quigley Hall auditorium.  The evening includes student performances featuring work drawn from a spring queer performance class.

Oct. 22

            •  L(gbt)eadership Retreat, 1-6 p.m., Gaia House and Interfaith Center Library.  This is a free event, open to the public, offering Safe Zone training, discussion and interactive activities for GLBT people and allies. 

Oct. 23

            •  “Jamie and Jessie are Not Together,” 7-10 p.m., Morris Library, John C. Guyon Auditorium.  Those attending will view the new film by writer/director Wendy Jo Carlton about a lesbian romance and then discuss the movie.  Tickets are $2 for University students and $3 for the public.

Oct. 25

            •  Confronting Transphobia:  A Bystander Intervention Training, 5-7 p.m., The Women’s Center, 610 S. Thompson St., Carbondale. 

            •  Root Beer and Ice Cream Social and “Kinky Boots” screening, 7-11 p.m., Student Center, video lounge.  Watch the movie and enjoy root beer and ice cream.

            •  Does Sex Matter?, 7-9 p.m., Grinnell Hall, lower level.  The Black Togetherness Organization is hosting this discussion of sex in the 21st Century.

Oct. 26

            •  Divas of Diversity, a two-part event.  The Diva 101 (Drag 101) Workshop is at 3 p.m. at the Student Center Auditorium and includes the history of drag and lessons on how to “do drag.”  The Divas of Diversity is at 7 p.m. at the Student Center auditorium featuring diva Morgan McMichaels (Thomas White), who appeared on RuPaul’s “Drag U.”  A question and answer session follows.  McMichaels will direct the workshop as well.  Both events are free.

            •  Representations of Men/Masculinity in 20th Century Popular Media, 2:30-4:00 p.m., Student Center, Illinois Room.  Patrick Dilley, associate professor of educational administration and higher education, will discuss media representations of non-heterosexual college men from 1920 to 2010.

Oct. 27

            •  Salukis Got Talent, 7-9 p.m., Grinnell Hall, lower level.  See the talents Salukis have in action at this Black Togetherness Organization event.

Oct. 27-29

            •  “Orphan Annie Eyes:  Overcoming Narratives of Cancer and Loss,” and “To Lay Brick,” 8 p.m., Communications Building, Kleinau Theater.  This double bill performance includes an autoethnographic view exploring what it means to be a cancer patient and a personal look at the issue of abortion.  Tickets are $5 with valid student ID or $7 for the general public.  The theater box office phone number is 618/453-5618.

Oct. 31

            •  “It Gets Better” video screening and panel discussion, 7-9 p.m., Student Center, auditorium.  The project from the GLBT Resource Center and Multicultural Programs and Services illustrates for young GLBT community members how life can improve and be good, particularly after they pass their teen years, and it reminds people they aren’t alone.  The student-generated video project will air and a panel discussion follows. 

Sponsors of GLBT History Month include:  The GLBT Resource Center, Office of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Institutional Diversity and Dean of Students, Saluki Rainbow Network, The Women’s Center, Equality Illinois, Student Center Special Programs and Center Events, University Housing, Student Health and Wellness Center, Higher Education Student Association, Black Togetherness Organization, Student Life and Intercultural Relations- Multicultural Programs and Services, Sigma Lambda Gamma,, Gaia House Interfaith Center, Student Programming Council and the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department.

GLBT History Month is one of the many initiatives of Student Life and Intercultural Relations-Multicultural Programs and Services.  The office also hosts Latino Heritage Month, Native American Heritage Month, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance, Women’s History Month, Asian American Heritage Month and other activities and events promoting cultural competency at the University.

For more information about any of the events or the GLBT Resource Center, visit at Room 326/327 in C Wing of Woody Hall, email, call 618/453-5627 or visit the website at