With LGBT Awareness Month under way, April is a busy time for the college. Lis Maurer, coordinator of the Center for LGBT Education, Outreach and Services, said that during this month, commonly known at Ithaca College as Gaypril, the college will coordinate many different activities for students.
“Every year, we’ve had everything from performances to speakers to art exhibits to awareness raising things on the academic quad,” Maurer said. “You name it, it has happened in April on this campus.”
LGBT Awareness Month, which Maurer said has been held at least since she arrived at the college in 2001, provides opportunities for students to listen to speakers, see films and participate in activities celebrating sexual and gender diversity.
One of this year’s highlights is Monday’s visit by Alex Sanchez, author of gay-themed books for adolescents and adults, such as “Rainbow High.” Sanchez has won an award from the American Library Association, and his talk is being coordinated through a partnership with the Tompkins County Public Library. He will speak at 3 p.m. in the Klingenstein Lounge and 7 p.m. at the Tompkins County Public Library.
Filmmaker Josh Aronson, whose visit was originally scheduled for last February but was cancelled due to weather, will come Tuesday. His film “Beautiful Daughters” documents the first all-transgender production of “The Vagina Monologues.”
Other events this month include a Career Services presentation for LGBT students Wednesday, a Rainbow Reception for graduates April 19, a talk by sex educator Jay Friedman April 23, the annual Day of Silence April 25 and a new campus-wide collaboration held by the Unity Council April 29.
The Day of Silence is observed across the country, but Ithaca’s observance contains a unique twist: prism is sponsoring a “breaking the silence” event called the Night of Noise.
“Some of us struggle with the idea of purposely remaining silent because we know that people are remaining silent the other 364 days of the year,” Maurer said.
Junior Louis Caligiuri, co-president of leadership for Prism, said the group will host a drag show in IC Square at 6 p.m. April 25 for this year’s Night of Noise.
Cornell Woodson, SGA’s vice president of campus affairs and executive secretary of the Unity Council, said one Gaypril event is entirely new this year. The Unity Council, whose goal is to unite student groups and encourage collaboration between them, has organized a campus-wide art project which will be displayed April 29.
On April 19, students will gather in the Fitness Center to decorate panels of fabric which will then come together to make a large flag.
The flag will stretch the length of the academic quad, from the Campus Center to the Dillingham fountain. After the flag is taken apart, each piece will be on display in various buildings across campus.
“The purpose of it is really just to bring people from all different areas of campus,” Woodson said.
Maurer hopes the events this month will help participants to see queerness as only one aspect of an LGBT person’s personality.
“We can … engage in a dialogue about how rich peoples’ experiences are,” she said. “That no one person can be reduced only to their sexual orientation, or to their gender identity, [and] that we each have many different pieces that make up who we are.”
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