Opinion » Guest Commentary
Everyone knows that April showers bring May flowers, but did you know that April is also for celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Awareness? The yearly festivities, better known as “Gaypril,” are opportunities for celebration and education about LGBT victories and struggles. April is a time to reflect on the many contributions of LGBT people and communities.
But why bother celebrating LGBT Awareness Month here? Isn’t Ithaca one of the “50 Fabulous Gay-Friendly Places to Live,” as mentioned in the book by the same name? We all know that Ithaca College was named one of the Top 100 friendliest campuses for LGBT students by “The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students.” Shouldn’t that count toward campus awareness and diversity? Of course, and that’s exactly why Gaypril is a big deal. We can’t take our queer friends for granted here while they are discriminated against elsewhere.
To kick off our celebration, we raised the pride flag Tuesday during the common hour. On April 16, Ithaca College faculty and staff will share their experiences of being out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or allies on campus. A ZAP! panel discussion will follow, taking place at 7 p.m. in McDonald Lounge.
This year’s Day of Silence will be recognized April 18. The Day of Silence is an annual student-led event that raises awareness and protests the bullying, harassment and violence many LGBT students face in schools. During this day, supporters choose to be silent to echo the voices of victims that have been quieted. Anyone who wishes to support this event, but cannot partake in the silence, is welcome to do so. Pick up a packet at prism’s table in the Campus Center if you’d like to participate.
The Day of Silence will be followed by the Night of Noise celebration in Clark Lounge at 7:30 p.m. Several performers will be hosted, including Ithaca College’s own Premium Blend and Dance Team. There will also be open mic times available for all those interested in raising their voices in support of the LGBT community.
As a final celebration of Gaypril, prism will host a drag prom at the Lost Dog Lounge on April 27, so get in touch with your gender-queer side by 8 p.m. and join our celebration.
In addition to all of these events, prism meets every Wednesday night at 8 p.m. in Williams 222. For Gaypril, we have extra special events, including the creation of gender trading cards, T-shirt making and a sex toy presentation by Planned Parenthood. I invite all of you to join us for the many events organized to support, honor and celebrate the people of the LGBT community.
Christine Mclear is a senior sociology and gender studies major and co-president of prism. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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