Ithaca College’s Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Education, Outreach and Services will host a media presentation at 4 p.m. tomorrow in the Handwerker Gallery. The event, “Will and Grace Meet Dr. Torres and Zoe,” presented by Lis Maurer, coordinator of LGBT Education Outreach Services in the Counseling Center, will be a salon discussion on the topic of LGBT characters in the media.
Maurer will introduce facts and bring up discussion points for attendees to consider. The purpose of the salon, which Maurer expects to last an hour, is to open up a dialogue about LGBT characters, and what portrayals mean to students and for the LGBT movement.
“[It will be] a space where people can come together and we can all share ideas about this topic,” Maurer said. “What I hope for is rich conversation.”
The discussion is featured as part of the Tuesday Salon program at the Handwerker Gallery, which has run for three years. Cheryl Kramer, director of the gallery, said the program was inspired by students at the college.
“Students felt that there wasn’t enough of a intellectual environment for debate and discussion,” she said.
A salon is held at the gallery the first Tuesday of every month. After a 10-minute introduction by a facilitator, the audience discusses the topic in an intellectual debate.
Kramer, who initially approached Maurer with the idea of running a salon, said the issue of LGBT characters in the media is one of interest to students.
“Over the past decade, media has played a role in the ebb and flow of rights within the LGBT community,” she said.
Maurer said the salon will allow students to discuss what they’ve noticed in LGBT characters. Questions such as whether these characters are oversimplified or stereotypical will be raised along with discussion of the positive effects of having the LGBT community represented in the media.
“Students [have been] coming into my office who had seen a program on television or online and had very strong opinions on whether [the character] was advancing equality or hindering us,” Maurer said. “The most common complaint is that they are portrayed very stereotypically.”