Variety of events slated for LBGT Awareness Week
Feb. 4, 2005
KALAMAZOO--Raising awareness about lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender issues is the goal of a series of free public events to take place from Monday, Feb. 14, through Friday, Feb. 18, on Western Michigan University's main campus in Kalamazoo.
The events are part of "LBGT" Awareness Week, which many colleges and universities schedule at some point during each academic year, says Bonnie M. Benson, coordinator of LBGT Student Services.
The LBGT Student Services office is sponsoring WMU's observance along with the University's undergraduate student group OUTspoken.
Several WMU events have been scheduled, and OUTspoken is encouraging people to kick off the week by wearing red to celebrate Valentine's Day as well as show support for the LBGT community. Additional public events are being planned by OUTspoken and once finalized, will be posted in the WMU News Events Calendar.
Monday, Feb. 14--LBGT Student Services will sponsor a brown bag luncheon presentation called "Transgender 101: Who Are We?" from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 157 of the Bernhard Center. The presentation will feature personal stories to help attendees learn what it means to be transgender, and include a discussion of terminology, hormone and surgical therapy, and the challenges faced by transgender youth.
Wednesday, Feb. 16--LBGT Student Services will sponsor a brown bag luncheon presentation called "Gay and Lesbian Literature: Our Favorite Works" from noon to 1 p.m. in the Faculty Dining Room of the Bernhard Center cafeteria. The presentation will feature a discussion of authors as well as recommendations for what to read. It will be given by Dr. Christopher Nagle, assistant professor of English, and Dr. Thomas Seiler, professor emeritus of English and Medieval Studies and the secretary of the Kalamazoo Gay/Lesbian Resource Center Board of Directors.
Also, OUTspoken will sponsor "Love Your Partner, Love Yourself," a presentation of health information from Planned Parenthood and Community AIDS Resource and Education Services of Southwest Michigan, at 9 p.m. in the Faculty Dining Room of the Bernhard Center cafeteria.
Thursday, Feb. 17--LBGT Student Services will hold an open house from noon to 3 p.m. in 2401 Faunce Student Services Building. During the open house, the first since this WMU office relocated to Faunce in 2003, attendees may view a slide show of photos from recent events; check out a library book; or simply stop in, say hello and see what's new.
Friday, Feb. 18--LBGT Student Services will sponsor a brown bag luncheon presentation on LBGT equality in the aftermath of Proposal 2 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Faculty Dining Room of the Bernhard Center cafeteria. Proposal 2, approved this past November, amended the Michigan Constitution by defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman. The presentation will feature Jay Kaplan, a staff attorney for the "LGBT Project," an initiative of the Michigan branch of the American Civil Liberties Union. Kaplan will address the implications of the amendment, whether the amendment can be challenged, and what the LGBT and ally community can do to regain its footing in the struggle for equality.
For more information about LBGT Awareness Week, contact Bonnie Benson at (269) 387-2123 or <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Information about how students will be celebrating the week is available from Ben Pulver, OUTspoken vice president, at <email@example.com>.
Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 269 387-8400, firstname.lastname@example.org