The name may have changed but BGLAD -- Bisexual, Gay and Lesbian Awareness Days -- will once again attempt to raise awareness and acceptance of homosexuals in the University community for the next several days. The events -- sponsored by the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Alliance, along with other University organizations -- will include dances, discussions and movies beginning today. And although events run all week, Engineering senior Sheryl Rose said next Wednesday is the focal day because it includes the keynote address, a rally and is "Jeans Day". BGLAD Scheduling and Events Chairperson Rose said the rally, which will begin at 1 p.m. on College Green, will give gays, lesbians and bisexuals a chance to vocally assert their sexual orientation. "The rally is a visual show of support of what we're trying to do," Rose said. College senior Amy Sonstein, an LGBA member, said the rally attracts attention and makes people aware of the homosexual community on campus. "I hope people will realize that it is OK to speak out about [homosexuality]," Sonstein said yesterday. The keynote address on Wednesday, featuring Larry Kramer, will begin at 7:30 p.m. room A-1 of David Rittenhouse Laboratory. Kramer, who wrote Faggots and Reports from the Holocaust, is founder of AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, or ACT-UP, and Co-Founder of Gay-Men's Health Crisis. Kramer's speech, which is titled "AIDS, The War is Lost," will detail how the AIDS epidemic is a crisis, Rose said. The same day, all students will be asked to wear jeans to show their support for lesbian, gay and bisexual rights. Rose said the Awareness Days are important because they stimulate discussion on campus. "There's a silence on campus about lesbian, gay and bisexual causes," Rose said. "BGLAD gets people talking about it." And although Rose said it is inevitable that some University members will protest against Awareness Days, she said that most community members are supportive of the events. "We've found that the vast majority are supportive," Rose said, adding that the dissent is sometimes helpful because it proves that homophobic people do exist. She also said the days have three stated goals: to foster a supportive homosexual community, to combat homophobia, and to make the homosexual community less foreign to the heterosexual community. "Until we're visible, it's difficult to overcome the prejudices and the general fear of homosexuality," Rose said. Other events of the week include: · Julie Blackwomon, a renowned lesbian poet, will read poetry from her book Voyages Out II and Other Works on Friday, March 22 in Stiteler B-21 at 5 p.m. · Beverly Dale, executive director of the Christian Association, will lead a discussion entitled "From Homophobia to Acceptance: My Story" on Sunday, March 24 in room 305 of Houston Hall at 8 p.m. · Tuesday, March 26 is Women's Night. Ivy Young, a lobbyist in the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, will speak about family rights.Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.