On any given day, hundreds of students roll out of bed five minutes before class, toss on their worn, torn, button-fly Levi's they wore the night before and think nothing of it. Today, however, these same students will be challenged to think about the message they are sending out by wearing their denim. And that's exactly what organizers of BGLAD -- Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian Awareness Days -- are hoping for. Today is Jeans Day -- an annual event where students, faculty and staff are asked to don jeans in support of the lesbian, gay and bisexual community. But the message behind Jeans Day goes beyond just support, organizers say. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Alliance member Sloan Wiesen said Jeans Day can be interpreted many different ways. Wiesen said jeans are the apparel of choice because they are a normal, everyday part of life for many Americans. He said that by focusing on jeans, people are forced to think about something that they feel is normal and natural. It will give people a taste of what feels like to worry about public presentation, Wiesen said this week. "Lesbian, gay and bisexuals have to choose every day whether to be visual," the College junior said. He also said that Jeans Day brings issues facing the lesbian, gay and bisexual community into classrooms and dormitories. "It gets people thinking about the issues," Wiesen said. "Hopefully, it might get straight people to start to think about what it would be like if they had to think about [the same issues lesbians, gays and bisexuals have to think about]." Jeans Day turns the tables on heterosexuals by making them think about what it would be like if they had to worry about how the public would react if they held hands with their girlfriend or boyfriend, Wiesen added. "It makes people think about what would happen if that which is normal to them was seen as abnormal to someone else," he added. Jeans Day, which became a regular event across the nation in the 1970s, has been protested on campus in the past. One year members of a fraternity protested the day by declaring it "Heterosexual Footwear Day." "I think it's happened almost every year," Wiesen said. "But more recently, fewer have done it." In addition to Jeans Day, today is also the centerpiece day of BGLAD. A rally for homosexual rights is scheduled for 1 p.m. on College Green. Engineering senior and BGLAD Scheduling and Events Chairperson Sheryl Rose said Rita Addessa, director of the Philadelphia Lesbian Gay Task Force, will speak at the rally. Rose added that members of the University community will also speak. The keynote address, featuring playwrite and novelist Larry Kramer, will be held tonight at 7:30 p.m. in room A-1 of David Rittenhouse Laboratory. Kramer is founder of AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, or ACT--UP, and Co-Founder of Gay Men's Health Crisis.Comments powered by Disqus
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