Ferris Hosts “Queer Conversations”

FSU will be hosting a large number of gay-themed events to raise awareness on LGBTQA issues

This month, Ferris will host several LGBTQA themed events that will highlight the issues people of the gay and lesbian community face.

LGBTQA stands for “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queers and Allies”.

One of the featured events is the “Love Makes a Family” photo text exhibit, which will be on display from Oct. 5 through the 31st in the Rankin Art Gallery. The photos display portraits of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families along with interviews of their struggles and triumphs.

Katherine Harris, acting president of the Alliance of Ferris Employees, said this is the first time the group has sponsored major events. The Alliance has existed since last March and currently has over 60 members.

“This is something we sort of combined together,” said Harris of the many LGBTQ events that will be taking place at FSU.

Known as “Queer Conversations”, speakers, events and exhibits will feature LGBTQA issues.

The Alliance is looking for people to be able to have conversations over these issues.

“If we can do that, people will have a better understanding of who we are and the hopes and dreams we have in common with all people,” said Harris.

[PullQuote1 quote=”Our sexual orientation gender and identity, while important, are just a small part of who we are as people. ” author=”Katherine Harris” title=”Alliance of Ferris Employees President”]Harris feels the exhibit and other planned activities will show the “depths of our humanity.”

She added, “Our sexual orientation, gender and identity, while important, are just a small part of who we are as people.”

Ferris is hosting so many LGBTQA events because the month of October has special significance in coordination with a special “coming out” date of Oct. 11 and the 40th anniversary of “Stone Wall.”

In October 1969, a gay/lesbian bar called Stone Wall was invaded by local authorities who would “beat up” patrons. Harris said that at the time, “you could be beaten or hauled off to jail for being gay.” After the incident, a number of riots occurred and became the “birth of our civil rights movement,” said Harris.

“With these activities we are going to honor their sacrifices,” said Harris.

Another purpose of the activities and exhibits being featured by the Alliance is to break mainstream media’s depiction of what it means to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

More gay-themed events taking place this month are a screening of the film “Seven Passages” followed by a discussion with Reverend Jim Lucas on Tuesday, Oct. 20 in IRC 120, and a screening of the film “Inlaws and Outlaws” followed by a Q &A discussion with Seattle based director Drew Emory later this month. The time and place have yet to be announced.