By: Regina Wright ~Staff Writer~
Xavier LGBTQ Alliance handed out T-shirts bearing the words “Love is Love” on April 13, kicking off the group’s annual week of awareness for the LGBTQ community.
The week, which runs April l3 to 17 with a host of events, also includes the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network’s Day of Silence. The Title IX Office and the Multicultural, Gender, and Women’s Center also sponsor the events.
“LGBTQ Week is an opportunity for the Xavier community to learn about issues that affect their LGBTQ peers on campus and the larger LGBTQ community,” Kelly Smith, president of LGBTQ Alliance, said. “Our university challenges us to be men and women for others, an important part of reaching that goal is being receptive.”
On April 15, there will be a screening of “The Homestretch,” a documentary about three homeless teens fighting for their future and connecting with issues of poverty, race, immigration, foster care and LGBTQ rights. The screening will be held at 7:30 p.m. in Albers 103.
“My favorite educational event this week is our screening of ‘The Homestretch,’” Smith said. “Between 20 percent and 40 percent of homeless youth identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer. Given that only around 3.5 percent of the overall population identifies as LGBTQ, that statistic is alarming. I’m hoping this documentary will encourage students to think critically about what factors contribute to such a high percentage and what can be done to combat the problem.”
The events on April 16 will include late night trivia and pizza at 10 p.m. in GSC.
“My favorite entertainment event is late night trivia and pizza,” Smith said. “I’m looking forward to seeing students get competitive and seeing what they know about pop culture, history and more.”
The “Selfies for Silence Photobooth” will take place on April 17 to draw attention to the effects of silence surrounding bullying. The photobooth will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. in the Fenwick Atrium.
LGBTQ Alliance encourages all to participate in the events of the week.
“No matter how much or how little you’re involved with the LGBTQ community or how much or how little you know about the issues, there is always more to learn,” Smith said. “So we hope everyone takes advantage of some of the learning opportunities we have set up.”
LGBTQ Alliance meets at 7 p.m. on Tuesday nights in Hailstones 3.