Campus groups gather to celebrate F&M’s second annual Queer Visibility Week

Photo courtesy of lancasteronline.com.

By Katherine Coble || News Editor

Franklin & Marshall’s second Queer Visibility Week took place on campus last week, an expansion upon the previous year’s event. Each day of the week featured a different lineup with activities ranging from education to recreation.

The week kicked off on Sunday, October 15 with a well-attended brunch in the Writer’s House that included a wide variety of breakfast food and “mocktails.” The programming continued the next day when history professor Marc Stein visited campus. Stein, a scholar of sexuality and social movements at San Francisco State University, was in attendance at a luncheon held at the Alice Drum Women’s Center early in the day. He then gave a talk entitled “Students, Sodomy, and the State: LGBT Campus Struggles in the 1970s.” According to the hosts of Queer Visibility Week, the talk covered “the litigation that occurred in the 1970s after more than a dozen public colleges and universities in the United States denied official recognition to LGBT student groups.”

On Tuesday the activities turned to film as SAGA, the Sexuality and Gender Alliance, hosted a screening of the film Moonlight in the Writer’s House. Moonlight, the 2016 winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, depicts the life of a young black boy as he deals with his sexuality and coming of age. Following the screening, SAGA hosted a discussion in the Allies Resource Center, located in the basement of the College Center. The discussion of LGBT film and art included discussion of other popular LGBT depictions including the graphic novel turned musical Fun Home.

This week’s Common Hour was also a part of Queer Visibility Week programming. The college hosted famous performance artist Kimberly Dark as she performed her piece “Things I Learned from Fat People on the Plane,” an exploration of movement, sexuality, body, and gender. Dark was also present for a Craft Talk in the Writer’s House following her event.

Queer Visibility Week closed on a happy note with the Queer Mixer, a celebration held in the Alice Drum Women’s Center with food, drink, and a photobooth. On Saturday the LGBTQ Alumni Council held an informal meeting in the Center for the Sustainable Environment to help LGBTQ students and alumni connect as part of Homecoming Weekend. This wide range of events allowed students from all walks of life with all interests to participate in Queer Visibility Week in one way or another. Because students were not required to attend every event but instead focused on the ones that most interested them, every student’s experience with Queer Visibility Week was customizable.

The second rendition of Queer Visibility Week was well-received and well-attended, with student organizations displaying LGBTQ pride flags in their spaces or hosting discussions about LGBTQ issues during their general meetings. The project was truly a collaborative effort involving dozens of people and several organizations ranging from SAGA to DipCon to the Women’s Center and beyond. The weeklong event is quickly becoming a prominent feature in F&M’s fall semester and is predicted to continue for years to come.

Sophomore Katherine Coble is the News Editor. Her email is kcoble@fandm.edu.

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