LGBT diversity week reaches out to campus community

Cal State Long Beach hosts Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Diversity Week, which started with the LGBT Community Exhibit and Resource Fair yesterday. Panelists will also be speaking on campus from April 12 to April 15.

LGBT Diversity Week provides the community with education programs designed to highlight diversity in sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity and socio-economic status.

Numerous organizations gathered near the University Student Union
Ballrooms yesterday, including Project Choice, Project OCEAN
(On-Campus Emergency Assistance Network) and the Women’s Resource Center. The organizations have common themes incorporating student health awareness and safe sex.

For example, Project OCEAN’s primary goal is suicide prevention.

According to project manager Carolyn O’Keefe, suicide is the second leading cause of death among students in the United States.

Groups like Project Choice focused on the prevention of HIV/AIDS and substance abuse. Free condoms were available at their table along with pamphlets and fliers.

There were also tables set up to make shirts for Break the Silence —
in honor of the LGBT Day of Silence protest — and Tomorrow’s Rainbow with a lavender graduation theme.

Starting today, different panelists will speak on campus every day
this week. Retired CSULB professor Clifton Snider will do a reading of his poetry in the USU Ballroom at 5 p.m. today. Snider has authored several books and was the first professor to teach the course “Gays and Lesbians in Literature” at CSULB in 1996, according to his curriculum biography.

Independent screenwriter and filmmaker Matthew Mishory is also
scheduled to speak. There will be a screening of his recent film
“Delphinium: A Childhood Portrait of Derek Jarman.” The film portrays the life of filmmaker and activist Derek Jarman, who lived during the struggle for gay liberation and the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. Jarman later died from the disease in 1994, as mentioned on the “Delphinium” Web site.

A clip of Mishory’s other film, “The Marionettes,” which is about the
passage of Prop 8, will be screened during the event.

On Wednesday, panelists Micky Small, Griselda Suarez and John Trapper will speak at USU-Room 303. They will share their experiences and perceptions of diversity within the LGBT community. They will also discuss the LGBT community’s progress and experience.

Small is an actress and writer who has worked in numerous nonprofit organizations. She is currently the business manager for the department theater at CSULB. Suarez is a assistant professor in the Chicano studies department and teaches writing and literature. Suarez has also authored “Sinister Wisdom Journal Issue 74 – Latina Lesbians” and her most recent book “Concrete River Boulevard.”

Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies assistant Professor Jennifer Reed will appear at the Multicultural Center on Thursday. She will conduct a presentation on the terms queer and transgender, and share information regarding issues and topics regarding the queer and transgender communities.



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