“Question the Queer” addresses homophobia

Melanie Mitchell, Copy Editor

With the goal to educate and gain acceptance from the Francis Marion University (FMU) student body and faculty, the Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, Transgendered and Straight Alliance (GLBTSA) will host a Homophobia Awareness Week on March 11-14.

Instructor of English and adviser for GLBTSA says that she is looking forward to the “Question the Queer” session that kicks off the weeklong of events.

“Question the Queer should be really interesting,” Stuchell said. “The questions that I have planned are questions that no one really wants to answer, but they are the questions people really need to ask.”

During the question-and-answer session, students representing each category of GLBTSA will be present. The audience will be allowed to ask certain questions to the panel which will allow for an open discussion. Stuchell hopes that this event will give people the chance to ask uncomfortable questions that in another social setting, might be considered inappropriate.

Stuchell said the goal is to not only educate the student body but to gain some acceptance as well.

“The idea here is to create a conversation,” Stuchell said. “I want students and faculty to understand that gay is not scary.”

Day two of Homophobia Awareness Week will be game night held on Tuesday in the Smith University Center (UC) room 218 at 6 p.m. Stuchell said everyone is welcome to come, play and bring their own games if they would like.

The third event of the week is the dance party that will be held on Wednesday in the UC at 7 pm. This event is for everyone to come together and dance, which according to Stuchell, is a chance for GLBTSA to further promote acceptance and tolerance.

Junior theatre design major and President of GLBTSA, Lindsay Jackson is most looking forward to the dance party.

“The dance party is a chance to bring people together and have a good time without having to worry about anything,” Jackson said.

The final event will be held on Thursday on the Founders Hall (FH) lawn from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. GLBTSA will team up with Gamma Sigma Sigma to host a “Birds and the Bees” safe sex information fair. There will information and condoms available for students of all genders and orientations.

By the end of Homophobia Awareness Week, Stuchell wants people to take away that people, are just people.

“Being gay or lesbian, bi-sexual or transgendered does not change who you are as a person,” Stuchell said. “[You] need to focus on who that person is and not what they are.”

Jackson hopes to spread the message of equality which, according to her, is what GLBTSA is all about.

To get involved with GLBTSA, attend a meeting held every Thursday at 6 p.m. in the Lee Nursing Building (LNB) room 137.