Tuesday, December 9, 2014

iLuminate Review

Hey Bearcats!

I hope you are all enjoying your weeks thus far, and we here at GLASS have a suggestion for how you could de-stress and have fun this weekend before Finals Week begins!

This past Friday, upon the recommendation of fellow active GLASS member Haven Kaplan, Joshua Altamirano (GLASS President), Eden Goring (GLASS Treasurer), Zaris Mota (GLASS member) and I (GLASS Co-Creative Director) attended the off-Broadway show iLuminate.

iLuminate performs unique dance shows in New York New World theaters and has appeared in various talk shows, award shows, and concerts. According to the group,"iLuminate isn’t just a dance show. We’re a company based on the fusion of technology and dance. We aim to create a visual display unlike anything you’ve ever seen, using dancers in electrified glow-in-the-dark suits to perform choreographed dances and illusions on a darkened stage. It’s an experience that’s completely unique to our brand and incomparable to any other dance show." Each show is an hour long and is a treat and experience for all ages. 

iLuminate impressively mixes dance with stunning neon visuals to explore a profound meaning between expression, love, and power. In an abstract and contemporary manner, the show aims to enlighten the audience on human individualism through the journey of the Artist—the show’s protagonist.  

The Artist himself embodies the idea of holding true to self-expression and individualism. Ostracized for his inability to dance, in a world where everyone dances like Mikhail Baryshnikov, he isolates himself into his own world created by the magic of his paintbrush. The paintbrush, as a matter of fact, remains pivotal to the idea of individualism—for it symbolizes power. This capability creates the dynamic between innocence and corruption. Our ballet-dancing Artist represents innocence in character, while the street-dancing antagonist represents human corruption. These attributes are carried through in the fight for the love interest of both characters. The interest is pulled to the purity of the Artist, but moved by the nature of the antagonist.

This pull towards purity develops the idea of flow versus nature. Where the protagonist builds a world for him to feel accepted in the flow of the environment around him, the antagonist forces his individualism, love, and his environment to work for him—an act that was only met with failure. The feud between the characters and these themes develop into more intricate meanings, again exploring personality, expression, and power. 

This aim was undeniably reached. As the show built a connection with the audience, everyone watched captivated. From actors jumping out of the audience, dancing through aisles, to neon serpents’ lunging out into the crowd, all in an environment that not only allowed, but also encouraged, applause—even though there was no dialogue the level of interaction was remarkable. We easily found ourselves immersed in the story, following the interesting yet ingenuous plot. All the energy and charisma, served to engage instead of distract, an admirable quality in an off-Broadway feature.  The lights, the music, the entire production was unique to itself, something that transcended the environment leaking into theme of the show itself. This show, even through its environment, values the importance of self-expression. 

iLuminate’s classic plot of power, corruption, identity and acceptance makes it a universal show; that, paired with the group's commitment to interaction, attracts an unprecedentedly diverse audience.  The spectators encompassed families,couples, and friends of of all ages, and we would recommend everyone check it out.  

So bearcats, don't miss your chance to experience the fun and grab your tickets before the lights go out on January 18th!!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Recap Week of 11/17

Hey Bearcats!

I hope you are all enjoying your Saturdays. I know you are excited at we at GLASS are about Thanksgiving and a short school week!

To recap this past week, Baruch GLASS observed Transgender Day of Remembrance. On Wednesday evening, members of GLASS as well as our advisors traveled to historical Christopher Street to St. John's Lutheran Church to attend the Audre Lorde Project's observance of Trans Day of Remembrance, a day before the nationwide day of remembrance. According to their site, the Audre Lorde Project is a "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans and Gender Non-Conforming People of Color community organizing center… committed to struggling across differences, we seek to responsibly reflect, represent and serve our various communities." At the event, various speakers from multiple organizations presented short stories, spoken word pieces, and even a rap to portray the importance of both mourning and celebrating the lives lost of trans people to hate violence. 

Next, on Thursday during Club Hours, GLASS hosted our own observance of Trans Day of Remembrance by watching the MTV documentary "Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word" which follows the story of a handful of trans youth who explain the struggles they face each day. We hope that another episode is released because it was a great, eye-opening, and touching show! See the link below to watch for yourself.

Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word

That evening, we all joined for a GLASS Family Thanksgiving Dinner. It was an event of great food, and mushy gushy love. Personally, it was a prequel for all the food I am excited to scarf down next week.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving all!  

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Goal to Be Straight But Not Narrow-Minded

Good afternoon Bearcats and Friends,

To recap, this past week was Ally Week, hosted by Baruch's Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Society (GLASS). On Thursday during Club Hours we had the event Straight But Not Narrow II: LGBT+ Terms and Definitions

As aforementioned, SBNN II was a continuation of an event we had during LGBT History Month back in October. At the first event we learned in a safe space the definition of what it means to be an Ally- one who is not necessarily in the community but is a supporter or activist for the LGBT+ community. On Tuesday and Wednesday of this past week, members of GLASS asked students passing by on the 2nd floor of the Newman Vertical Campus to write on a whiteboard a reason why they are Allies. Please refer to the lovely video of this experience in the link below to see the great things people said.

 I am an Ally Because… video

At Straight But Not Narrow II we indulged in Popeye's fried chicken (a crowd favorite) and GLASS member and Co-Creative Director Gabe Roman led a presentation on how we as Allies or as members of the LGBT+ community can appropriately address others without being accidentally offensive or making someone feel small. Gabe also drafted an LGBT+ Pocket Dictionary for us which lists Gender Expressions, Pronouns, Gender Identities, Sexual Orientations, Romantic Orientations, and some other General LGBT+ Terms we should all be aware of. Our guest, Christina Chala, also joined the discussion and helped to clear up some common misconceptions that have arisen. Christina is an Honors Advisor at Baruch and is employed with Dare2Engage, "a network of teachers and practitioners in 16-19 education who share a common aim to develop new and innovative resources for religious education and spiritual development." Later, in addition to further explaining to the crowd which terms some of us did not fully understand, Gabe also asked that we pair up and engage in an exercise where we pretended we did not know our neighbor, and we had to have a conversation with that person in an effort to avoid offending them by making any assumptions about their sexuality, gender identity, etc. I think I speak for everyone that attended when I say that I learned many new terms there and that I have more of a confidence now in how I can interact respectfully with others in the future. Please refer to this key resource whenever you feel it necessary, or stop by the LGBT Resource Room (VC 3-241) and chat with us.

GLASS's first ever Ally Week was very successful and we hope to make it an annual tradition. Stay tuned for upcoming events and have a great weekend!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Happy Monday!

Good evening Bearcats and friends,

Thank you to everyone in Baruch GLASS and to our guests who joined us for a discussion accompanied with coffee and donuts at our T-Time last Thursday. It was great to catch up with everyone on what they enjoyed about LGBT History Month.

October is not the only time GLASS makes a splash! We have many great events that we will both host and co-sponsor this fall semester alone, not to mention the many events we are excited to plan for the spring semester.

With that being said, happy Ally Week! This Thursday, the 13th, we are hosting Straight But Not Narrow 2: Terms and Definitions, the second part of an ally event we had during LGBT History Month. The goal is to create a safe zone for LGBT people and their allies to have an informative discussion about the appropriate terms we all should be using in our vocabulary. As always, we strive to make each person feel included and to know that his or her feelings should be respected and voiced. Please join us for a one of a kind event in Room VC 4-190 during Club Hours.

Hope to see you all there!

Monday, October 27, 2014


Hey Bearcats and Friends,

Tuesday starts the final week of Baruch's celebration of Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender History Month. Baruch GLASS would like to thank everyone who attended our events and all the clubs and organizations who co-sponsored with us. This has been one of our most successful and eventful years. As promised, the month will go out with a bang.

Tuesday during Club Hours Baruch GLASS is hosting 
Rainbow Cinema
For the past 50 years, media depictions of LGBT people have not been accurate. Gay men are shown to be effeminate; lesbians and bisexual women are objectified; the transgendered community gets treated like clowns; and cross-dressers and drag performers are labeled gay, regardless of their orientation. At Rainbow Cinema we will view clips from a few movies from different time periods and have someone provide some background about them (how they were received in their time). Then we will watch a film that focuses on the problems of the LGBT community. A discussion of its time context, cultural impact and how mainstream audiences view LGBT people will follow.

Thursday during Club Hours is our Closing Ceremony. 
It will be held on the ROOM 2-125 in the Vertical Campus building (room number still pending). The ceremony is going to be a wrap up of LGBT History Month which will include a guest speaker and a recap video showing photos and videos from all of our events. We will be presenting all of the clubs who have cosponsored the month with us certificates of appreciation, as well as our guest speaker, and the members of the committee.

Thursday evening from 6pm to 9pm is the event you have possibly all been waiting for: Fright Night. Baruch GLASS's 8th annual Halloween Party 
It will serve as an evening of fun where the entire Baruch community can celebrate the LGBTQIA community and LGBT History Month, all free from discrimination. The theme is Haunted Carnival and guests and encouraged to come as they are and feel free to be themselves (or to put together an amazing costume of course!). There will be many fun activities including a photo booth and two costume competitions, one for the scariest costume and one for the best representation of an LGBT icon. 

Hope to see you all there! Happy Halloween!