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!

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