GLBT’s Pride Week events begin Thursday

by Michelle Kibiger

From hate crimes to pop culture’s portrayal of coming out, Spring Pride Week organizers strive to shed light on various issues in the University gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual communities.
Spring Pride Week, scheduled to begin on Thursday, is a conglomeration of events focusing on issues of importance to members of the Association of Gay/Lesbian/ Bi/Transgender Student Organizations and Their Friends, including anti-gay violence and coming out.
Association member Megan Thomas said the group scheduled all the speakers and events separately from one another, but decided to put them together under Spring Pride Week to draw more attention to the importance of the issues.
Claudia Brenner, who wrote a book about her personal struggle with anti-gay violence, will speak on Thursday about her experience. On Friday, the association will host a panel discussion about hate crimes and bias incidents where representatives from various communities will discuss how bias affects activities.
Next week will start off with a presentation by Michelangelo Signorile, an author and journalist known for his coming-out experience and for helping other people come out of the closet.
“His presentation is sure to spark debate,” said association co-chair Michael Lane. “His message on how to come out of the closet and the politics of the closet are a good starting point for us to start a positive discussion on campus.”
Signorile will speak on Monday about coming out and how that experience affects a person’s friends, family and co-workers. This event is also sponsored by the Campus Involvement Center and University Bookstores.
The long-awaited and much-debated coming-out episode of “Ellen” will close the week. Members of the University community are invited to come and watch the show after a potluck dinner and informal social gathering.
During the weekend, the association will also sponsor a performance-art piece.