Women’s history and awareness begins Feb 25

Roberto Hodge, Multicultural Editor

Gender and sexuality will be heavily discussed as part of Women’s History Awareness Month, beginning Feb. 25.

This year’s theme is to center around gender and sexuality.

Ruben Quesada, the co-chair of WHAM, said gender and sexuality both have distinct meanings separately, which are used to intersect race, class, ethnicity, and nationality.

“We’re able to have a broad perspective and we can talk about ways in which gender/sexuality flow through the universal categories,” Quesada said.

Quesada said an example would be how a transgender person in the community is seen as a “newer” concept because access to seeing these types of people is limited; however, now there is a greater aspect to this culture because of mainstream and pop culture.

She said TV series such as “Orange is The New Black,” “Transparent” and “Looking” have made the representations of the less-common interpretations of gender and sexuality. These themes in TV and film were not widely seen more than five years ago.

Essentially, these identities society might consider “norm,” make the assumption of a “normal” identification for a person, she said.

“If someone is not like you, it doesn’t mean they should be treated any different than you,” Quesada said.

A poetry performance at 5:30 p.m. in the Black Box Theatre in Doudna Fine Arts Center by Xánath Caraza, a Chicana poet, and Ladan Osman, a Latina and Somali-American poet and teacher will kick off the month’s list of events.

Quesada said the performance is co-sponsored by University Board and the African-American Heritage Month Committee.

The women will be performing their pieces from the aspect of being a woman of color, but each are from very different backgrounds.

“It’s more complex,” Quesada said. “I’m really excited to hear their words and their backgrounds as women of color and their cultural background.”

The month will also feature an event discussion around gender, sexuality and how it relates to specific educational fields entitled “Sex in the City…in the Country…in the Mind,” at 6 p.m., March 10, in Booth Library Room 4440.

Quesada said professors would bring up homosexuality in the events Greece and the Midwest as well as sex and flowers.

For Quesada, one of the most interesting aspects about the month will be the film screening of “Pride” at 5 p.m. March 11, in the Doudna Fine Arts Center Lecture Hall.

The film is based on a true story and set in the mid-80s on lesbian and gay activists who helped British minors during a strike.

“It’s an allegiance of these two communities who would have never gotten together,” Quesada said.

Roberto Hodge can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].