‘Queerness’ discussion to be held Wednesday

Hannah Shillo, Associate News Editor

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Students, staff, faculty and community members can learn and talk about the challenges and successes the LGBTQ+ community has faced at a “Discussion of Queerness” event Wednesday. The talk will go from 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. in the Center for Gender and Sexual Diversity located in the lower level of Stevenson Hall.

Kurt Ness, assistant for the GSD center, said the event will be more like a round table discussion where people will be talking about the different challenges the GSD community faces and the accomplishments it has celebrated.

Ness said living in a country where the GSD community is gaining some rights while having other rights being questioned can make for a great discussion among the group at the event.

“We’re living in interesting times right now, so we are just going to be discussing that and saying, ‘OK, where do we go from here, what are the challenges that we have and what can we do to overcome those challenges?’” Ness said.

He said all students, staff, faculty and community members are welcome to attend and share their stories.

Ness encouraged everyone to bring their lunches with them since the event will take place around lunchtime.

Ness also encouraged people to attend even if only for a few minutes between classes and other obligations.

“This is not the type of thing where if you’re not here at 12:15 p.m., we’re going to lock the door and not let you in or anything like that,” he said. “It’s an open thing. If somebody has class until 12:30 p.m. and they want to grab lunch and come down here after they get done, then I encourage that. If somebody has class at 12:30 p.m. and they want to come down here for 15 minutes, I encourage that as well.”

He said people can “pop in and out” as they need to; they do not have to stay for the whole event.

“It is a great way to learn about the history of the GSD community and learn about what people can do,” Ness said. “It’s also a great opportunity for people to come down and be reminded of everything that we’ve accomplished.”

Ness described the GSD community’s accomplishments and struggles as a situation where they are taking two steps forward and one step backward.

“It may seem like we are going backwards, but we’ve still made accomplishments in the 50 years since this whole movement began,” Ness said. “I think it’s important to think about; yes, we do have some setbacks right now, but long-term we’ve made a whole lot of progress and will continue to make progress.”

The next “Discussion for Queerness” event will focus on healthy coping methods and take place in November.

Ness said the Center for Gender and Sexual Diversity plans to continue this discussion series through the spring semester.

Hannah Shillo can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].