The “AIDS Lady” performance is at noon Oct. 5.
By Shamona Wali
A student organization and a college committee are sponsoring events for LGBTQ History Month in October.
October is internationally observed as the time to celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history in the United States.
The Gay Ally and Lesbian Association, known as GALA, is hosting three additional events to showcase LGBTQ history and observe Oct. 11, which is celebrated as National Coming Out Day.
The college’s LGBTQ History Month Committee is sponsoring six additional events in October and November. The first on Oct. 2 was a guest speaker on research.
“For this semester, our mission at GALA is to focus on being an active organization for LGBTQ rights and awareness in the San Antonio College community,” GALA President Juan Martinez, education sophomore, said during an interview Sept. 27.
“For the upcoming events in October, we want students and faculty to know that everyone can join us and participate. Because there is a high rise of resentment toward the LGBTQ community in the politics of today, it’s important for us to all stick together and show unification.”
GALA’s events will be 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the faculty and staff lounge in Loftin Student Center.
This is the group’s regular meeting time, and the events are open to anyone. The first was an identity workshop Oct. 4.
On Oct. 11 and Oct. 18, GALA will sponsor the Anonymous Narrative Box event in celebration of National Coming Out Day.
Martinez has purchased open boxes in the shape of question marks and will place across campus along with flyers describing what the boxes mean.
Martinez invites students to write about their stories of coming out of the closet or to send positive messages to those who may still be reluctant to reveal their sexual preferences.
Stories will be accepted until Oct. 18 when the organization will collect the stories and read them outloud west of Moody Learning Center.
“We want students to have a place where they can express themselves freely if they’d like to do so but because this is a critical topic,” he said. “We want students to also know that their privacy will be protected, and if they wish to write vaguely, they can do so.”
On Oct. 18, GALA will collaborate with the Asian Pop Society and Asian Languages and Cultures Club during its weekly general meeting to discuss how LGBTQ is represented within animation and film.
On Oct. 25, GALA is looking for a local drag performer to speak about their experiences.
Events sponsored by the LGBTQ History Month Committee are:
- “The AIDS Lady” performance noon- 1:30 p.m. Oct. 5 in the craft room of Loftin.
- Drag king bingo noon-1 p.m. Oct. 11 in the Fiesta Room in Loftin.
- Film screening of “Southwest of Salem” 5:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 16 in Room 218 of the nursing and allied health complex
- A presentation on “Cornyation: San Antonio’s Outrageous Fiesta Tradition” 6:30 p.m. Oct. 26 in Room 218 of the nursing complex.
- LGBTQ Dia de los Muertos event 1-5 p.m. in Room 218 of the nursing complex.
- The LGBTQ History exhibit 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 8 in the performance area on the fourth floor of Moody Learning Center.
The president of GALA said the college committee did not include the student group in planning events.
“The chairman of the committee, Dr. Jon Lee, reached out to us about two weeks ago after already completely planning these upcoming events for LGBTQ History Month,” Martinez said. “We honestly weren’t even aware of the fact that this committee existed prior to this past month. It’s just surprising that this committee would create all these events without even reaching out to the students. We were invited to participate but it is completely optional.”
He said he did not know if members would participate in some of the committee’s events.
Lee did not respond to multiple attempts to schedule an interview with The Ranger.