Instructors are seeking volunteers to help with an exhibit for Women’s History Month.
By Jon Hernandez
Volunteers put together an exhibit of posters and news articles tracing the progress of the LGBTQIA+ community, which was on display Oct. 29-31 in Moody Learning Center.
This exhibit was part of the college’s observation of LGBTQIA+ History Month.
“It’s absolutely student-created and student-led,” Amelia Serafine, history instructor, said Oct. 29.
History Instructor Suraya Khan partnered with Serafine for the exhibit.
Serafine said 12 to 15 students created posters for the exhibit.
This is Serafine’s second year to be involved.
“It does not travel from campus to campus,”she said. “This is very unique to SAC.”
The theme memorialized the struggles of the LGBTQIA+ community and celebrated their triumphs, their communities and their contributions, according to a LGBTQ+ docent guide for the event.
News articles and student artwork explained the movement and history of the LGBTQIA+ community.
One article described the story of a 15-year-old gay teen who was beaten and thrown out of a New York City emergency shelter.
After hearing the story about the gay teen, in 1979, Emery Hetrick and Damien Martin founded the Institute for the Protection of Lesbian and Gay Youth, also known as IPLGY.
It was renamed the Hetrcik-Martin Institute, according to the One Archives Foundation, a website of archives that supports the LGBTQIA+.
The One Archives Foundation was founded in 1952 and is the oldest active LGBTQ organization in the United States, according to the website.
Another article from the One Archives Foundation in the exhibit explained National Coming Out Day, an international LGBTQIA+ holiday as part of LGBTQIA+ History Month, observed Oct. 11.
This holiday is a day to honor the empowerment of people coming out for themselves, family, friends and co-workers.
The day promotes the belief that people are likely to support equality if they know someone who is LGBTQ, according to the article.
National Coming Out Day was first celebrated in the United States in 1988.
The history behind National Coming Out Day started with the Second National March on Washington, a march for lesbian and gay rights Oct. 11, 1987, which drew success in size of crowds, according to the article.
Other years marches on Washington took place were 1979, 1993, 2000 and 2009.
The marches collectively drew nearly 2 million participants, according to the One Archives Foundation.
From the same source, World AIDS Day was first held on Dec. 1, 1988, to unite the fight against HIV and remember people who have died.
“The exhibit last year really became a space for LGBTQIA+ students to find each other as well as to see themselves reflected in the historical record,” Serafine said.
“LGBTQ history is American history,” she said. “It’s not some side project that you can ignore. It is American history the same way that African American history is American history.
Serafine said with this college celebrating LGBTQIA+ History Month, more students who are part of the community may be more comfortable being themselves.
Students seeing the committee celebrate Awareness Month with Coming Out Day gives students a feel of home, she said.
“I hope that it shows that this is a community and this is a campus that celebrates the diversity of the student body,” she said. “I definitely hope that students and faculty who identify as LGBTQIA+ will see that they feel better coming to campus and feel happy to be here.”
In years past LGBTQIA+ use to be referred to as just LGBT.
“Honestly you can just keep adding letters. Human sexuality, human love and affection is remarkably diverse,” she said.
Serafine hopes to continue the exhibit next year.
“Part of the exhibit is to be glad about what’s been won but also pay attention to what’s happening,” she said. “Rights can be lost.”
Serafine and Khan will also oversee an exhibit for Women’s History Month in March.
Students who want to participate in creating that exhibit may call Serafine at 210-486-1711 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.