LGBTQA uses a variety of methods to inform and educate the campus

LGBTQA uses a variety of methods to inform and educate the campus

by Morgan Perkins

Informing people on campus about different lifestyles is one purpose of the LGBTQA group on campus, and with that idea in mind, they presented an educational forum event March 24.

Junior Kate Parker, president of LGBTQA, said the underlying purpose was basic: To inform people.

“We try to gain visibility. We want people on campus to be exposed to events that wouldn’t normally be on an isolated campus,” Parker said

Dan Bauer, assistant professor of English and group adviser, saw multiple valuable reasons for holding this event.

“One, an academic purpose. This has to do with history and literature,” Bauer said.

“Second, it’s a statement on the part of the institution by showing that it is open to different groups of diversity,” Bauer said.

Another reason, according to Bauer, was to promote dialogue by getting people to talk and ask questions while learning.

The videos that were chosen came from a literary magazine, and were selected for their potential to best stimulate interest and discussion.

“We chose them because we felt that they related to people on campus,” Parker said.

The films also feature a variety of perspectives. “One of the films is about a famous person. Another one is just a day in the life of a person,” Parker said.

The documentary, “Out of the Past”, was one film chosen for the forum. Bauer said that this film is a balance between the past and present.

“We want to try to inject lesbianism and visibility. We often talk about men and that’s generally all we talk about,” Bauer said.

By showing this film, lesbians are made more visible, according to Bauer.

A key reason that LGBTQA chose a film format was because they have had success with this format in the past, according to Parker.

Bauer also said that films are an effective means for presenting these issues because of the fact that we live in a visual age.

“We tried to decide what students would turn out for,” Bauer said. “There’s also a huge educational value. Lots of people hadn’t heard of these films.”

The discussion that followed the films was pretty quiet, according to Bauer.

“I’m not sure that people with contrary views were going to disagree because of the number of gay and lesbians in the room,” Bauer said.

LGBTQA has various reasons and ways throughout the year to promote the issues they support.

Bauer said that a church group in Des Moines wanted real life lesbians and gays to come and speak to them.

“We want people to know what lifestyles are out there,” Parker said.

One way that LGBTQA promotes their issues is by meeting every week so that students feel safe and included, according to Bauer.