The Paw Print
Saturday Oct. 6, three representatives from ASU went to a state conference to represent leadership on campus.
The leadership conference was hosted by One Colorado a statewide advocacy organization dedicated to securing and protecting equality and opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Coloradans and their families.
They work toward that goal by effectively advocating f and by lobbying the General Assembly, executive branch, and local governments on issues like safe schools, relationship recognition, and LGBT health and human services. One Colorado’s vision is of a fair and just Colorado.
The Genders and Sexualities Alliance (GSA) leadership summit was held on the Auroria Campus in downtown Denver. The second annual leadership summit was strategically timed during LGBT history month from Oct. 1 through Oct. 31. A welcome was given by Corey Wiggins, the program coordinator. “This summit is our chance to bring everyone together to talk about the amazing work that GSA’s are doing across the state to build leaders and create safe and affirming schools for all,” said Corey in his welcome speech. “This year… we are talking about intersections. Our identities have so many different layers that make us who we are and today we want to celebrate these intersecting identities and learn how to better serve all people.” He then made reference to offering All-Gender restrooms stating that, “…using a public restroom can be a daily struggle for transgender and gender nonconforming individuals.” These all-gender restrooms provided a safe space for many including individuals with disabilities and or children.
The day’s activities were laid out with registration at 8:30 to 9 a.m. followed by an performance by the Interactive Theater Project. This theater troupe gave a performance on the topic of two lesbians kissing. But the issue wasn’t the girls kissing, but that another heterosexual couple was kissing and a friend of theirs decides to take a picture of the lesbian couple and run off laughing.
After the scene ended the audience was able to ask questions about the skit while the actors were still in character. The topics of race, gender, and heternormative culture were all issues that became open for discussion. The troupe ended with another variation of kissing with the different ethnicities and genders of actors stage kissed, and discussion on the difference ended the two hour interactive performance.
The workshop breakout sessions followed the theater troupe. In this first session, all groups discussed the complexity of identity and how marginalized identities are the ones that diversity groups should be helping. The “big 8+” identities that were discussed were, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, ability, ethnicity, and gender identity.
The take away message from this session was to understand what privilege and oppression are. This workshop was followed by two more sessions participants could chose to attend. After the workshops, regional meetings took place, specific for University/ College GSA’s. A network was formed between ASU and other campuses throughout the state.