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Discussions, Dance Celebrate BGLAD


Ray Louie -- The Tech
Paul Bonin Rodriguez was one of the comedians who performed at Little Kresge on Tuesday night. Rodriguez performed during a celebration of Bisexual, Gay and Lesbian Awareness Days and Hispanic Month.

By Stacey E. Blau
Associate News Editor

Activities have been taking place all week celebrating Bisexual, Gay, and Lesbian Awareness Days.

The week's events culminate this evening in a dance in Lobdell Court called "The Homo Hop: A Dance for Sexual Inverts and Their Friends," sponsored by Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transgenders, and Friends at MIT.

"BGLAD is really envisioned by GAMIT as a celebration of just being who you are," said Adrian Banard '97, GAMIT Outreach Coordinator. "It's not something that's supposed to be there for the shock."

On Monday, a round table discussion entitled "Fighting the Right on College Campuses" was held in the Student Center. On Tuesday in Little Kresge, performances by Monica Palacios and Paul Bonin-Rodriguez celebrated BGLAD and Hispanic History Month.

Wednesday's activities featured a panel discussion on safe sex entitled "If I Have All this Latex, Why Don't I Use It?" in 6-120.

Two BGLAD activities held last night were "The Dating Game: For Boys, Girls, and Mattresses," which was in the GAMIT Lounge in 50-306, and a screening of Outlaw, a documentary about a transgender activist and author, in 6-120.

BGLAD about identity

"It's so complex. There are so many things going on," said GAMIT member Charles P. Armesto '96 about BGLAD. "It's more of finding an identity without assimilating."

"People's appearances used to be an immediate marking on who they were. There was a big movement to question that," Armesto said. Now the idea that "you can judge someone on their ability to love someone of the same sex" is also being questioned, Armesto said. "That's what BGLAD is about."

"People feel threatened by these concerns that don't ordinarily have a voice," Banard said. "Homosexuality is usually invisible, and people don't like it when it becomes visible."

Barnard also voiced his opinion on other campus issues. "It would be really nice to have a gay and lesbian studies program," Banard said. MIT sporadically offers some related courses, but "there's no structure there" and little financial support, he said. The program has all but disappeared since Professor of Literature David M. Halperin went on extended leave of absence four years ago.

"MIT has a sort of very wishy-washy attitude" in dealing with issues affecting bisexual, gay, and lesbian students, Banard said. "There's no substitution for good old education."

Banard also said that independent living group rush is "not an open process." Living groups fall into a "fuzzy zone" in that they are MIT- sanctioned but can do what they want and chose whom they want, Banard said. "It tends to make a really bad mockery of MIT's non-discrimination policy," he said.