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BGLAD Events Emphasize Diversity, Promote Understanding

By Christina Chu and Eva Moy
Staff reporters

On the surface, MIT BGLAD 1996 - Bisexual, Gay, and Lesbian Awareness Days - may look like just a rainbow of colorful posters and pink buttons.

But the week's events, sponsored by Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transgenders, and Friends at MIT, have included both social events and discussions of serious topics such as hate crimes and gender roles.

"The celebration is mostly a time for gay people at MIT to [become] more visible," said GAMIT General Coordinator Sarah L. Veatch '98.

The week's events will conclude today with a reading from "Frontline Feminism"1975-1995: Essays from Sojourner's First 20 Years this afternoon and a dance in Walker Memorial tonight.

As part of increasing visibility, GAMITdistributed "BGLAD 96" pins and sold T-shirts in Lobby 10.

"The buttons and T-shirts are a way for people to be visible not only this week, but at other times of the year," said GAMIT Publicity Coordinator Adrian Banard '97.

BGLAD emphasized diversity

"Our events are designed to show the diversity of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community," said GAMIT Political Coordinator Joaquin S. Terrones '97. "The Drag Show and the reading [from] Frontline Feminism is a way to break stereotypes."

"BGLAD is a way of showing how different people are in the [queer] community," Terrones said. When the public realizes that GAMIT is not one uniform culture, it is much more difficult to hold stereotypes, he said.

Hate crimes discussed

The hate crimes forum Tuesday began with a video called Crimes of Hate which addressed racism, homophobia, and anti-Semitism.

The video presented views from both perpetrators and victims of the violence often associated with hate crimes. The discussion afterwards focused on hate crimes at MIT, from widely publicized cases to personal attacks, and what the administration should do to address these problems.

Other events held this week included a Monday slide lecture entitled Muscles and a speech by Kath Weston Wednesday about gender roles in lesbian relationships.

Thursday's Drag Show in the Little Kresge Theater featured New York greats as well as local talents.