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LBGT Sponsors Coming Out Week

By Sonali Mukherjee

From October 10th to October 16th, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered student groups at MIT are sponsoring several events to commemorate the annual Coming Out Week. These discussions, forums, and lectures are intended to open up the MIT student and faculty community to the issues that often surround homosexuality in the college environment.

One of the highlights of Coming Out Week is the annual Rainbow Reception, which is being held on Friday, October 14 in the Talbot Lounge at East Campus from 4 to 6 p.m. This event is open to all members of the MIT community, regardless of their sexual orientation, and it is intended as a forum to discuss how gay students can come together and gather their resources to become a more forceful movement on campus.

Susie Bright to speak

On Friday, October 15th, in the Wang auditorium, the Women’s Collective is sponsoring a lecture entitled “Full Exposure.” The guest lecturer, Susie Bright, firmly believes in many left wing ideas of American sexuality in the 90’s. A self-proclaimed bisexual, Bright has broken free from the strict views held by her Catholic family to become one of the foremost “sexperts” on feminist eroticism. The author of such books as “The Sexual State of the Union” and “Full Exposure,” and a columnist for Playboy Online, the internet literary magazine Salon, and the New York Times Book Review, she has put into print her very basic views about sex: it should be considered as more than just “a way to make babies.”

However, her attitude towards more traditionally minded people is quite scathing. An article from Southern Voice says that Bright is upset by the behavior of today’s mainstream youth. “Bright said she and her peers frequently find themselves ‘talking about some teenager you met who is such a right-wing asshole you couldn’t believe it. Why aren't they rebelling against their parents? Why are they into abstinence for God’s sake? Why are they talking about mutual funds instead of getting laid?’”

While this may not be the idea that LBGT is trying to promote at MIT, they invited Bright to speak because she is enthusiastic about gay, bisexual, and lesbian college students because they have no inhibitions about asking questions. “As outrageous as some of the students’ questions can be, it’s their lack of self-consciousness that keeps me coming back for more. They think that sex matters, politically and personally; in fact, it's one of the only things they think matters.”

Some groups that are linked to LBGT include the Friendly Alliance of Queers and Straights (FAQS), GaMIT, the Graduate Student Coffeehouse, and the MIT Women's Collective.