Sunday, Aug 25, 2019

A Few Clouds, 76 °F


delfin bautista, director of the LGBT Center

Photo courtesy of: University Communications and Marketing

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LGBT Center looks forward to spring after a busy fall semester

The Ohio University LGBT Center is wrapping up a busy fall semester of events that have informed and entertained the community.

The Center has continued to promote its mission of promoting diversity and acceptance of people of all orientations, genders and identities, with a focus this semester on collaborating with other offices.

“Working with diverse folks is a way to 1) come together as a community and 2) engage with new faces, as well as recognizing that we’re all in this together and we don’t have to replicate or recreate people,” said LGBT Center Director delfin bautista*.

The Center will wrap up its fall semester events with a Rainbow Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 26, a movie screening of “Rent” on Dec. 1 for World AIDS Day and a discussion about "coming out" during winter break.

“It’s become now a tradition to host that discussion because we do know that as folks go back home during winter break, a lot of them have come out,” bautista said. “And so we talk about what it means to go back home and navigate being out with family.”

From Nov. 16 to 20, the Center celebrated Trans Education Week with speakers, panels, film screenings and the National Trans Day of Remembrance Vigil. The vigil was held Nov. 19 in Galbreath Chapel in remembrance of members of the transgender community who have died in the past year.

Many of the Center’s regular events serve to educate the community, with monthly Dine-n-Discuss, Peace Potlucks and film screenings. Events held during Homecoming week, National Coming Out Day and Trans Education Week focus on more specific issues.

However, bautista said the Center promotes all events equally.

“I think it’s about seeing all of the events as equal. Yes, we’ve had big speakers, but that’s no better than a student presenting. It’s about treating all folks as equal,” bautista said.

The Center has also used the appearance of high-profile speakers as sources of knowledge and expertise on various issues such as gender and sexuality.

“What we’ve done with the higher profile or more well-known speakers is take advantage of their ‘celebrity’ to engage different folks on campus,” bautista said.

Many key speakers were scheduled in October for LGBT History Month, including Latino poet Emanuel Xavier, Russia’s leading LGBT rights activist Masha Gessen and Robyn Ochs, an expert on middle sexualities.

No matter the event, bautista said the goal is to inspire community and conversation.

“There’s more to us than the events that we plan,” bautista said. “We’re also trying to push conversations and widen conversations in the media, in the classroom, everywhere.”

LGBT Center spring semester events include:

  • MLK Jr. Celebration Week—Jan. 18-23
  • Drag Show—Feb. 12
  • Rubi Girls –March 18
  • Queer Studies Conference—March 31 and April 1
  • Pride Graduation—April 17

For more information about the LGBT Center, go to https://www.ohio.edu/lgbt.

*delfin prefers the lowercase form of their name and gender neutral pronouns.