Pride Week Begins Monday

Posted: March 24, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

“The Consequences of Gender Oppression,” compiled and interpreted by Tiffany Banks, a member of George Mason’s Forensic Team, leads off Pride Week 2005 on Monday, March 28. The presentation brings into focus the intersections of race, gender, class, and sexuality. This and other performances by the Forensic Team provide a warm-up for both the week and the team as they head off to national competition. See them at noon in the Johnson Center Atrium on the Fairfax Campus.

On Saturday, April 2, stand-up comedian Suzanne Westenhoefer will perform from 8 to 9:30 p.m. in the Student Union II Ballroom. Westenhoefer began doing stand-up in the early 1990s as one of the first openly gay comedians performing gay comedy to straight audiences in mainstream comedy clubs across the United States. She plays to sold-out crowds for more than 100 live comedy concerts per year and has appeared on Comedy Central, Evening at the Improv, Caroline’s Comedy Hour, Sally Jesse Raphael, David Letterman, VH1’s My Coolest Years, and Politically Incorrect.

On Monday, April 4, “Queers in Careers,” a LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning) alumni reception and career panel, will meet from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Johnson Center’s Dewberry Hall. The evening provides an opportunity to connect with George Mason alumni who are “out there” in the work world and can talk about what it’s like to be LGBTQ in education, business, government, and other fields. Refreshments will be provided; the panel discussion will begin at 7:30 p.m.

From noon to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6, those who support making anti-LGBTQ bias unacceptable in schools will take a vow of silence to recognize and protest the discrimination and harassment. This Day of Silence across the Fairfax Campus is a project of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network in collaboration with the United States Student Association. Following the four hours of silence will be a rally, where voices will be raised to end the silence period and the hate it represents. At 6 p.m. in the Johnson Center, Room F, LGBTQ survivors of violence can meet together in a shared, safe space. Trained facilitation and resources for survivors will be provided as an integral part of the gathering.

On Thursday, April 7, the Psychology Department will sponsor “Beyond Queer as Folk and The L Word: the Lives of Real LGBT Couples” from 3 to 4:15 p.m. in Enterprise Hall, Room 276. A diverse group of same-sex couples will share the challenges and rewards of their relationships. This is an opportunity to deepen understanding beyond the political hype of the “gay marriage debate” and the media marketing of Queer Eye. Since they lack the societal support and the role models of heterosexual relationships, same-sex couples have much to teach about how to negotiate relationships based on the strengths of two unique people.

On Friday, April 8, “Passionate Expressions–Creative Representations of Sexuality: Love, Intimacy, Romance, Eroticism, and Passion” will be held from 8:30 to 11 p.m. in the Johnson Center Bistro. The event allows all genders and sexualities to express themselves through spoken word, poetry, music, and art. To sign up to perform or show visual art contact e-mail Eryca Kasse at (Those with music and poetry can also sign up at the door.)

The week concludes with the Fairy Ball on Saturday from 8 p.m. to midnight in the Johnson Center, Dewberry Hall. Other events include a drag show, a Pride Alliance meeting honoring LGBTQ allies, a film, Safe Zone training, and a Pride Alliance kiosk in the Johnson Center all week.

Pride Week 2005 is a collaboration of the Mason Pride Alliance, LGBTQ Graduate Students, Counseling Center, Health Education Services, Multicultural Research and Resource Center, Women’s Studies Research and Resource Center, Program Board, Student Activities, University Life, and the Office of Diversity Programs and Services. For more information, call 703-993-2700 or visit the web site.

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