Editor’s note: The Daily Nexus accidentally printed the wrong — and several months old — article in place of the following in yesterday’s paper (“Students Rally for Queer Peers, Ring in Coming Out Day,” May 3, 2007). We regret this error. We have published the correct article in today’s paper, with the appropriate updates.
The campus has been vibrantly spattered with multicolor flags and rainbow-painted posts this week, symbols that vibrantly announce the 17th annual Queer Pride Week 2007, themed “raising our voices in a sea of noise.”
This year’s pride week saw a number of educational workshops and social events and closes with today’s famous Queer Wedding — a celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex and allied community — at noon in Storke Plaza. According to the UCSB Kiosk student handbook, approximately 10 to 15 percent of the campus identifies being as gay, lesbian or bisexual.
“Many students at UCSB carry out their days thinking everything is hetero-normative,” said Art Avitia, chief organizer for Queer Pride Week and Queer Student Union co-chair. “[There are] queer scenes on campus, lesbian, gay and transgender, and I hope this week helps people realize it.”
Avitia, a fifth-year biology and Spanish major, said he hopes the queer community recognizes the significance of its underestimated, and sometimes hidden, presence on campus.
Today’s public “wedding” will hopefully help with this goal. The symbolic ceremony, which drew about 30 couples last year, incorporates people of all sexual identities. Approximately 100 people are expected to participate in the mock wedding ceremony, where couples will read their vows aloud and receive a ring, certificate, photograph and flowers. The event will be officiated, as it has been for many years, by Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Michael Young.
The weeklong event kicked off Monday with a rally at Storke Plaza, which featured key speaker Alice Y. Hom, founder of the Astrea Foundation for Justice, a nationwide organization that provides funding for lesbian-specific events.
Later that evening, students overcrowded the MultiCultural Center Theater to view the Queer Variety Night Drag Show, forcing some eager onlookers to have to watch the entire event in the MCC Lounge via video stream. Men wearing dresses and women sporting ties paraded up and down the stage and later discussed how society determines stereotypical male and female attire.
Last night QSU sponsored a Race in Queer Pornography workshop at the MCC Theater. Women’s Studies Assistant Professor Mireille Miller-Young led a discussion on queer pornography through the lens of politics, economics and culture to reveal the ways in which queer people are exploited in adult entertainment.
“I think that we’ve reached our goals [this year] by creating campus visibility for the queer community,” said Kori Krysh, QSU co-chair and fourth-year women’s studies major. “There have been so many new people out for events helping to make UCSB a safer space for the queer community.”
Along with the Queer Student Union, Queer Pride Week is co-sponsored by the Resource Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity, the Women’s Center, the MultiCultural Center, the Women’s Studies Dept., FUQIT, SCORE, the A.S. Queer Commission and the Womyn’s Commission.