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QSA prepares for 2017 events

in Campus Life/Events by

Queer Students Advocacy discussed logistics for upcoming events during their recent club meeting held Feb. 7. High on this list was the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus performance at Jacoby Hall on March 26. Planning for the event has been in the works since Nov. 2016. Ticket proceeds from the event primarily fund the Douglas County HIV Alliance.

The group also looks forward to producing their drag show scheduled for the latter part of spring term. For now, karaoke is the most probable performance medium for the event, but short skit performances are another possibility.

On Valentine’s Day and the day before, QSA will sell candy for 50 cents a piece with a valentine in the Student Center. QSA hopes to fund one or more scholarships with the money from Valentine’s Day and future funds from the choral performance in March. Activities Coordinator Renee Thompson also proposed displaying an anonymous question box and information on romantic orientation awareness at the event.

“Romantic orientation” describes an individual’s patterns of emotional attraction to others. Distinct from sexual orientation, romantic orientation is fundamentally emotional, not necessarily sexual. For example, an individual could be romantically and emotionally engaged with another while not experiencing sexual attraction to that same person. The converse describes an individual who is “aromantic,” which is defined as the absence of romantic experience.

Thompson proposed an event thematically based on the importance of acceptance. Thompson gave this advice to fellow students about being supportive of everyone: “Number one is be respectful. Number two is self-education.” Thompson’s statements communicated acceptance and understanding of the richness of human identity and sexuality as key to working towards a safer future.

Thompson is recommending “The Human Rights Campaign” and the series “Gaycation”as educational resources. Thompson expressed that staying updated on vocabulary can get confusing, but these new terms express key distinctions between, and within, individuals.  “Pronouns and assuming gender or sexual orientation may not be a big deal to some, but they matter to others,” Thompson said.

“Pronouns and assuming gender or sexual orientation may not be a big deal to some, but they matter to others” —Renee Thompson, Activities Coordinator