Wednesday, April 20, 2005

4/20/05 Service learning reflection

i worked with pride to bring the "love makes a family" photo exhibit to geneseo. its a traveling exhibit of glbt families. the exhibit is meant to educate people on the diversity of families and meant to confront issues of stereotypes. there were 25 photos and each photo had a quote and two-three pages of each families story.

initially, we had a meeting to discuss advertising. this is an important issue for any show and discussion to get the word and and make sure that people know about it so they will come. i learned about networking. several of the people involved were in other organizations and we decided to get their members interested because they were involved with the same issues. the genesee valley gay alliance and the empty closet were both told about the exhibit. we also decided to advertise to the community. we put up fliers on main street. someone was appointed to talk to the local schools. i myself put up fliers and asked the art department secretary to sendout and email to all the art majors about the photo exhibit, knowing that all art majors need to attend such events on campus.

in addition to fliering and networking, i made a guestbook for the exhibit. i feel like this is a good way to communicate feelings of people that see the exhibit. i thnk it also will help us when we take the show down to evaluate the experience.

most directly, i helped to hang the show itself. we had to figure out how to space and hang 25 photos and three times that in writing. it was quite challenging to hang it so people could read everything and so it didnt look that cluttered. we were given equipement from the library (hangy poles and hangy slider things). i feel like we were successful in creating a readable yet interesting exhibit.

i feel very positive after helping hang this exhibit. i feel like it brought something diverse to this campus. the photos were real and the stories of the people were in their words right next to the photos. as a photographer, i feel like this is a great idea and would like to venture into this subject later in my art career. i like the subject. i think the images were very powerful and very real. i am hoping that a lot of people were able to see the exhibit. i feel like it was tucked away in the corner of the library, but i understand taht it was because of a lack of space. i think that it is a different perspective of family life that many students here do not often see, therefore should.

i think the hardest part of this experience for me was talking to people. in addition to the people hanging the exhibit itself, i had to talk people about putting up posters and sending out emails. im a very shy person so this was pretty difficult for me. also hanging up the exhibit itself, there were several gay people helping and it was interesting to see their reaction to the things taht the people in the photographs said. it was a good experience for me to be around such a diverse group of people actually hanging the exhibit.

this experience has been very fun and i enjoyed it and learned alot from it. reading the life stories has made me feel even more compassion to these families that are struggling with homophobia and stereotyping in our society. im proud that i had a part in bringing such an exhibit to this campus.

i think this service learning project was a really interesting part of this class. i never would have gotten hands on involved if it was necessary. i was able to work with people that ive never talked to before and bring a wonderful thing to this campus. i think that it is a good way to see what it is we are learning about in a real life setting.

4/18/05 Film: Brother Outsider Readings: the borning struggle and homophobia and the trajectory of...

i really enjoyed the film today on bayard rustin. i have not heard about his role in civil rights before this. he was an incredibaly interesting person. i think that because he was gay, it did in fact affect his role in the movement. rustin came off as being comfortable with his sexuality. the film opened with one of his ex boyfreinds talking about how rustin did not hide the fact he was gay. what was 'noble' about rustin is that he was always willing to step down from his role in particular events to protect the movement from any criticism because of his sexuality. there were times, like when he was working with King that he was asked to step down. but he was always more willing to protect the cause rather than let his own sexuality be harmed by it.

his movement from protest to politics i think was extremely important. as we saw, others believed he was just trying to work with the system and therefore buying into it, but i think that he believed the only real way to make change was to make come from with in. this was particularly an issue when the black panthers were created and tried to create change through violent force.

the civil rights movement was born from a grassroots movement involving peaceful protests and non violent action. it is a model for many other movements including the feminist movement and the gay rights movement. i think both of the articles demonstrated this. bernice johnson reagan said in the borning struggle piece that it changed the people that came into the movement. she said that she was able to find a place for herself, a voice. anyone can be a leader in these organizations. looking at other movements, we see such similarities. returning to the issue of the gay rights movement as being a parallel to the civil rights movement, we see examples of this with strategy. for example, when african amerians boycotted buses as a for of non violent protest, glbt people tried to get marriage licences from city hall in one film saw called tying the knot, this is a form of non violent action. there is also the paralleled use of parades and marches. one movement is learning from the other.

4/12/05 GLBT issues and Rights of Womyn

i found this lecture quite interesting. i took a class last semester on womyn in politics which ended up being a class more on feminism. we talked at great lengths about the different waves of feminism. i think this helped me a lot in understanding the different issues brought up in the readings. we read the 'homes of single women' by anthony. in the speech, she focused on other issues than just suffrage, particulary the point that the need to create a single home out of want and need is a universal desire and it is the only logical step to take if the womyn did not want to be "ruled". she also discusses this issues of marriage and why a womyn wouldnt want to marry in the first place, she wouldnt have legal status and not allowed to divorce. unfortunatly i think anthony's speech perpetuates the stereotype that if you dont want to be with a man, and you are on your own, then you are not sexually desirable. in the example where a womyns male friends come to visit her in her single household, they do not think of her sexually, but simply as equal. looking back at this with a twentieth century perspective, this is almost counter productive and gives birth to the fact that if you dont want to be with a man, then a female "becomes" more masculine. this speech more or less exemplifies that single, independent womyn during that time were not considered real womyn, but the minority.

smith rosenbergs essay 'discourses of sexuality and subjectivity' was interesting as well. this looks at the evolution of the womyns movement, particularly in the 1920s. in the 20s, there are more womyn cutting their hair and wearing shorter dresses, specifically the flappers. however despite this new look and attitude, it was primarily a heterosexual time, meaning that it was for the pleasure of the men. this, s-r, said created a conflict between the conservative and more liberal womyn and weakened the movement. womyn were trying to embrace sexuality, but some believed it was for the wrong reasons. on the other hand, this article also looks at the powerful, independent womyns role throughout the movement. s-r also believes that a womyn in this situation needs to be masculine. which in society during those times see as sick. one person, krafft, that she quotes said that these womyn were "sick", whereas another person, ellis, said that he understood what they were doing, yet thought it would cause an increase in homosexuality.

what bothers me about all of this articles is just that issue, that in the 19th and early 20th century, womyn would be stripped of their sexual identity, deemed a a sexual pervert and a man hater if she desired to be on her own. its just too broad of a generalization that its completely rediculous and unfair.

the articles on political lesbians and the radical lesbians were really shocking to me. the womyn identified womyn article sounded extremely militant to me. i think i remember hearing that it was written in the 1970s. this was a time when the second wave of feminism was really getting serious and most womyn believed that being a womyn meant separating yourself from the patriarchal society. it was a pretty strong essay, saying that any womyn that showed any male characteristics, including independence then she must be a lesbian, because she can not be both a womyn and empowered. this ties into the political lesbian issue, which i feel was described as a womyn that disagreed with the patriarchal society. looking at it from a third wave feminist stand point, i hate how ingnorant this way of thinking is. sexuality is something separate from political philosophy. there are situations where the two meet, however they should not necessarily be cause and effect issues.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

SLP meeting

today i met with the group im going to be working with for my SLP. we are putting up a photo exhibit called "love makes a family". this exhibit i think was actually shown in the film we saw called "its elementary". the exhibit was able to be brought to the school through funding by the vice presidents grant for diversity. the photos are of glbt people and their families.

at the meeting today, we decided to get together on sunday to hang the exhibit in milne on the main floor. this way people will be able to access the photos easily and be able to get close enough to read what each photo is about. i am helping to hang posters up on campus to get the word out on the exhibit. we are also reaching out to the community by asking local businesses to hang up the posters as well. someone is contacting the local schools to let them know of the exhibit.

i will be making a guest/comment book for the exhibit. this way we will be able to get comments from those that view the exhibit. we will be able to assess what this has done by bringing the show to geneseo.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

4/4/05 Film: Matthew Sheppard story on 20/20

i found the reporting of this event quite disturbing. i think the discussion and comments after the film similarly reflected how i felt about it. the reporter kept leading the people she was interviewing, the people she interviewed self admitted that they lied about the "facts" before, the contradictions were not questioned. it made absolutely no sense.

the story they were trying to push was that drugs were the cause of the matthew sheppard murder, not hate because he was gay. drugs are an external factor, not an internal, moral issue as is the case with it being a hate murder. if it were drugs, it would be easier for people to understand and confront. no one wants to think that such a horrible thing could exist as unmoral, unimaginable hate crimes.

i was a bit confused at the beginning of class when professor schnieder was talking. but when she put things in real life context, everything began to come together. it seems strange though to think that the ultimate goal of equality and peace would mean that all things different, everything that is not your view, needs to be destroyed. that everything exists on a group level and my individual opinion doesnt matter. for the group to survive and maintain all of its rights and beliefs, there can be no others.