Wednesday, September 14, 2011
A couple of weeks ago, I got a glimpse of history. Not my personal history, but the history of the LGBT Center and many of those who have been a part of it over the years. As it turns out, anyone who visited the LGBT Center website that particular evening were unexpectedly and inexplicably transported back to the LGBT Center of 5 years ago. In the process of "reskinning" the Ithaca College web presence to reflect a new look and updated logo, somehow little old ithaca.edu/lgbt began directing visitors not to the dreaded "oops, page not found" screen, but to the actual website we used back then.
At first, I was surprised. Very surprised. And then, the images and information on that old version of what we are today - but in a different way - transported me back to that time. Photos of alumni, images of campus that are a bit different than the views we have today, and the names of people who have made important contributions to our campus. Anna, who created that version of the website as part of a course project, who is now a CEO, entrepreneur and webcasting engineer. Michael, who participated in the beta testing of that website and later maintained it (through a painstaking old school process that actually involved html code!), who now manages all the IT needs of a major national organization. It took me back even further, to Braeden, who created the LGBT Center's very first web presence during a summer break just because he wanted to be of service to IC LGBT students. He's since gone on to great things, too, including a law degree and a beautiful family.
And me? I'm actually still here. Though also changed by these former students, and the many people I meet in my role here on campus. I'm so thankful for all those who have contributed their time and talents toward serving our LGBT and allied students, and for everyone who helps make IC a welcoming place for our students. I'm very thankful, too, for the fine folks in Marketing Communications and ITS here on campus, who fixed this mysterious glitch incredibly quickly. As quickly as the old website image transported me back in time, it was gone and replaced by the current LGBT Center website. (Phew!)
But you, too, can take a trip down memory lane. This year we'll celebrate the 10th anniversary of the LGBT Center. Events commemorating this milestone will take place throughout the year, including featured events during Fall Splash/Alumni weekend October 14 -16. Wondering what LGBT life was like on campus 5 years ago, or 10 years ago, or 30 years ago? Come to the panel discussion of alumni spanning five decades at Ithaca College. Want to be part of a new tradition? Run along with me in a contingent of LGBT and allied students and alumni in the Habidash 5K run. Information about these are other events will be available through the LGBT Center website (yes, the current one!), Alumni Relations, Intercom, and the Facebook pages of the LGBT Center and Ithaca College LGBT and Allied Alumni. I invite you all to learn more about our past, and be a part of our future!
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
We're so glad you're here! Lots of events and learning opportunities with LGBT-themes are being planned for the coming year, and here are just a few to start off the year:
- Tonight - a reception for new students will take place at 6:30 pm in Textor 103. Come see old friends and meet new ones, meet the LGBT Center program director and some of the students involved in the LGBT Center, and enjoy some refreshments, too! Immediately following the reception, the first Out of the Closet and Onto the Screen Film Series screening will take place in the same room. The film begins at 7 pm.
- Next week - Wednesday September 7, at 4 pm in the Handwerker Gallery (near the campus library) will be a Salon discussion “Kurt and Callie and Waylon Smithers too—Media Portrayals of LGBT Characters” - the Salon series is a Handwerker Gallery program aimed at providing students, faculty, staff and members of the community a forum outside of a classroom setting for intellectual discussion and debate.
Come on out to one or all of these events to kick off the new year. I look forward to meeting you!
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Like many of our incoming class of 2015, I came upon the passage that is part of the title of this post, on page 209 of this year's First Year Reading Initiative selection Ransom by David Malouf: "Look, he wants to shout, I am still here, but the I is different." To prevent a spoiler for those of you who may not yet have finished (or begun) the book, I'll not delve too much more into the context in which this comes up in the book. The quote does evoke an assortment of other ideas, perhaps some of particular significance to the incoming class and to our new and current LGBT and allied students. The author and his other work, too, may be of interest.
College life, especially the first year, can sometimes yield a similar feeling with students thinking - or even exclaiming to others (parents, family members, friends from home) - I am still here, and I am different. Different than one once was, different than others may have known or believed, different yet still the same person. New experiences, ideas, relationships, and challenges can sometimes speed the process of coming to a more complete understanding of oneself. Sometimes that more complete understanding feels more like "home" for a person; other times it is messy and complicated and brings a host of other questions, challenges, and perhaps even risk.
As you read the book, a few things to keep in mind:
- If you've ever pondered your own life's course, think about what the book and the journeys of its characters may offer.
- If you're already thinking about your own future, perhaps you've read my previous post about the the unique and esteemed profession of college president, and the new organization made up of LGBT college presidents. Remember not to count yourself out of any profession. One day you could be an out college president; or one day you could be the out l,g, b, or t author of a book read by thousands of college students as their first year reading. For more on this, see the scholarly journal article that investigates metaphors of the closet and coming out in Malouf's work. The article, among other things, note's "Portraying a preference for fluid identities and multiple meanings, Malouf asserts that we must come out of the closet that is heteronormativity, embarking on an outing in search of a queer utopia."
- Watch Malouf describe the book and its themes, and his thoughts on storytelling, in a video clip.
- And finally, consider the excellent ideas our own college president suggests for you as you read - writing in the margins, and noting key ideas on the inside covers of the book itself as a tool to discover "who you are today... " and to "help you understand who you are trying to become." And perhaps through this process you will gain additional insight into your "I" and which components of yourself may be similar or different to what you had previously thought.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Last night, New York became the sixth state in the nation to legalize same sex marriage. In a 33-to-29 vote, the Senate passed the measure, which was signed into law by the governor at 11:55 pm. They, along with the Assembly which passed the bill earlier in the month, are Out for Good.
And, for those of you who are alumni and like to plan ahead: Thinking of multi-tasking during Alumni Weekend this year? October in Ithaca is a lovely time to wed..
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Seems like just a short time ago Out for Good was blogging away about heroes - the everyday kind, the not-so-everyday kind, and the kind that were about to be featured in the 2010-11 Out of the Closet and Onto the Screen film series. Did you take the time at some time during this past year to ponder first year reading initiative author Henry David Thoreau's words on the topic "The hero is commonly the simplest and obscurest of men," or to consider some of the heroes featured in the film series (from Bayard Rustin to Alan Turing, and Harvey Milk to Ruth Ellis)? Were there times for you to be the hero in your own life, or in the lives of others?
This year brought successes and challenges, locally, nationally, and beyond. At one point a new, unexpected hero emerged. One that wasn't featured in the film series, but perhaps he will be someday. Daniel Hernandez, an out gay college student from the University of Arizona who had just begun an internship in the office of Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who literally leaped into action at the exact moment he was needed. He was just five days into his internship. Some dubbed Hernandez "Awesomest Intern Ever." What does Mr. Hernandez say about heroes? “I don’t think I’m a hero. I think doing something one off is not something heroic... I think the heroes are people like Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Ron Barber, Dave Zimmerman, and Pam Simon. They are people who have dedicated their lives to public service so for them it wasn’t just a one time thing, it’s spending their entire lives trying to help others.” Another spot teaming with current and future heroes, Campus Pride LGBT Summer Leadership Camp, will feature Mr. Hernandez as a keynote speaker this year. A number of Ithaca College students have attended Campus Pride Leadership camp as student campers, interns, and peer leaders. If you're unfamiliar with this event, be sure to see what some of our IC students have said about this amazing experience or peruse other back issues of the LGBT Center newsletter for more of their stories.
Even though the academic year is through, you can still be a hero. Be a mentor and role model to younger siblings, or to peers. Be the best you can be this summer, no matter how you are spending it - whether interning, performing, taking classes, working, or plotting your next steps for the new semester. Learn more about LGBT heroes. Consider attending Campus Pride Summer Leadership Camp. The possibilities are endless.