The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Campus Center has proclaimed April “Out and About Month” for the University of Wisconsin campus in order to educate students.
Director of the LGBT Campus Center Eric Trekell said the goal of Out and About Month is meant to educate students on LGBT issues and celebrate people and culture.
“The idea really is simply to try to do a whole bunch of programs and advertise them more as a cultural heritage month,” Trekell said.
The LGBT Campus Center, in conjunction with at least 20 other organizations, is putting on a variety of lectures, programs and other activities to inform people of LGBT issues, Trekell added. Activities range from an LGBT film festival in the third week of April to a transgender conference for the upper Midwest, put on in conjunction with the Madison Area Transgender Association. Trekell calls the series of events “transgender awareness week programming.”
According to Trekell, the campus center is also using Out and About Month to focus on people within the LGBT community, such as minority and transgender students, who sometimes do not feel like they have much in common with others on campus.
“We’re going to focus on programming for all the diverse LGBT people,” Trekell said. “The idea is simply to try to bring everybody together to celebrate [LGBT people] in a variety of forms and ways.”
UW junior and the information specialist at the LGBT Campus Center Ash Kini said he thinks Out and About Month is important for the atmosphere at UW.
“A big part of it is to improve campus climate by getting information out there and students involved [with LGBT issues],” Kini said.
Kini added Out and About month is essential to inform the student body.
“I think LGBT issues are like multicultural student issues,” Kini said. “I think it’s just an opportunity for us to sponsor a lot of events that are informative, educational fun to get some perspective on LGBT issues out to the campus.”
Kini mentioned other important programs the campus center was involved in during Out and About Month, such as the panel entitled “The Politics of Queer Sex” Tuesday evening. She said the panel brought together people from all perspectives of LGBT issues to discuss their opinions with students.
“It’s one of the only times that LGBT issues are discussed and brought out into the public without politics overshadowing the actual issues themselves,” Kini said.
The campus center’s All-Inclusive Marriage Booth, scheduled for April 22, is another popular event, according to Kini.
“People can come and have fake marriages as a comment on the gay marriage [issues] that are going on right now,” Kini said.
Kini added the center is always looking for more people to get involved and educate their peers about LGBT issues.
“Stop into the campus center or e-mail us. There’s always stuff that people can get involved in,” Kini said.