AC ALLIES Rendezvous a success

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Kristina Wyman's picture
Shaquel M Tolson

AC Allies presented its third annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer Rendezvous Plus on October 25, 2016 and it was an amazing event. The LGBTQ+ Rendezvous took place in campus’ very own Tinsley room and hosted by the African, Latino/Hispanic, Asian and Native American Network’s Ambassador senior Tyra Talbot and Student Government Association President Jeffrey Letourneau. LGBTQ+ Rendezvous consisted of special performances from senior Jurnee Ware and Hound Sound, including gift card raffles and activities. This event was targeted to supply Assumption students and facility members with information essentially educating us on the LGBTQ+ community.
As a straight college student with friends that identify as LGBTQ+, I was open to learning new information but also had a conception that I knew a great deal about the LGBTQ+ community. After attending this event, I realized I was not as educated as I perceived myself to be. For example, a number of people are aware that LGBTQ+ is an acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender and Queer. However, were you familiar LGBTQ+? This is an acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender, Queer, Asexual and plus which includes other sexualities.
Labels and identities are not always black and white. Identity is a gray area where mislabeling or mistreating a person can cause detrimental stress on that person’s life. In the long run everyone wants to live a long happy life. But if our lives cannot be long, let them be filled with happiness in the time being. AC Allies encourages people to have a conversation with other before mislabeling another person. It might be uncomfortable at first, but maximizing the amount of conversations we have to correct misinformed stigmas or educate ourselves will help minimize the ignorance created by lack of knowledge.
One of the activities audience members took part in was a games of “step to the line” that facilitated by questions in regards to personal experiences and interaction with or knowledge of the LGBTQ+ community. This activity was followed by a short discussion and reflection of things that shocked us during or after this activity. The most unsettling moments of the evening for me were the amount of people that stepped in the line for knowing of someone who was mislabeled towards and the about of people who spoke out against the same misconceptions.
Allies people. It is very important to become an ally whom advocates for mistreatment of others. An ally is someone who is available, emotionally supportive, stands by those who need them and also speaks up. This does not have to entail becoming a radical person, however speaking against something you see is wrong makes a huge difference. The majority of the time, mislabeling originated from a lack of knowledge that is being portrayed. But initiating change by properly educating another is a responsibility as an ally. All in all, I feel it is important for people to attend events in the future. I think it is safe to say that if you did not attend, you missed out on a very informative, fun, but very emotional event that is relevant to today’s society including those in our very community.

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