The first WCU Queer Awareness Week was sponsoredlast week by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Association (LGBTA) and highlighted performances by spoken word poets Alix Olson and SiniAnderson. Meg Panichelli, president ofLGBTA, said, “It is essential for everyone on campus to understand issues that come from the queer community and hopefully, in the years to come, Queer Awareness Week can offer more education on these issues.”
The week featured the performances of spoken word poets Alix Olson on Wednesday night, and Sini Anderson on Friday night, as well as a workshop with Olson on Thursday morning. According to Panichelli, “These two women have such unique ways of pulling people away from their comfort zone and making anyone question the world. I think it’s always moving to have role models who are really making a difference in the world.”
Olson’s slam poetry was accompanied by the renowned Pamela Means on guitar. Her performance was also sponsored by Planned Parenthood of Chester County. Anderson was the featured performer for the Women’s Center’s 30th anniversary party, and combined spoken word poetry with music. The week also fostered awareness by designating Monday as Dress in Drag Day and Tuesday as Denim Day, asking students who support the LGBT community to wear denim.
Panichelli said she planned Queer Awareness Week to coincide with the national elections to capitalize on the political energy of the time and to emphasize the importance of activism every day of the year. She said the performances by Olson and Anderson uni- fied the audience and were “just the kind of inspiration we needed to pick our heads up and empower us to fight for what we believe.” The LGBTA plans on hosting a continuous educational effort on campus and will plan another Queer Awareness Week for next year.