by Julie Lineback
In 1971, miles away from New York City and two years following its Stonewall Riots, students and faculty of then-West Georgia College formed an activist organization to support equal rights and improve the lives of gays and lesbians on campus. In 2014, that organization, now known as Lambda, educates the UWG community while creating a safe place for individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersexual, asexual, pansexual or ally.
Transgender artist and educator Rebecca Kling will be on campus April 7-8.
“We want to relieve tensions between LGBTQIAAP students and straight students who may not understand the struggles and realities of being LGBTQIAAP in today’s society,” says Kaleigh Ingram, president of Lambda. “We want to provide a comfortable, judgment-free space for students who may not be struggling with their sexuality but may be struggling with other issues such as social.”
Lambda is attempting to raise its membership numbers by working with other clubs, such as Progress, UWG’s new progressive gender and sexuality alliance.
“Our mission is to redefine what ‘normal’ is in regards to gender and sexuality,” says Maddie Turpin, co-president of Progress. “This includes, but is not limited to, the LGBTQIAAP community, heterosexuality, rape, femininity, masculinity, sex in general and the absence of these constructs. We refuse to believe that the relationship between gender and sexuality is simply based in our current constructs of normal and abnormal.”
The two clubs are joining forces and cohosting events in efforts to promote equality and mutual respect throughout the entire campus community.
“This semester we have focused on the ‘lesser known’ sexuality and gender identification,” Kaleigh continues. “We’ve brought a lot to the table regarding trans-awareness.”
Together, Lambda and Progress are collaborating with the Responsible Sexuality Committee in bringing transgender artist and educator Rebecca Kling to campus for a solo performance on Monday, April 7 at 7 p.m. in the Bonner Lecture Hall. She will also be conducting a workshop, Trans 101: Diversity and Respect Educational Workshop, on Tuesday, April 8 at 2 p.m. in Callaway 145.
The groups are also hosting the annual drag show on Saturday, March 29, at 5:30 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom. The event will feature professional and amateur performers.