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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The queer consortium is coming to town

Watch out Guilford College! The Queer Consortium is coming to town! What do drag shows, foreign movies, and dancing all have in common? Well, the IDS 401, Readings in Gay and Lesbian studies, taught by Amanda Bailey, assistant professor of English and women’s studies, will feature all of these as final projects.

I, along with the other students in the class, see these projects as a chance to expose the community to what we have learned and have a little fun at the same time. We claim the name “Queer Consortium” and arm ourselves with creativity.

A “Queer Coffeehouse” hosted by senior Mary-Eleanor Joyce kicked off the projects. It featured a variety of performances, and met with supportive crowds.

One of the many upcoming events includes the Serendipity drag show, co-sponsored by Union and WQFS. Coordinators and seniors Rainie Rainaldi and Amanda Roop express a desire to create a serious drag show and move away from Serendipity drag shows of the past.

They encourage more than just men to enter and note that drag is a parody of gender roles, so women can dress up as women too. Judges will determine winners, who can take home prizes, such as a DVD player, stereo, and Sega.
A drag workshop prior to the show will address ideas and misconceptions about drag. Roop expects “to have some real live Greensboro drag
queens at the workshop.”

Junior Lauren Bluestein and senior Ben Burkhardt will facilitate a college night at Warehouse 29 in Greensboro. The alcohol- free event is open to students 18 years of age and older. Bluestein and Burkhardt encourage queer and other college students interested in connecting to the queer community to attend.
The $4 cover charge will go to Guilford’s GLBTRC [Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, Resource, Center]. Burkhardt hopes the night will “provide a space to build bridges for future communication and cooperation between queer students and groups at other schools in the Triad.”

Senior Sion Dayson will lead a dance performance, “Queer Moves: dances of identity and sexuality.” The program will feature six or seven dances choreographed and performed by Guilford students and members of the Greensboro community.

Dayson says, “dance allows us to use our bodies as vehicles for expression,” and looks to move away from the theoretical and intellectual aspects of queer theory that we discuss in class.

Sex, sexuality, and gender studies major Kelly Davis, a senior, will host an informal workshop and question-and-answer period about “kink sexuality,” or more specifically BDSM (bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadism and masochism). Davis says, “[BDSM] is a kind of sexuality that most people don’t know about and it deserves discussion.”
We have briefly spoken about this subject in class. However, a workshop provides an opportunity for further elaboration, showing how “kink sexuality” goes against the norms of our society, labeling it queer.

Seniors Emily McCullough, Anne Watson, and I will present an international queer film festival. We are all Spanish majors and feel foreign films provide an opportunity to address the experience of being queer in different cultures.

A brief discussion will follow each showing, providing the audience an opportunity to voice reaction.

McCullough says, “we hope these movies give the Guilford College community a chance to learn about and discuss queer issues, as they present themselves in different cultural contexts.”
Junior Daniel Fleishman and senior Hope Wedderburn are working together to create a guide highlighting the place of queers in Greensboro’s religious congregations. They plan to visit different places of worship to try to get ideas about how homosexuality is viewed.
Fleishman says, “homosexuality and religion is a controversial subject and there have been many contradictions between the two and we want to try and show homosexual students what congregations they can go to in the area.”

Although, they will not present anything formally to the community, they plan to make the guide available at other projects and in the GLBTRC.

Bailey says “sexuality is an analytic like race and gender through which we read our society and it needs to be studied.”
This reflects the importance the class holds in the Guilford curriculum, and why being queer needs to be addressed. Hopefully the final projects will provide an opportunity for this. We look forward to seeing you there.

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