PhilaU Celebrates LGBT History Month

Philadelphia University will celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) History Month with a series of events during the month of October.

“For a community deprived of its history, LGBT History Month teaches our heritage, provides role models, builds community, and recognizes our extraordinary national and international contributions,” said Malcolm Lazin, executive director of the Equality Forum, an international civil rights organization.

LGBT History Month was first celebrated in 1994. October was chosen as the month for the celebration because National Coming Out Day was first held in October, and October commemorated the first march on Washington by LGBT people in 1979.

The PhilaU series of LGBT History Month events include:

31 days. 31 icons.
Sponsored by the Equality Forum
Beginning Oct. 1, an LGBT Icon will be presented daily at Each day, viewers have access to the icon’s video, biography and resources, along with information on all the preceding Icons. Visit the Common Thread Gallery from Oct. 15 to Oct. 31 to view the exhibit on campus.

“Velvet Goldmine” Film Viewing
Viewing: Wednesday, Oct. 6 and Monday, Oct. 11, 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Discussion: Wednesday, Oct. 13 and Monday, Oct. 18, 3:30 p.m. or 5 p.m.
Open Class with Professor Danielle Dadras
Students are welcome to visit select days of Professor Dadras’ class “From Fiction to Film” for a screening and discussion of Velvet Goldmine.  The film explores sexuality, gender, performance, art, and love in the glam and punk rock scenes of the 1970s. Velvet Goldmine is inspired by the work of Oscar Wilde, author of The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Drag Variety Show with host Hedda Lettuce
Friday, Oct. 8 at 8 p.m.
Downs Hall Auditorium

Join us for an exciting evening of fashion and Drag!  In a dazzling display of beautiful queens and fantastic dress, student and professional drag performers will take the stage, hosted by the gorgeous Hedda Lettuce. Admission is $1 with proceeds benefiting the Empowerment Spirits Foundation. The event is co-sponsored by Campus Activities Board and Student Development Programs.

Sunday, Oct. 10 at Noon
Participate in the world’s biggest National Coming Out Day festival. Located in the “Gayborhood” section of Philadelphia, this street party includes booths, performances and vendors celebrating LGBT History Month. Sign up through Oct. 8 for free transport at the Student Development Office in the Kanbar Campus Center, Room 311.

Film for Thought Screening of “8: The Mormon Proposition”
Wednesday, Oct. 13 at 6:30 p.m.
Paul J. Gutman Library Media Classroom
In 2008, an amendment to California constitution allowed the state’s LGBT couples to get married.  Immediately, a proposition was introduced to deny that right.  A year and millions of dollars later, the right to marital equality for the LGBT community was quickly dissolved. 8: The Mormon Proposition investigates the decades-long history of the Mormon Church financially supporting the disruption of the right to marriage for LGBT citizens in the country. View the movie trailer at by the Student Development and Spiritual Development.

Is it Queer to have LGBT Clergy?
Tuesday, Oct. 19 at 11 a.m.
Kanbar Campus Center, Room 306
Join us for a panel discussion with LGBT Jewish and Christian clergy about religion, queer values and faith, and what’s it’s like to serve God while being out. This event is sponsored by the Philadelphia University Interfaith Council and the Office of Spiritual Development.

Latte and Learn: The Paradox of Tolerance: How Do We Remain Open to Those with Different Views?
Wednesday, Oct. 20 at 5:30 p.m.
Kanbar Campus Center, Ted’s Barrista
Homosexuality and religion have often been at odds. What does it mean to support someone’s right to find love and meaning, even if we don’t agree with their values? Meet in Ted’s for a free drink and discussions! This event is sponsored by the Philadelphia University Interfaith Council and the Office of Spiritual Development.

Safe Zone Workshop
Thursday, Oct. 21 from 11 a.m. to Noon
The Tuttleman Center, Room 201

RSVP ONLINE by Oct. 19
Come learn about issues facing the LGBT community and how to be an ally. Participants completing this workshop are also provided with Safe Zone stickers that can be displayed expressing support for LGBT students, faculty and staff. For further information or to register for a workshop, please RSVP ONLINE by Oct. 19. If for some reason the online reservation is not working, contact Aurélio Valente at or call (215) 951-2634.

Symposium on Same Sex Marriage
Tuesday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m.
The Tuttleman Center Auditorium
The symposium will offer differing points of views around the issues of same-sex marriage in a civil and academic atmosphere. During the symposium, individuals representing groups advocating and opposing same-sex marriage will be given the opportunity to present evidence and argument upon their behalf. Presenters will include students, faculty and outside advocacy organizations. Co-sponsored by Student Development Programs and the Law and Society Program.

From Lesbos to Over the Rainbow: A Crash Course on LGBT History
Presentation by Dr. Phil Tiemeyer

Tuesday, Oct. 28 at 11 a.m.
Downs Hall, Room 2

Homosexual and transgender desires have been experienced by some people of all ages and across all cultures. Yet, something unique happened in the past century or so: these desires have morphed into what we now consider to be an ingrained part of one’s personhood.  Essential to this change have been moments when gay men, lesbians, and transgendered individuals rose up to assert their dignity.  But, just as important, have been larger cultural developments, when American society either gradually embraced this diversity or fought such individuals in homophobic and sexist ways.  This crash course will be an informative introduction to LGBT History, but it will also include the lighter, more entertaining aspects of this journey “Over the Rainbow.”  The session will be facilitated by Phil Tiemeyer, assistant professor of American history.

For more on LGBT History Month, visit

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