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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Spots on the Gender Spectrum

The Gender Bending Ball, held on Sunday, Dec. 3, was a night I will never forget. It was the first time the GSEC put on a dance like that, and it definitely won’t be the last. We used this event as a fundraiser to help the GSEC continue its services to students and community members.
In our society, gender is always put into two boxes, male and female. It is what we have always known, and removing this binary system would be like stepping onto the moon, something hard to imagine. Even I, while identifying as an ally and an activist, find it hard to remove certain language from my daily life. Have you ever taken a few seconds to realize what you were actually talking about with your friends?

“Hey guys, what’s up?” - Addressing a group of women.

“That girl over there is wearing the same shirt as me.” - Is she 20 or 12?

“He asked me a question.” - How do you know if that person wants to be called “he?”

“Is that a man or woman?” - Uh, how is that any of your business?

It is hard to break a person’s harmful dialogue used on a day to day basis, but it is a part of the AS Gender and Sexuality Equity Center’s mission statement to spread this awareness. Being a part of this internship has allowed me to be more inclusive and understanding of the people around me. Every day I work on not conforming to society and assuming people belong in only two categories, every day I try to eliminate the word “guys” from my vocabulary when addressing a group and every day I contribute my time and energy into the events GSEC puts on. 
I joined this campus organization to be more informed and share what I learn with others. I wanted to become an activist so I did. I have always supported the rights and justice for women and the LGBTQ community and now I am putting my words into action. The Gender Bending Ball was just another step I had to take to become more knowledgeable on the issue of the binary system. For weeks I helped other interns and staff spread the word about this awesome event, and it was all worth it. 
This event created a safe place where everyone could come and bend their gender and enjoy the night with others who supported the same cause. We all celebrated the fact that people can express gender in many ways and accepted all who showed. With music, food and amazing drag queen performances I danced the night away with my fellow interns, staff and our guests.  
Even though the event is over, we are still selling raffle tickets for $1! The drawing will take place on December 10th and we will call you to let you know if you won! Possible prizes include: haircuts, one piercing of your choice, Satin hands set by Mary Kay, 30 minute Swedish massage, $10 Beach Hut Deli gift card, 25 Bear bucks and 2 free meals, $10 T Bar gift card, and much more! If you would like to buy one please come down to our office in BMU 005 right next to common grounds! 

Written by Adriana Curiel

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