GLOW to host Thanksgiving dinner for students this holiday season

The Gay, Lesbian Or Whatever group will be holding a “Queer Thanksgiving Dinner” at International House at 3 p.m. next Friday, Nov. 16.

This activity aims to reach out to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, allied community and provide a family-like dinner for LGBTQA students and faculty members who cannot be with their families or do not feel comfortable around their family members.

The dinner is an opportunity for people to feel accepted for who they are, regardless of their sexual orientation, in the Lawrence community.

“Many students and faculty do not have the happiest environment to go home to for the holidays,” said Administrative Assistant at the Wellness Center David Mettille, “so this is a great way to strengthen their bond with Lawrence and a prime opportunity to remind everyone of the importance in accepting and embracing diversity.”

“Instead of looking forward to going home and sharing the day with family, the holidays were what I dreaded, because it meant hiding who I was and who I loved.” Mettille also said, “I know that if I was experiencing those feelings as a college student and young adult, our students are probably experiencing something similar.”

Others agree there are various obstacles to understanding and communicating well with the LGBTQA community. Freshman Sam Hawks highlighted the obstacles to intergenerational understanding and communication. Said Hawks, “Oftentimes people of previous generations tend to be more ignorant about this topic, because they might not have known people who were openly LGBT while they were going to school.”

To Hawks, this event can make students feel at home with friends and family who care about them.

Many other students agree that this activity can be beneficial to increasing the understanding and acceptance of the LGBTQA community.

“I am straight, but I am also part of the GLOW,” freshman Yuxin Wang said. “I support the LGBT people, and there is no reason to oppose them, since we all share the same feelings with each other.”

Wang also pointed out that this is a wonderful event to increase people’s understanding about LGBT people, and “it is also a good opportunity to know more about people through the tradition of a Thanksgiving holiday.”

Freshman Wanli Lu commented, “It is a great event to increase the awareness about homosexuality. Some people may have bias [against] them, so it is a great event to help them know they are just as same as us and build a more accepting atmosphere.”

Though the dinner will be next week, GLOW has organized two events for Lawrence in the meantime. A play on the popular children’s song, “Skip to the Loo” is a scavenger hunt held on Friday, Nov. 9 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. beginning in the Hurvis Room. Teams of 3-5 people will compete to find the most gender-neutral bathrooms on campus and members of the winning team will receive gift certificates to Toppers Pizza.  The second event will be a “Trans* Day of Remembrance” on Main Hall Green on Thursday, Nov. 15 from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. GLOW will be memorializing those who have died as a result of anti-transgender violence through a candlelight vigil. After both events, people are encouraged to join GLOW members in discussions.

GLOW is a community of students, allied with faculty and staff, who identify as or who support gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered students at Lawrence.