Wednesday, June 26, 2013

History ACTIVE Day 3: LGBT Then and Now

Students in History Active do a mirror activity to think about perception and
self definition
Today the focus of History ACTIVE was issues and activism surrounding Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBTQ) issues.
We started the day with a movement exercise led by dancer Latanya Johnson. She taught us about how people used their bodies and have to sacrifice bodily security to be active.
We also watched the documentary Brother Outsider about Civil Rights activist Bayard Rustin who spoke out against the unfairness inflicted on African Americans and fought for equal rights. Bayard, an  African American and homosexual, was frequently looked down on because of his background. During his time, homosexuality was considered:
A mental illness
A reason to be persecuted
Today we can see distinct changes. In particular, we visited Charlotte's LGBT Community Center which has given moral support to help overcome the challenges they face. While there we listened to the stories of three brave homosexual men from Time Out Youth and their journey of coming out and becoming who they are. Each of the young men faced difficulties coming out but managed to overcome all obstacles and become an inspiration for others.
Afterward, we looked at ourselves and the way we perceived others with a mirror exercise from UNC Charlotte's Museum of Oppression.
On the same day that we had this discussion the U.S. Supreme Court made a landmark decision concerning gay rights by striking down the Defense of Marriage Act and ruling on California's gay marriage law.
History in the making.
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More to come tomorrow...

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