Spelman’s Pride Week confronts homophobia, debunks stereotypes

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According the to the college’s website, this discussion “will address the concept of homophobia, and the different ways in which it can manifest. It is our goal for participants to leave the discussion with a heightened awareness of homophobia as a global matter, where issues of sexuality discrimination and cultural identification interlock and how such an intersection can create internal and external tension, and finally we want all participants to leave with new found mechanisms of social change.”

On Friday, Spelman hosts, “WERK! Drag Fashion Show,” also at 6:30 p.m.

“The purpose of this show is to normalize concepts of gender and gender expression that has been deemed as ‘alternative’ by certain patriarchal structures. We want to debunk the notion of conformity and traditionalism as mechanisms of success. In addition to this overall mission, this show will serve as a platform for progressive and queer artistry of the Atlanta University Center,” states the event’s description on the college’s website.

Morehouse came under attack by some LGBT activists in 2009 when the university instituted a dress code that disallowed men to wear purses or carry purses as well as other specifics such as no saggy pants.

Morehouse’s Safe Space program sponsored the university’s first Pride Week in March 2010 in part as an answer to the controversy surrounding the new dress code as well as address homophobia on its campus as Spelman, its sister college, was already doing.

In March, some Morehouse students addressed the dress code during Pride Week, telling the GA Voice it was an unfair and discriminatory policy.

A Morehouse junior student who identified himself as Chanel Monroe, 20, said he identifies as a male because he attends a male college, but he believes gender is fluid.

“I identify as me. I don’t conform to gender roles,” said Monroe, wearing bright red lipstick.

And when the campus invited B. Scott, a black gay online media star, to speak during Pride Week, nearly 500 people attended. But Monroe pointed out the contradiction of having B. Scott, who wears women’s clothing, speaking at the campus with its restrictive dress code.

“They say we can’t wear pumps, but we had B. Scott, who identifies as male, wearing pumps on the stage. That just puts hell on us to have this dress code,” Monroe said.

The dress code at Morehouse made local and national headlines and was again reported about by Vibe magazine in October with the story, “The Mean Girls of Morehouse,” the story of a group of students and former students who do not identify by typical gender norms.

Spelman Pride Week activities
Panel Discussion on “Homophobia: An International Perspective”

Today, Nov. 10 at 6:30 p.m.
Cosby, second floor
350 Spelman Lane
Atlanta, GA 30314

WERK! Drag Fashion Show
Friday, Nov. 12
6:30 p.m.
Cosby Lobby