Queer Prom marks end of successful week

Queer Millenium, Dancing Through the Decades
Saturday, April 28
7 p.m.-12 a.m.
$8/at door
SMC North Parkway Commons
call (503) 725-5681
or e-mail:[email protected]
for more info

Some people will read this article with a negative mindset, but by and large most people are uninformed and choose to stay that way.

Queer Awareness Week is trying to combat those out there who don’t have an active opinion, as they are dead weight tilting the national attitude toward apathy. To celebrate the end of the Queer Awareness Week, Queers and Allies will throw a queer prom on Saturday, April 28. The theme is “Queer Millenia, Dancing Through the Decades.” The event starts at 7 p.m. and goes until midnight.

Queer Awareness Week wants to change this apathy while running the risk that the attitude might shift in a direction opposite of their goal. After visiting the Queer’s and Allies Web site, one can begin to piece together what this goal might be. Here is a sample from the “Heterosexual Questionnaire.”

1) What do you think caused your heterosexuality?
2) Where and how did you first decide you were a heterosexual?
3) Is it possible that your heterosexuality stems from a neurotic fear of the same sex?
4) Is it possible that your heterosexuality is just a phase you may grow out of?

After reading these questions, a heterosexual person might form the first foggy connections of what it is like to be gay. These are the same questions gay people are asked everyday in regards to their orientation.

They stumble to find answers just as a straight person would. They are attracted to the same sex for all of the same reasons that a straight person is attracted to the opposite. Chemical, genetic, environmental and hundreds of other causes we haven’t put a finger on yet.

If you found the last paragraph enlightening in even the tiniest way, then this article has made a contribution. Awareness is exactly that: aware of the facts. How you want to use the facts to develop an opinion is entirely up to you.

Here are some more interesting things found on the Web site, which were borrowed from the American Psychological Association (APA).

“Studies comparing groups of children raised by heterosexual parents with those raised by homosexual parents find no development differences between the two groups in their intelligence, psychological adjustment, social adjustment, popularity with friends, development of social sex role identity or development of sexual orientation.”

When it comes to the practice of altering sexual orientation, the APA has some sobering thoughts. “Some therapists who undertake this kind of therapy report that they have changed their clients’ sexual orientation in treatment. Close scrutiny of their reports indicates several factors that cast doubt; many of the claims come from organizations with an ideological perspective on sexual orientation, rather than from mental health researchers; the treatments and their outcomes are poorly documented; and the length of time that clients are followed up after the treatment is short.”

Some people reading the quotes above might be justified in not believing them. After all, there are “lies, damn lies and then statistics.” Researchers can be just as guilty of padding their information and stacking the cards. The people quoting the report can easily relay only the results that support their cause. All true. For the readers out there smart enough to never believe any numbers they read, this author would like to relate a personal story.

I grew up in a very remote section of Eastern Oregon where there is a very close-minded view of homosexual behavior. To make matters worse, the strong military tradition re-enforced some of the core beliefs I grew up with in this community. College did little to change my lack of education as I traversed the academic jungle surrounded by people of a similar mind.

It wasn’t until I made friends with a girl who worked the bar at a local gay nightclub that my perspective began to change. One night, she offered to let me in for free and I went. Sitting at the bar, wearing a flannel and hiking boots, my attitude began to change. Everyone around me was having a great time. Years of disillusion began to fade and I realized some very important things about how discrimination works.

Even though I had never interacted with people of homosexual orientation, I thought I knew all about them. That is about as realistic as saying you know everything about a gender just because you dated somebody once.

So, to make a complicated issue simple, get aware. Don’t trust facts or stories, but find out yourself.