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The lobby of Ohio University’s LGBT Center on Sept. 25. (FILE)

Lesbian and Queer Women's Week to shine light on issues faced by LGBT women

Ohio University’s LGBT Center kicked off its first Lesbian and Queer Women's Week Tuesday by holding a panel on Intergenerational Queer Women. 

Emma Blair, an event coordinator at the LGBT Center, wanted to showcase the underrepresented group of lesbian, queer and transgender women in an inclusive manner. She did so by selecting three panelists for the event who are intersectional and LGBT people. 

Blair said invited those people because she wanted to have challenging conversations and not limit the discussions to people who identified themselves in only one identity, such as cis white people or lesbians. 

Blair had been recommended to make OU faculty the panelists. Her previous supervisor, delfin bautista, suggested this to save money. She said bautista — who uses they/them pronouns and the lowercase spelling of their name — encouraged Blair and believed in her ability to organize the event, which she started preparing for in Fall Semester. 

“This semester, I just had to send everything out, basically,” said Blair, who is an undecided freshman. “To make sure that they’re communicating with me, making sure they’re going to be there.”

All the speakers for the week are volunteers. Thus, the programs are free to the public since a lot of people coming in for the events are doing so out of the kindness of their hearts, she said. 

“It really is a unified effort,” Blair said. “Just everyone coming together for this. It’s nice if there is money involved and more people come, but it’s nicer when there is no money involved and people just show up to be there.”

Madison Bailey, a moderator for the hour-long panel, wants to include trans women on the panel next year because past tensions between the lesbian and trans-identifying people has prevented the dialogues from happening. 

Bailey, a sophomore studying outdoor recreation and education, was excited for the screening of But I’m a Cheerleader on Wednesday that she decided to write the discussion questions. She finds the movie aesthetically pleasing and one that portrays lesbians in positive light and not in a sexualizing manner, as they usually are in media. 

She wants people to come to the screening because she thinks it is important for other queer and lesbian women to be surrounded by similar women, so they know they’re not alone in their struggles. She wants the week’s events to have a positive influence on queer and lesbian women’s lives.

“I would love a big turnout for this event,” Bailey said. “Even if you don’t identify as a queer or lesbian woman, please stop by the LGBT Center. It’s a place where you can find a community; a place where you can come and just take a nap in the middle of the day.”


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