Center to promote Gay Awareness Week

By Jean Dobrzynski

The NIU Counseling and Student Development Center is lending a helping hand to promote Gay Awareness Week.

Counselors from the center are sponsoring a series of informal presentations next week at the University Resources for Women building at the corner of Normal Road and Lincoln Highway. All presentations will run during lunchtime, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

On April 1, “On Being Gay”, a video by Brian McNaught, will be shown. The myths and realities of being homosexual will be explored, giving heterosexual students and staff the opportunity to better understand the experience of being lesbian or gay.

Braden Berkey will hold a discussion, “Same Sex Relationships: Who’s the Husband?” on April 2. He will discuss long-term committed relationships between members of the same gender.

“Substance Use: Special People, Special Concerns” will be discussed with Darsha Primich on April 3. Her presentation will cover gender differences in use as well as special concerns regarding use in the gay and lesbian community.

On April 4, Kathy Hotelling, Director of the Counseling and Student Development Center, will hold a discussion geared toward mental health professionals and students interested in working with gay and lesbian clients.

“Straight Therapist/Gay Client” will explore issues that arise when sexual orientations of counselor and client differ.

The final discussion on April 5 is titled “HomoPHOBIA: Fear of What?” Barb Zuber will discuss why it is important for gay and non-gay individuals to recognize the impact their beliefs have on their self-image and interaction with others.

Hotelling said the presentations were organized to show that the Counseling and Student Development Center supports the Gay/Lesbian Union.

“This is the first time we have organized a series of presentations,” she said. “It all relates to unity and diversity.”