Annual gay/lesbian week features films

By Lynn Hammarstrom

NIU’s annual Gay and Lesbian Awareness Week will feature films on gay relationships, gay and lesbian comedians performing in the Student Center and Jeans Day.

Awareness week gives the straight population of NIU a chance to see gays and lesbians’ side of things, said Gay/Lesbian Union President Paul Schmig.

“Desert Heart” and “Another Country” are two films dealing with the problems that gays and lesbians have in coming to terms with their sexuality. These two films will open the week’s series of events when they are shown Monday at 7:30 in the Sandburg Auditorium.

Wednesday evening will find the Sandburg once again hosting an awareness week event when comedian Lynn Lavner will entertain her audience with material drawn from her experiences dealing with the day-to-day problems of being a lesbian.

NIU’s third “Jeans Day” will take place on Thursday. “‘Jeans Day’ is an event that we’ve planned to make others aware of the difficulties that gays go through every day,” Schmig said.

“Gays always have to be careful when they discuss their lives with straight people. Often everything we say has to be thought out, the pronouns changed. ‘Jeans Day’ is a way of making the straight population have to think about whether or not they are going to wear jeans that day, and what it means,” Schmig said.

“‘Jeans Day’ always brings out a block of people in sweats and another block who are all dressed up. It has never been an event to determine who was gay or who supported gays. It’s only designed to make people think,” he added.

Also on Thursday, the GLU will be sponsoring an open house from 3:30 to 6 p.m. at their office, located on the second floor of the Holmes Student Center. “People can come in, meet us and ask whatever questions thay want,” Schmig said.