UP&A deems LGBC flier ‘insensitive’

By Jennifer McCabe

The Lesbian Gay Bisexual Coalition (LGBC) is using an eye-catching flier with traditionally offensive terms to attract volleyball players to their game on Sunday.

The flier states in black on yellow, “COME OUT AND PLAY!! VOLLEYBALL FAGS VS. DYKES, SUNDAY, OCT. 10, 8-10 P.M., REC CENTER, sponsored by LGBC.”

Kerri Price, co-president of the LGBC, said the flier was not intended to offend anyone.

“The terms ‘fag’ and ‘dyke’ are offensive if you’re called that on the street. It is different in the community. We aren’t putting ourselves down,” Price said.

She did say there are some people in the group who will find the terms offensive, but they know the terms are used jokingly.

Price said she did not understand why people outside of the LGBC would find the terms offensive.

“Why would it be a concern of theirs? We’re sorry if it offends people, but it wasn’t intended that way, it was meant as lighthearted joking,” she said.

Price said the purpose of the flier was to get members to attend the volleyball game, and they needed words to attract attention, so people would stop and look at it.

She said the offensive terms have been used in the past and have not caused any responses.

“It was insensitive on my part to use those terms. I made the flier and I forgot what it is like to be closeted,” said Brian Turkaly, the co-president of the LGBC.

He said he got the idea from an advertisement in the gay community for a softball game—”They are just terms we use in the gay community.”

Michelle Emmett, the director for University Programming and Activities (UP&A), said the terms are offensive and will no longer be allowed for use on public fliers. She said any organization has the right to appeal decisions she makes to the Vice President for Student Affairs, Barbara Henley.

Emmett said she would like the LGBC to think of the image they are portraying when using that language and the effect it has on the straight community. She added she understood why they used the offensive terms.

“They don’t want the student or the organization to be ashamed,” she said.

Emmett said the terms are used freely in the gay community, but the posters are up around campus and everyone sees them. The posters should reflect a more positive tone.

“It is not offensive to anyone who is out, but in the future, offensive terms such as these will not be approved,” Emmett said.

However, she said the term “queer” is allowable, at this point.

“I am uncomfortable with this term, but it is becoming a well-known term, because of Queer Nation. It is used to include everyone who is not straight,” Emmett said.

Turkaly said he agrees on the fairness of banning the use of the terms such as “fag” or “dyke” on public fliers. However, he said he sees nothing wrong with the use of those terms in the gay, lesbian or bisexual communities.