Lincoln Hall R.A. panel to tackle homophobia issue

By Maria Tortorello

The residence assistants of Lincoln Hall will be holding a panel discussion about homosexuality and homophobia on campus.

The discussion will be at 9 p.m. tonight in Lincoln Hall. The panel will include members of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Coalition (LGBC) and residents of Lincoln Hall who are homosexual.

Although there will be no one on the panel who considers himself or herself homophobic, members of the audience are encouraged to participate in the discussion.

LGBC member Javier Gutierrez said the main goal of the discussion is to educate people about gays and lesbians.

“When people are homophobic, they usually have a fear of something they don’t understand,” Gutierrez said. “We want to inform people what the gay rights movement is and what it will be like in the future.”

Gutierrez said much of the misunderstanding is because people think gays and lesbians are not the same as everyone else.

“We are not that much different,” he said. “We want the same treatment.”

The idea for the panel came about when Gutierrez, who is a resident of Lincoln Hall, noticed “inappropriate” terms were written in washrooms.

Gutierrez also noticed remarks about a person’s sexuality directed toward homosexual people on his floor.

As a result, Gutierrez approached his R.A., who then worked with members of the LGBC to put a panel together.

When posters advertising the panel were placed around the residence hall, his R.A. was harassed.

Because of the harassment, Gutierrez said Lincoln Hall advisors were considering calling University Police to attend the discussion.

“There was a lot of anger because they thought she was advertising a homosexual lifestyle,” Gutierrez said. “The posters have brought a lot out into the open.”