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Davis

Davis, California

Friday, September 24, 2021

Students celebrate all identities during ‘Beyond the Binary Week’

Shades of gray will be celebrated this week as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center hosts a variety of events aimed at spreading the message that sexuality and gender is not always black and white.

“Beyond the Binary” is the LGBTRC’s annual awareness week dedicated to educating the campus community about non-monosexual, and other intersecting identities, said event coordinator Laura Mitchell.

“The purpose of the week is to celebrate fluid identities and to create awareness around the issues faced by people who identify with those communities,” Mitchell said. “There are many people for whom current labels are not adequate and who are sometimes less visible than those who fit into traditional categories like gay or straight.”

Beyond the Binary was first started three years ago by a UC Davis student and has become one of the LGBTRC’s four annual awareness weeks on campus.

A Beyond the Binary art exhibit in the Memorial Union’s King Lounge kicked off this week’s activities and featured work by seven artists from the UC Davis community.

One of the evening’s artists, Laura Megumi Thatcher, said she wanted to express a deconstruction of gender and sexuality barriers in her work.

“I want people to take away their own message from the pieces, whatever that message may be,” she said. “For me, it was just really about bending expectations. I am really interested in gender roles and the way that gender and sexuality are socially constructed.”

Thatcher said that the LGBTRC holds this yearly event in order to bring down some of the misconceptions the public holds about the LGBT community.

“It is important for people to realize that being a part of the queer community doesn’t just mean you are gay,” she said. “There is a lot more subtlety and ambiguity. There is not just gay and straight, man and woman – there is everything in between as well.”

UC Davis alumna Nikki Sheldon also contributed some of her art to the night’s display and said the goal of the exhibit was simply to spread awareness.

“Ignorance breeds hate and inhibits the true appreciation for people, as they are,” she said. “By featuring the visual and performing arts of queer people, it enables those who are ‘unaware’ to embrace something completely foreign, and open their eyes to the stem of life itself, simply love.”

Various events are being held throughout today, including a workshop at 4 p.m. in the MU’s Garrison Room. The workshop will introduce students to various, non-traditional forms of sexual expression, including bondage, discipline and sadomasochism.

Yesterday, the LGBTRC and the Gender and Sexuality Commission held a town hall meeting discussing The California Aggie column “The Rise of the Girly Men.”

Students interested in artistic expression can also drop by King Lounge on Thursday night at 7 p.m. where the LGBTRC will host a student performance night. The event will showcase several student performances of music, spoken word and video “celebrating bi identity.” It will also include a performance by Trikone, a Bay Area-based organization of the South Asian LGBT community.

For more information about the week’s events, students can check out the LGBTRC’s website at lgbtrc.ucdavis.edu.

ERICA LEE can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

2 COMMENTS

  1. just a few points of clarification:

    – the exhibit continues through the end of the week, please visit king lounge to see the amazing student art!

    – our website is http://llgbtrc.ucdavis.edu

    – upcoming events:

    Wednesday, January 27th

    • Biphobia Makes me Blue: 11AM-12PM @ The Garrison Room (MU)
    This workshop will start with an introductory group discussion, then will divide into two groups: nonmonosexuals and allies. The nonmonosexual group will focus on understanding and challenging internalized biphobia. The allies will further discuss what it means to be an ally to nonmonosexual people.

    • That’s So Bleep: 1-2PM @ The LGBTRC
    This program is designed to raise awareness of the relationship between hate speech, prejudice, and oppression. The program analyzes the roots of hate speech and strives to dissolve the bigotry evident in the 21st century in order to unify and rebuild communities through words and actions.

    • What It Is That We Do: 4PM-5PM @ Garrison Room
    Looking “beyond the binary” gives us a chance to learn about other forms of sexuality. For many people, BDSM – bondage, discipline, dominance/submission, and sadomasochism – offers a different and compelling way to express love, lust and affection. Through consciously and carefully playing with power, control, and even pain, some lovers find themselves closer and more fulfilled. Come learn about the practices, language, hearts and minds of happily self-proclaimed “perverts” and see if you find out something surprising!

    Thursday, January 28th

    • BIPOC (Bi People of Color) Workshop: 11AM-12PM @ The Moss Room (MU)
    Come and join us for a workshop full of celebration, affirmation, and appreciation of bisexual people of color! This workshop will include a facilitated discussion about the issues that effect bisexual, nonmonosexual, queer communities of color.

    • Non-Traditional Relationship/Family Structure: 4-5PM @ The Garrison Room (MU)
    Just like homo- and heterosexuality are only two of a vast number of sexual orientations, so also are “coupled” and “single” only two of a vast number of ways to relate to loved ones. Monogamy doesn’t work for everyone, and many people have chosen to negotiate different kinds of commitments with their loved ones, including open (non-monogamous) relationships and polyamory (being openly, consensually in love with more than one partner at the same time). Please join us for a discussion about the many ways that people come together and make families of every kind imaginable!

    • Student Performance Night: 7-9PM @ The King Lounge (MU)
    Enjoy a combination of student and professional performances celebrating bi identity! Performance art will be embraced as a form of resistance and resilience. Expect a range of artistic forms, such as music, dance, theater, literature, and the visual arts. Food & drinks will be provided.

    Friday, January 29th

    • Crafternoon: 3-5PM @ The LGBTRC
    This week’s Crafternoon will look beyond the binary system of the family tree to create art that acknowledges the many diverse forms of family and the families we build around us. Crafternoons is a weekly social and crafting event; new craft projects are taught each week and all supplies are provided.

    • BiVis Closed Meeting: 5-7PM in the Righteous Babes Lounge (WRRC)
    This discussion is a safe space for people who identify with nonmonosexual identities such as pansexual, bisexual, omnisexual, fluid, or questioning to share our experiences and thoughts. We have been meeting for two years! What do we want the next year to look like?

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