Saturday, November 22, 2008

'Acts' shock students, bring awareness

(Too good to pass up.)

By Ashley Edwards

MURRAY, Kentucky - On Friday (November 21), members of the Murray State Alliance performed live homosexual acts on campus in the Free Speech Zone. Many students were shocked, but not necessarily as the name the event implies.

Students performed acts such as reading, studying and hanging out to raise awareness about the lifestyle of gay members of the Murray State campus.

Chris Morehead, junior from Paducah, Ky., checked out Friday's event after hearing about it through a Facebook message. He said the event was sort of ironic because the name of the event is shocking, but the activities are normal.

Morehead, who is gay, said while hanging out at the event he was pleased to see several of his straight friends were comfortable enough to stop and speak to him. He said he also had friends who walked by and waved but did not stop.

"We're a university and we have different cultures and ideas," Morehead said. "We're a melting pot, so people have to be tolerant of others."

Morehead said the goal of the gay community at Murray State is to build tolerance of their lifestyles with other students. He said this is one of many events building the foundation for tolerance before they even try to promote acceptance.

Morehead said judging by the event's turnout, he said the Murray State community is making progress toward tolerance, but he said it still has a ways to go.

"I think students are willing to move on and go forward … but I think the administration is so conservative it's holding us back," Morehead said.

Anthony Jones, senior from Union City, Tenn., and Murray State Alliance president, said he was happy with how Friday's event turned out.

"We had a fairly good amount of people that stopped and talked with us for a while," Jones said.

Jones said he thinks students came away with a very important message.

"Gay people are just as ordinary as anyone else out there," Jones said. "Gay and lesbian folk do the same thing as anyone else and I think (the event) illustrated that in a very clear way."

Jody Cofer, Murray State Alliance adviser, said he was pleased with Friday's turn-out and the student response generated by the event.

"I was noticing how some people would obviously look because the name caught their attention and they wanted to see what it was about," Cofer said. " … Some kind of grinned like they got it. They saw the point that was being made."

Cofer said there was a steady flow of traffic passing by the Free Speech Zone. He said since the event took place, he has received positive feedback.

"The whole point was to show people that the lesbian and gay community are just like me and you," Cofer said. "They're right here among us, and a lot of times, more so than not, you don't even know until they choose to tell you. There's nothing out of the ordinary about the lesbian and gay community."

Murray State Alliance plans to host more events throughout the year, Jones said, and hope to bring Live Homosexual Acts back next fall.

No comments: