Yesterday, the NYTimes cast a spotlight on a group of eight Penn freshmen who are questioning not only traditional gender norms but traditional LGBT norms as well, and dubbed them Generation LGBTQIA.
“Q” can mean “questioning” or “queer,” an umbrella term itself … “I” is for “intersex,” someone whose anatomy is not exclusively male or female. And “A” stands for “ally” (a friend of the cause) or “asexual,” characterized by the absence of sexual attraction.
Despite the booming activity and many successful efforts of the LGBT community at Penn, these freshmen hope particularly to expand the definitions and awareness of “non-cisgender” people, or people whose gender identities don’t align with their biological sex. While the L, G and B are heavily emphasized at Penn, these students aim to address the void left by the other letters.
In case you haven’t yetheard, Penn is joining a handful of other universities in aiding same-sex couples by issuing them a series of tax benefits. Because same-sex marriage is not recognized in Pennsylvania, there exists a tax that a Penn employee must pay on a partner’s benefits, although the tax does not exist for heterosexual couples. The new tax benefit issued by the university is meant to offset this cost.
What all of this means, basically, is that Penn is continuing its efforts to create a just environment for all faculty, staff, and students. And, it’s one of the first universities to implement this practice, known as “grossing up.” Way to go! But, really, this should come as no surprise.
Just one night after Dan Savage spoke at Zellerbach, the LGBT activist cruised on down to American University for a little chat as well…and showed up wearing this fine piece of Penn apparel. Looks like someone might have under-packed for his college tour. We just hope he didn’t recycle his jokes underwear.
QPenn 2012 will be celebrating LGBT life on campus with a bunch of neato events this week, but the event’s keynote speaker is particularly noteworthy. Actor Alan Cumming will be speaking at Meyerson Hall on Saturday at 6 p.m. on LGBT issues and taking audience questions.
In addition to his groundbreaking performance as Floop in Spy Kids, Cumming won a Tony for his role as the Emcee in Cabaret and was Emmy-nominated for his current role in CBS’ The Good Wife. Our favorite? Piers Cuthberson-Smyth from Spice World, duh.
Get your tickets now and start cumming up with your questions about what it was like to work with Baby Spice and the rest of the gang.
Penn students do cool things, and Penn Architecture students do cool things while presumably wearing either very retro or very futuristic glasses. This past week, we’ve seen three Penn architects get attention for doing things in the actual world.
Matthias Hollwich, an architect who teaches at Penn, designed housing community for LGBT elderly people, as HuffPoreports. The first village opens in Palm Springs in 2014, and according to the artist’s rendering, it could not look more awesome. Especially if you like old men in sweaters chilling near succulents.
Law prof Tobias Barrington Wolff is making his media rounds as a newly-minted “icon of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal.” This Daily Intel article features tears falling down his face, while the official White House press release on the matter simply has him looking… something. Sad? Incredulous? Awesome? Not sure.
This is not Professor Wolff’s first time in the DADT spotlight; he appeared on the Rachel Maddow show in October to discuss it and has been an outspoken proponent of the policy’s repeal. Keep at it, Toby (can we call you that?)– we love that you’re representing our school for a good cause!
The “It Gets Better” Project is growing in popularity nation-wide with their videos, which feature both celebrities and regular people, urging LGBT youth to stay strong because “it gets better”. And what could be better than having the president of the number one gay friendly university featured in one of these vids? Our favorite prez stars in an “It Gets Better” clip and reveres Penn as a school of LGBT-friendly individuals. We believe this is true, but postslikethis, which are written by Penn students, are also a cause for concern. We’re glad Amy is pushing us onto the right track, though. Plus her glowing hair and velvety red suit make us feel extra safe.
In light of the recent LGBT-related youth suicides that have occurred across the country, a vigil will be held on the steps of College Hall at 8pm. ”Night to Live” will be happening tonight at over 25 other campuses nation-wide as students stand together in solidarity to remember those who have been tragically lost. Wear white and prepare for a potentially emotional but highly meaningful night.
Gawker.com reported on Newsweek’sTop 10 Most Gay Friendly Schools, a list on which Penn reigns supreme. However, they take an especially entertaining look at the list and specify exactly what breed of “gay” should attend and the negatives associated with the school. We’re a little upset that they called Philly boys nasty but as always, we love the shout out.
The Details piece explores some of the outreach programs at Penn, while also following a senior making his college decision last April. As the story notes, Penn and Dartmouth became the first two schools this year to offer outreach programs to LGBT admits, in the hopes of getting these students to enroll. Much to our disappointment, David chooses Dartmouth. Whatever.
But still, we’ve got lots to be proud of by way of being progressive. We caught up with the writer and former Street ed, Doree Shafrir ’99 about her experience coming back to campus to write the story. “It was great to meet so many students for whom being gay at Penn was no big deal–they were members of fraternities and played sports and did all the things that, when I was at Penn, would’ve been a ‘big deal’ to be doing as an out person,” she told us. “The school seems to be doing a good job at making sure this continues to be the case.”