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DePaul to host 5th annual LGBTQA month

By Gabriel Charles Tyler
On April 28, 2012

The Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and Allies (LGBTQA) Student Services is gearing up to present its annual month-long festival this May at DePaul University, entitled "Making Futures: Relationships, Health, Justice and Leadership."

The Annual LGBTQA Month offers all participants the opportunity to unite despite differences in sexual attraction/orientation/identity, gender expression/identity, ethnicity, race, age and socioeconomic status. Students, faculty and staff can celebrate the month with events, activities, films, workshops and discussions held all over the university's Loop and Lincoln Park campuses.

According to the Office of LGBTQA Student Services' website, it exists to "promote, foster, and support a campus environment that is inclusive and supportive of student diversity, specifically as this relates to sexual orientation/attraction/identity and gender expression/identity."

They do this by "providing a range of services, programs, and events that reflect the needs and interests of LGBTQA students at DePaul," according to the site. It also explains that, "instead of focusing exclusively on the struggles and challenges faced by LGBTQA individuals, we give equal attention and effort to learning about and supporting their unique and shared successes."

"The Annual LGBTQA Month is ... the key program of the office, bringing together students, staff and faculty of DePaul," said Rodrigo Sebastián Torres, the coordinator for the Office of LGBTQA Student Services at DePaul.

This year's keynote speakers include, Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality and Gary W. Harper, professor in the department of psychology at DePaul University and director of DePaul's Master of Public Health Program.

When asked why May was the chosen month to host the festival, Sebastián Torres said, "Students used to call it 'Gay May.' They said they wanted something in the spring."
All events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Office of LGBTQA Student Services at 773.325.7294 or lgbtqaservices@depaul.edu.


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