People moved by art, poetry; and eager to fight for their rights.

A colorful welcome to the paintings that were presented at the Queer Culture Festival


From left to right, the second picture is "Mi orgullo no se marca" taken by Linnet Irizarry, a third-year plastic arts student at UPRM.

People moved by art, poetry; and eager to fight for their rights.
By: Jennifer Jimenez Bonet
Type of Feature Story: Colorful
Date of submission: December 22, 2010

“The long-awaited night where art and diversity will be the main hosts,” said Humberto E. Gonzalez, in his opening to the Queer Culture Festival. The room was full of poetry, paintings, sculptures and people filled with love and joy. A table with a variety of foods, colors, and flavors was just an appetizer of what the night would serve.

A burning blast of perspectives blew across the room as the LGBTT community shared with the university community. Poetry-declamation, narratives, videos, and music played throughout the special night.

The entire university community was invited to the opening of the Queer Culture Festival which was held on Thursday December 2 from 7 pm in the Annex to the cafeteria of the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez Campus. The event continued until 1:30 pm on Friday, December 3.

The Queer Culture Festival provided a forum for expression of different situations, emotions, thoughts and feelings that describe the LGBTT experience from the perspective of individual artists.

Participation in the cultural exhibits was open to any individual or group belonging to the following artistic disciplines: painting, digital art, street art, drawing, printmaking, graphics, photography, theater, performance, music, poetry, storytelling, dance, shifters and any artist who wanted to work in the organization of the Festival. Those interested in participating had to submit their pieces created around LGBTT or Queer sexuality themes.

The picture “Mi orgullo no se marca,” with its model Emanuel Córdoves, won the first place. The jury gave an unanimous decision when they came to this picture, obtaining the most points in the exhibition. The photograph was taken by Linnet Irizarry, a third-year plastic arts student at UPRM.

The Festival also welcomed the submission paintings, printmaking, digital arts, street arts, to drawings, graphics and photographs. The works were evaluated two weeks before the Festival by a panel of three members: a representative of the LGBTT movement and two professors.

The LGBTT movement at UPRM originated two years ago with the initiative of students in academic research. From that moment, the movement has gained strength and has propelled efforts to promote its ideals.

The purpose of the LGBTT group at UPRM is to provide forums for debate, socialization and initiatives for equality and equity in a university campus. The movement emerged to fight against homophobia discrimination, hatred and constant criticism, and societal pressures against LGBTT individuals.

The big difference between the LGBTT movement and other organizations is its orientation towards a society that values ethnic and sexual diversity, as well as the interest in preserving an acceptance and justice for all.

“As a member, I have grown to respect my views about life and humans,” said Manuel Gonzalez calmly holding his posture. “The LGBTT has allowed me to see the great diversity among individuals, whether they belong to a specific community or not, and how vast the ideas in general.”

Humberto E. González, who is also an active member of the LGBTT association at RUM, feels very happy and finds himself useful in the movement. “The LGBTT movement has helped me grown in many ways to be a better person,”

The Movement has been organizing as the March for Equality in Diversity, forums of expression, sexual health forums, marches, participating in Relay for Life and biweekly meetings. Its mission is to provide an opportunity for the LGBTT college community at UPRM, to voice their concerns, feelings and attitudes. The movement seeks to address issues regarding the gay college community and their rights within an academic environment.

“Homosexuality is NOT a disease, homophobia is. The purpose of the LGBTT struggle is to achieve equality for human rights and acceptance to society” added Humberto.

The LGBTT aims to solve the problems that the community have of acceptance and the controversial that exists politically. The focus of the movement is to educate socially and politically. This is why in the future the LGBTT expected not to use labels that express their will of equality and integration in our society.

The movement hopes to educate the entire university community about their common cause despite the fact that members don’t always share the same. They have different needs, since not all belong to the same social class and family reactions and different as well as other variables that influence a person in the LGBTT community.

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