Equity in diversity

(Color Feature Story)

By. Michelle Montañez Hernández

On November 29 of 2011 in the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus (UPRM), the Nameless Queer Collective Group carried out the second march for equality of diversity in front of the Carlos Chardon building at 10:30am.

The Nameless Queer Collective Group is a group of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth from the UPRM directed and organized by Damian Cabrera. Unfortunately, the organizer could not attend the activity because he had an important meeting with one of his teachers. But the activity was conducted by Luis Omar Garcia who presented all the artistic numbers there made and took charge of music for the entertainment of those present.

“Con el recuerdo al hombro…” the march began with a poem of Angela Maria Davila, a Puerto Rican revolutionary poetess of the 70’s, taught and dramatized by the young Angelia Rivera, who also present other poems of the poetess during the activity. Later on, Raquel Salas Rivera, an integrant of the Nameless Queer Collective Group recited one of her own poems. The student already has a poetry book called “Caeca de Anhelos Turbios” which is on sale in the bookstore of the UPRM and Don Quixote in the library, located in the town of Mayaguez.

One of the main guests of this march was the Joyce, a transgender from Mayaguez, who offered the public many artistic numbers of different artists. Among these the interpretation of the song Unbreak my heart by Toni Braxton and “Loca con mi tigre” and “Gitana” by Shakira. The Joyce emphasizes a part of the Gypsy song which says “Do not try to dominate me and tie me, I am who I choose as wrong.” The transgender left with many smiles and applauses.

Then, all the marchers were invited to express their acceptance or rejection of the LGBT movement and the equity of diversity in microphone and in a poster that was posted on a wall in front of the Chardon building. “The purpose of this activity is to promote the diverse environment on our campus. The Committee against homophobia and discrimination takes a little over a year doing such activity to raise awareness about the diversity of sexuality and gender” said Raquel Salas Rivera

In the activity they also mentioned a several upcoming events from this group. Among these, the film festival queer gallery which also takes place on November 29 starting at 8:00pm, and the second gear for equity of diversity which will take place on Thursday, December 8 at 5pm, leaving the main entrance UPRM to Columbus Park.

“It is important to conduct such activities to educate about the value of the sexual diversity, against homophobia, and to serve as a means of expression to that diversity. There will be no new society without respect for diversity. Humans aspire to a society without sexism and without marginalization but sometimes do not realize that each other are pressed by partaking of discrimination in accounting that are or think differently than them” said Luis Omar Garcia. Previously, there have been many cases of violence against homosexuals and transsexuals in Puerto Rico. Between November and May of 2010 occurred a series of murders whose victims were gay or transgender. Michell Galindo, Jorge Steven Lopez, Ashley (Juan Antonio) James and Angie (Angel) Gonzalez were the last cases of homicides on the island during these past six months.

The group heads to the entire university community, regardless of sexual orientation, as it is to make everyone accept and respect as they are. They urged their peers, the college students, to participate and be part of their different activities, so that further promotion of an environment of respect, both on campus and outside it.

“That saying that we are all equal in reality is a myth. We are all different as human beings, but that diversity is rich in its breadth. It is not necessarily to be equal to have relations of solidarity and respect” said Luis Omar Garcia.

On the walls were a series of cards that read “our affection does not affect you,” “stop homophobic violence, demand respect for diversity”, and “love do not kills, homophobia does”. Besides, various newspaper clippings that mentioned some of the murders that have occur in Puerto Rico against homosexuals and transgender.

The activity closed around 11:45am with the interpretation of another two Angela Maria Davila’s poems by the student Angelia Rivera. Raquel Salas also delight the audience with several of his poems. At the end, Luis Omar Garcia gave thanks to the audience for being there and exhorts them to continue supporting the movement.

This organization intends to continue to carry out various activities over the coming years. The next semester they will be conducting the fourth symposium of the other side.

Interpretation of the Gypsy song by The Joyce.

The symbols of sexuality, promoting diversity and gender equality.


1 Comment

  1. December 9, 2011 at 12:00 pm12

    “It is important to conduct such activities to educate about the value of the sexual diversity, against homophobia, and to serve as a means of expression to that diversity. There will be no new society without respect for diversity.” These are wise words from Luis Omar. I like your theme; the activity seems that was pretty organized. Nice work!

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