Sexuality doesn’t define who we are or what we do

By: Reina Santiago

In “El V Coloquio Del Otro La’o” several people from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender, Transsexual (LGBTT) community talked about how their sexuality has influenced in their lives and how they don’t let other people’s thoughts or judgments bring them down.
From Tuesday March 4, 2014 to Thursday March 6, 2014 the Coloquio took place in the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus (UPRM). According to the press of UPRM, “This is an initiative of a group of students and teachers from UPRM to make room for an international forum for dialogue and debate on issues related to non-heteronormative sexualities also known as. The effort and the look are on the struggle for demands of every human being for other than the heterosexuality.”
One of the events was called “Encuentros: Testimonios sobre raza, racializacion y sexualidades Queer” (Encounters: Testimonies of race, racialization and Queer sexualities).

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Panel titled Encounters: Testimonies of race, racialization and Queer sexualities at El V Coloquio Del Otro La’o,”
Photo by author

More than 40 people, mostly students, attended the event, which started at 9:30 a.m. The room seemed tense as everyone saw that half an hour had passed and the lecture hadn’t started. When the event finally started UPRM professor Dr. Jocelyn Géliga, the moderator of this round table, introduced the panel that was composed by Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro, Orlando “Fenómeno” Cruz, Dania García Lebrón and Toi Scott.

As the lecture proceeded Dr. Géliga asked different questions to the panelists and each gave his/her opinions and thoughts of the subject and/or question that was asked. As the event came to an end and the questioning from the audiences part took place everyone saw the impact that this panel had on them.
As I talked to a student who wishes to stay anonymous about her experienced with the panel she said, “I thought this was a very interesting experience. Seeing people of different sexualities and backgrounds banding together to educate the population gave me the impression that our collective future does indeed look brighter every day.”
The four panelists talked about the racial issues and different experiences they had to go through in society because of their sexual preferences.

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