By: Lilliam Z. Morales Rodríguez
What is the LGBT community? LGBT stands for “Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender” community. The conference of V Coloquio ¿Del otro lao?: Perspectivas sobre sexualidades queer (Perspectives on queer sexualities) took place March 4, 2014 at the Carlos Chardón building Amphitheater Ramón Figueroa Chapel in the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez campus better known as RUM. The panel of Queer sexualities, education and bullying begun at 3:30pm-5:00pm. More than 40 students and professors attended the conference.
The conference was given by Mary R. Scharron-del Rio ,Graduate of the UPR, Mabel López Ortiz and Loida Martínez Ramos. These women talked about “Voices, speeches and queer experiences: using methods experiential education in the liberating,” “Homophobic Bullying: Overcome speech” and “The challenge of the queer the pedagogical scenario.”
Mary R. Scharrón-del Rio started her out by yelling “ REPENT FROM YOUR SINS, SEARCH FOR GOD”, with this she had the audience attention. She said that by showing affection towards another woman or simply holding the hand of one she would always hear such things as “ what a loss, such tragedy”. She carried on saying men “portrayed” women as objects which they could own, that by she being a lesbian she was deducting their possibilities to get in her pants and soon. When she finished talking she asked the audience “ what did you feel when i talked about my experiences?” , she gave us two minutes to portray those feelings and tell discuss them with the person next to us.
Arnaldo Rivera,19, a fellow UPRM student attending the conference was sitting on the right to me, I asked him what he thought about what she had said and how he felt about the whole conference. He answered with a serious expression “ Nothing gives you the right to say those things to anyone, everyone is different, has their own likes and dislikes, but there’s no reason why a person should be so vulgar towards another human being, I felt bad.”
Hatmil Morales,19,to my left, said “everyone is entitled to their own opinions,everything she said made me feel shame, empathy, shock and even confusion”.
Mabel Lopéz who was next in turn to speak, explained how the kids that were mostly bullied were feminine boys, girls that were tomboys and the quiet and shy ones, not necessarily gay. We have been teaching kids stereotypes of how kids should be instead of showing them to accept what’s different, Ms.Martínez concluded the conference by saying “in the end we are all the same.”