Apparently, the latest command on this university campus is that if you dislike something, then throw eggs at it. At least that is the case for people who do not appreciate female impersonators. For the four entertainers who appeared at Diva La Paz Wednes day, that is how their attackers justified their actions. Using eggs and Bible verses as their weapons of choice, these protesters attempted to degrade the performers, but I believe they only managed to degrade themselves.
Diva La Paz was a program sponsored by the Diversity Council and the Department of Residence Life, organizations that promote cultural diversity within the UA community. To others, it might seem that we celebrate our gay cultural diversity in a strange wa y. I wonder if the individual who threw eggs would have thrown them at a Native American who dances the Ghost dance on the Mall. Or did a person throw eggs at a reading of Holocaust victims' names sponsored by Hillel? Or will they throw them at a Kwanza c elebration? Certainly, these are not celebrations of the mainstream culture.
Flipping back through past issues of the Wildcat, I have noticed that there is a lot of debate about issues surrounding gay people but no real discussion by gay people. What appears to be a discussion to most people about gay issues is actually a discours e about our lives.
You think that fear of not fitting into the mainstream mold will drive us away. We have been dealing with fear and violence since we were young. No heterosexual will ever have to hide in a closet of fear from your own self or hide who you are from your ow n friends and family. We have to seek love from a community, because people who do not agree with homosexuality decide what is right for us.
At what point do you begin a discussion with us concerning your ideas - between the throwing of each egg? At what point do you make an effort to understand who we are - between the creation of signs which cite Bible verses and the disruption of our progra ms?
You are adults now. Adults do not throw eggs or interrupt performances to get their views across - at least those who are mature. You throw water on people to show your distaste, but you fail to realize the only person you make fun of is yourself.
The gay community has suffered ridicule for years. We have fought for the right to love and to share that love with others. Do you think your water and eggs will stop us now? They will not.
I must admit that as much as I do not appreciate the people who did this, I must place some blame for the situation that occurred on the Department of Residence Life. Which individual let the person hang the signs containing verses from the Bible on the s tage itself? Who allowed for the open protest of a program while it was functioning? Would you allow protesters to spray paint the set of Jesus Christ Superstar while it is being performed? I think not.
It is time for us to begin to revamp what is before us. Do we accept reducing people to no more than a target at which to throw eggs? As a society, we are irate when a hate crime occurs. Yet this egg-throwing is a gay hate crime. Students of the UA must r ealize what is beginning here. Do we let these people tell you what to think or will you think for yourselves? I hope you think and think hard. I hope you realize that discrimination and prejudice are bad.
I am part of a community, not just because I am gay, but because I am a human being who supports diversity among human beings. My community fosters that. We, like all other communities, are diverse. We respect each other and we respect our differences. Mo st of all, we understand what it means to be an outcast, and we fight for acceptance in a world which refuses to understand us.
This is just one event this semester of anti-gay sentiment that has appeared within our campus community. Amazingly enough, the UA and the surrounding city of Tucson has an anti-gay discrimination ordinance, but few seem aware or even regard it. For all t he work that has been done by us at the Bisexual, Gay and Lesbian Association, we seemed to have not just promoted gay awareness; instead we have only managed to scratch the surface of the homophobia on campus.
Hattie J. Sabia is the co-director of the Bisexual, Gay and Lesbian Association of ASUA. She is a sociology senior.