October is LGBT history month, and the president of the Spectrum Center, Lucas Longoria, wants people on campus to know a little more about the history of lgbt movement.
For the members of the Spectrum Center, lgbt history month is the time that they are choosing to branch out and host a few events in the Student Center, such as bake sales. In honor of Coming Out Day, there will be a box in the Student Center for students to write some of their secrets that they may not feel comfortable saying out loud.
“Back in the 1920s, it was a time of sexual liberation. During this time, there were photographs of women wearing men’s’ clothing, and of women together,” said Longoria, 21, a music composition and philosophy student from Superior Township. “The 1920s were an early sexual revolution. Then, during the Depression and war, people were more focused on the war effort than sexual orientation.”
Other students see opportunity in some of the events planned this month as well.
“I think awareness has been brought up over the years, especially through the ‘90s,” said Samantha Cantu, 24, a graphic design student from Ypsilanti. “I just joined this club and I think there’s great work to be done.”
There are other important events in lgbt history, such as the discovery of aids in the 1980s, and the Stonewall riots.
“Stonewall took place in California, in a cafe bar, and it turned out to be a riot for lgbt rights,” Longoria said. “It was the first major movement that the transgendered came forward as well. There was more lgbt discrimination in the 1980s when aids was discovered, people were afraid of aids, it was the new thing that had no cure at all.”
Spectrum was renamed last year. Previously, it was known as the Gay Straight Alliance. The club has opened a forum, and is planning events such as a specific forum for the transgendered community in November and an African-American LGBT forum during Black History Month in February.
Students in the Spectrum Center like its comfortable, welcoming atmosphere.
“It’s an open place, I can be myself,” said Sarah Fugate, 19, an undecided major from Ypsilanti. “I’ve made some great friends that will probably last a lifetime.”
The Spectrum Club is open to everyone, and it meets on Tuesdays from 3-5 p.m. in BE 171. For some students, this club is a large part of their lives.
“I just joined a few weeks ago. I like the way that we run it,” said Amber Miller, 18, a culinary arts student from Ann Arbor. “Anybody can contribute.”
The leadership of the Spectrum Center works to make every member of the club feel equal, and has the members of the club vote on issues.
“We make a consensus together,” Longoria said. “I wish we could make a more welcome campus and make ourselves more known.”
More seasoned members have a long-term goal in mind for this club.
“I’ve been in Spectrum since last year,” said Abby Dove, a 19-year-old psychology student from Brighton. “I feel like this year we’re going to make a difference.”