Archive for June, 2012

Women’s Studies Changes Lives

I’ve been teaching Introduction to Women’s Studies for a few years, both face-to-face and online. Most students find this course engaging and enriching. Recently, one student who enrolled  in my online class at the last minute found the material so enlightening it helped determine her academic goals.

Desiree Jamerson earned her Associate’s Degree at Montgomery College this spring, and she plans to continue her education in Women’s Studies and to eventually acquire a Ph.D. and to teach.

As an educator, I love it when one of my classes opens doors in a student’s mind and changes her or his life so dramatically for the good. View the video to hear her story!

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Posted on June 29th, 2012 by Loraine Hutchins

Bisexuals in the (White) House…?!

As he’s done since 2009, President Obama hosted an LGBT Pride Month reception at the White House. No matter how impressive the crowd or upscale the venue, five hundred sweaty, fancy-dressed people standing around in uncomfortable shoes is just not my cuppa tea. But that doesn’t interfere with my vicarious joy of watching friends and colleagues relish the ceremonial high drama of this special event. Being invited to the White House is a very big deal, whether for a state dinner, a reception or a meeting, and this year’s reception included the largest bisexual contingent ever.

L-R: Regina Reinhardt, Morgan Goode, Emily Drennen, LindaSusan Ulrich holding RJ, Lauren Beach, Chiquita Violette, Estraven, Denise Penn

At the 2012 White House Pride reception, bisexuals were represented by a married couple, Emily Drennen and LindaSusan Ulrich, from San Francisco with their eight-week-old foster son;  two current BiNet USA board members, Chiquita Violette and Morgan Goode; Midwestern bi organizer, Lauren Beach; Westchester County NY bi discussion group leader, Estraven; and two longtime southern California bi activists from the board of the American Institute of Bisexuality; Denise Penn and Regina Reinhardt. You can read more about this great group of bi activists in Amy Andre’s Huffington Post piece, “Bi Activists in the White House.”

Continue reading Bisexuals in the (White) House…?!

Posted on June 20th, 2012 by Loraine Hutchins

Staying Alive

“It gets better,” we say, pleading with LGBTQ youth to not kill themselves and to reject the silencing, shaming and bullying. What we are really saying is—simply and fiercely—we want you to stay alive. But in this time of extreme global instability, staying alive is sometimes a tremendous feat to accomplish, day in and day out. What inspires me to stay alive and to keep on keeping on, weary or not, are people like:

  • Dr. DeRionne Pollard, the new President of Montgomery College, who has the courage and vision to be herself, and encourage others to do the same;
  • Starhawk, the Neo-Pagan, eco-feminist activist, who teaches us to “tell a different story” about being alive in the world; and
  • Victor Jara, the martyred Chilean folk artist, who demonstrated defiance in the face of hopelessness and rage and was memorialized in Holly Near’s lyrics:

The junta cut the fingers from Victor Jara’s hands
and said to the gentle poet ‘Play your guitar now if you can.’
But Victor kept on singing ‘til they shot his body down.
You can kill a man but not his song when it’s sung the whole world round.

Our moral imperative is to tell our own stories, to create different realities, to stay alive in this difficult time. As I’ve toured campuses around the country these past 20 years, speaking out for LGBTQ rights and liberation, I’ve loved watching the LGBTQ student movement grow. I’ve had the privilege of working with students, staff, and faculty on many campuses and participated in a variety of conference trainings, keynote addresses, and workshop facilitations on LGBT issues, sexuality, and spirituality. But during most of that time, I never expected to have my own classroom or to teach.

Continue reading Staying Alive

Posted on June 14th, 2012 by Loraine Hutchins

It Gets Better: Montgomery College

This is an excellent video we created…

Posted on June 14th, 2012 by Loraine Hutchins

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