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Archive for Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lavender Ceremony to honor gay, bisexual graduates at KU

May 13, 2010

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Kansas University is adding a graduation ceremony to its usual roundup of them this year — one that recognizes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered students.

The Lavender Ceremony is part of a national trend, said John Younger, chairman of KU’s women, gender and sexuality studies program. He started a similar ceremony at Duke University.

He guessed that more than 100 universities have had ceremonies across the nation since the first one in 1995, at the University of Michigan.

KU’s ceremony, set for 6 p.m. Friday in the English Room at the Kansas Union, is a recognition of the unique issues faced on campus from a gay student’s perspective, Younger said.

“The importance is, in general, there are hardly any affirmations and celebrations of gay identity at any university,” Younger said.

It will probably always be a smaller event, he said — KU’s first group will probably consist of fewer than 10 graduates. When he did a similar event at Duke, the participants reached about 30.

Instead of the typical academic robes and gowns, participants are encouraged to wear whatever they’d like. Certificates of achievement will be handed out to all graduating students at the ceremony, who may come from any department or school on campus.

Sara Thompson, president of KU’s Queers and Allies, said that while KU has its Pride Week celebration, this event had a different sort of focus.

“I think it’s kind of neat because it recognizes the extra struggle for the LGBT population to get through the university,” Thompson said.

While this first event may start small, she said she hopes more people will be willing to participate in future years as people become more aware of the event.

“I would just hope that it gets bigger and better,” Thompson said.

Comments

Paula Kissinger 4 years, 8 months ago

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parrothead8 4 years, 8 months ago

Are you kidding me? You think "these people" are catered to everywhere? Can you give me an example of the LGBT population being "catered to" in our society? Every sexual institution and assumption in our society is based on the "idea" that heterosexuality is the norm, and everything that is not the norm is strange. Just because there are more heterosexuals than homosexuals doesn't make heterosexuality the norm. That's like saying that Granny Smith apples are weird because the grocery store has more Red Delicious.

And how, exactly, does one "choose" their sexuality? Are you saying you chose your sexuality? Or did you just know what you were? I never made a choice...I just know I'm heterosexual. My friends - straight and gay - accept me for who I am, despite my character flaws, and I do the same with them.

And why should being "out" open one to criticism? What's so wrong with being gay that you feel a gay person should be criticized merely for existing? Being heterosexual doesn't make anyone right.

I'm so glad you are willing to "stand up for what our country was founded upon," but to say that "none of it was self-serving" is laughable and ignorant. This country was founded solely upon self-serving interests...a bunch of rich, white guys didn't want to pay their taxes, so they went to war.

Danimal 4 years, 8 months ago

Heterosexuality is the norm, last time I checked only 5-8% of the population was something other than heterosexual. This isn't an indictment of one, or an endorsement of another, just acknowledging a fact. I think that people should be free to be whoever they are.

oldvet 4 years, 8 months ago

“I think it’s kind of neat because it recognizes the extra struggle for the LGBT population to get through the university,” Thompson said.

Perhaps you can explain the "extra" struggles they have with the university program... does the university put special roadblocks in the program to stop them from getting a degree?

Or is this just their typical whining...

bradh 4 years, 8 months ago

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pagan_idolator 4 years, 8 months ago

There will probably never be a Wiccan ceremony since most of the Wiccans would probably want to be skyclad. :-)

Grundoon Luna 4 years, 8 months ago

We Wiccans are creative - including you my dear friend and likely moreso than others - and if we want a skyclad ceremony we will find a way to get 'er done. As you very well know, the Goddess does provide.

audibleangel 4 years, 8 months ago

yet another reason any type of organized religion is completely and utterly useless. do you not realize how exclusive, and, might i add, stupid, that you sound? because you worship a separate deity from most you believe you are more creative? please, humor us and elaborate!

Eddie Muñoz 4 years, 8 months ago

How did you get "We Wiccans are more creative than other people" out of "We Wiccans are creative"?

pagan_idolator 4 years, 8 months ago

You have to learn to be creative when you don't have any money. ;-)

imagold 4 years, 8 months ago

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Grundoon Luna 4 years, 8 months ago

Look out! Barry's got his period again. Go get some Midol and cranberry juice to go with your PAD why dontcha.

You seem fond of Darwin however the Darwinian principle is not working in your favor. You and those like you are on the evolutionary train heading for obsolenscense.

Truthspeaker 4 years, 8 months ago

Wow, good job slamming someone for a typo. That really shows how totally awesome and superior you are.

Boston_Corbett 4 years, 8 months ago

ha ha ha.... I agree. My muslins could use a good cleaning too....too many biscuit-and-gravy spills.

Cody Ochs 4 years, 8 months ago

muslin (plural muslins)

  1. (textile) Any of several varieties of thin cotton cloth.
  2. (US) Fabric made of cotton, flax (linen), hemp, or silk, finely or coarsely woven.
  3. A term used for a wide variety of tightly-woven thin fabrics, especially those used for bedlinen. (US) Woven cotton or linen fabrics, especially when used for items other than garments.
  4. A dressmaker's pattern made from inexpensive cloth.

Towlie would be so happy.

davidsmom 4 years, 8 months ago

Why do we need to recognize people for their sexuality? I totally don't get it.

chasmo 4 years, 8 months ago

but if you want to be part of the norm, why do you need an event to single you out as different? Why not just take the walk just like everybody else? Everybody has their own struggles to deal with.

ivalueamerica 4 years, 8 months ago

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grammaddy 4 years, 8 months ago

I agree, nobody is forcing anyone to attend.

Stuart Evans 4 years, 8 months ago

I don't have anything against gay people. that is who they are. However..why should sexual preference warrant a separate event any more than race or religious affiliation? This is a waste of resources and only leads to further resentment and misunderstanding between various groups. graduation is not about your heritage or lifestyle; it's about completing your education. and that should have no personal boundaries.

monkey_c 4 years, 8 months ago

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Melissa Kounelaki 4 years, 8 months ago

Any group can have their own graduation recognition ceremony. I'm sure Hillel and HALO and the BSU and others are recognizing their own students. This is news becasue it the first time it's being done at KU. There are no resources being wasted; the ceremony is at the Union which is free for any University related or sponsored functions and the certificates are likely being printed in house by the supporting group. Don't you bigoted people have anything better to do with your time than comment on something that has absolutely nothing to do with you? (That's a rhetorical question)

frankfussman 4 years, 8 months ago

You want a special ceremony for KU graduates who are LJ-World website posters.

The T-shirt says, "I do it online."

Mike Hoffmann 4 years, 8 months ago

I don't see what is bigoted about asking why there is a special graduation ceremony for LGBT students. Everyone needs to quit acting as if they are all special and need to be set apart. People are too busy focusing on what makes them different and "special" rather than what makes us all the same. We're all people. How about 1 graduation recognizing people who graduated from KU?

paisley 4 years, 8 months ago

Stedman I couldn't agree more. There is way too much focus on differences and "being special". This kind of focus just drives wedges between people.

CreatureComforts 4 years, 8 months ago

Yeah this frustrates me. The LGBT argues all the time that they want to be equal, and then they want something extra. I support LGBT rights profusely, but this is unfair to a LOT of other communities that are part of the University as a whole.

d_prowess 4 years, 8 months ago

Why is this unfair to other communities? Each School has their own graduation and any other group can arrange space at the Union for something similar. This would only be unfair if the University prevented other groups from doing a similar ceremony, but they don't.

grammaddy 4 years, 8 months ago

Equal Rights for all!! When that happens maybe people won't feel the need to have their own "special" ceremonies.

BleedingheartofLawrence 4 years, 8 months ago

Most of the posters here are begrudging a group of people the right to celebrate their achievement of getting through school. Why should you care if there's another celebration? I don't think people get honored enough for their hard work.

Keep your nose out of the next guy's business. He may be different from you, but he's not less worthy of respect.

And please retire the stupid gay jokes, "eve and steve," whatever. That's as tired as they come.

Danimal 4 years, 8 months ago

I think that it's fantastic that KU is doing this. It's just unfortunate that the Political Science dept. can't get itself organized enough to have a graduation ceremony.

Truthspeaker 4 years, 8 months ago

It is my understanding that the ultimate goal of most of the movements that support gays is for gays to be treated like everyone else and not be ostracized for their sexual orientation. They want to been seen as equals in legal and social situations. In essence, they want it to not matter they are gay and have no one make a big deal over it.

Then they go and have to have a seperate, special ceremony because they are different.

So which is it? Do you want homosexuality to be considered a normal and accepted thing to the point where it isn't special, or do you want to seperate yourselves because you are gay?

chasmo 4 years, 8 months ago

I think it is a question worth and answer.

Ernest Barteldes 4 years, 8 months ago

The fact is that the LGBT population has faced a lot of discrimination, and this has changed only recently. The bigotry is out there, as can be read in the comments. Until this prejudice is gone, ceremonies like that are necessary.

Truthspeaker 4 years, 8 months ago

No, by choosing to seperate themselves with a special ceremony, they are enforcing the differences, which is counterproductive.

Stuart Evans 4 years, 8 months ago

that is precisely my point. and it's not just about LGBT, it's about blacks, muslims, ancient roman impersonators; all of them. Why such a struggle to prove equality , only to seclude or alienate yourselves with a members only type of event?

Truthspeaker 4 years, 8 months ago

Oh that's a different can of worms.

But I don't think your analogy quite works. The difference is that, currently, gay people aren't ALLOWED to marry, and so if they have their own type of ceremony, that makes sense because they don't have the option for a regularly sanctioned marriage.

There are no prohibitions to them participating in the regular graduation ceremony.

They struggle to be treated like everyone else in the case of marriage, yet when they can participate like everyone else, they choose to seperate themselves. They aren't being consistent with their message.

outtatowntownie 4 years, 8 months ago

There are tons of groups holding their own special ceremonies. What's the problem with this specific one?

http://www.commencement.ku.edu/2010/events.shtml

Truthspeaker 4 years, 8 months ago

If it is so insignificant, why is there an article in the paper dedicated to it?

Eddie Muñoz 4 years, 8 months ago

Because it's new and someone at the paper thought someone would find it interesting.

J Good Good 4 years, 8 months ago

Seriously, gay people need each other's support because a lot of people are cruel and hateful. As many of you prove all the time. That is all this is, an additional celebration with folks who understand what they have been through. When they don't get treated differently, that support will not be as important. Everyone goes to the same KU graduation, this is additional. There are LOTS of special ceremonies for many different groups, I really don't see the big deal.

Melissa Kounelaki 4 years, 8 months ago

"Everyone goes to the same KU graduation, this is additional. There are LOTS of special ceremonies for many different groups, I really don't see the big deal."

Exactly.

Truthspeaker 4 years, 8 months ago

Yes, homosexuals are the only people who are treated differently. They should have a special ceremony because of that . Kids are so cruel only to gay kids. No other group is treated badly.

Eddie Muñoz 4 years, 8 months ago

Did you even READ Pywacket's comment before you typed this out? You missed the point.

Stuart Evans 4 years, 8 months ago

as a fat kid, I was ruthlessly attacked on multiple occasions growing up. This followed me through a good part of my young adulthood. Even today, I can rarely go a day without hearing someone call me big fella or make some other remark about my weight. and that seems to be socially acceptable to do. There are plenty of groups of people who are persecuted daily because of who they are. I would never dream of hosting a ceremony dedicated to Oreo lovers just because they graduated college.

chasmo 4 years, 8 months ago

Pywacket.... I think you read with a prejudiced eye. I think most posters here are not bigots or against a special ceremony but just don't see the point. You are correct in saying it is no skin off our nose. I guess I just look forward to a time when this is not a news worthy item, and the special ceremony is not needed.

Amesmb 4 years, 8 months ago

Thanks for the explanation. When I was in college, I was never a part of any such groups (never felt the desire), nor did I attend any of their ceremonies, so I wasn't aware of just how prevalent such ceremonies are or why this one would be requested. Now it makes more sense.

mr_right_wing 4 years, 8 months ago

Thanks for letting me know about this...I'll be sure to stay clear of the area!!

Am I saying that because I'm 'homophobic'?

No, I don't want to worry about restraining myself when I see Fred Phelps and his family of insane idiots.

Truthspeaker 4 years, 8 months ago

Absolutely! I mean, if only they weren't discriminated against and allowed to participate in KU's regular graduation ceremony. But alas, KU won't let gay students graduate with the other students.....

Wait....what? They ARE allowed to participate in the regular graduation ceremony? They AREN'T kept out.....

Huh....

Eddie Muñoz 4 years, 8 months ago

Again, as has been said in many other comments, the reason this is news is because it's something new at KU. There are and have been separate ceremonies for other groups for a long time - this is simply another group getting together to have a little extra celebration. They, along with all the other groups, departments, and schools who have separate ceremonies have been, and always will be included in the main commencement ceremony.

Romans832 4 years, 8 months ago

Pywacket says: Then I'm sure you'll agree that KU should also eliminate baccalaureate (for the religious folks--because, hey--they get to walk down the hill with everybody else, too).

Would you please tell me when and where KU is holding a baccallaureate service? It's news to me! Who will be speaking? Really, I'm fascinated at the possibility of attending and would like all the info you have.

lamb 4 years, 8 months ago

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mom_of_three 4 years, 8 months ago

Various student groups and schools at KU have their own graduation ceremony. This is just another one. The paper chose to publicize it, as they might other events on campus. Not sure why everyone's pants are in a twist....

J Good Good 4 years, 8 months ago

So no one who has special challenges in life should have anything extra like a support system, since not everyone does? Makes perfect sense.

ivalueamerica 4 years, 8 months ago

The only reason to oppose this is to embrace bigotry. Bigots are an unwelcome scourge on our country and should not be granted special rights to push those they hate out of site. Instead, our country would be better served letting biggots know they are a cancer and unwelcomed in civilzed society.

phoggyjay 4 years, 8 months ago

Sounds like a lot of people are strugglng with their own attraction to the same sex. They lash out against anything that has to do with homosexuality or bisexuality. Just go with your feelings, they're completely natural. If you can't... the culprit is religion.

ralphralph 4 years, 8 months ago

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TopJayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

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rabb 4 years, 8 months ago

Not unlike referring to yourself as the "TopJayhawk", eh, Narcissus?

outtatowntownie 4 years, 8 months ago

OMG. I can't believe KU is holding special recognition events for the social workers and the business school graduates and the international students! Who do these people think they are, making themselves special and separate from the rest of the KU graduating class, for even a short amount of time? How dare they have a smaller celebration with their fellow students who have probably had similar experiences during their college careers! These people want to be tolerated as a normal part of society, then they turn around and do this... you can't have it both ways, people. ONE OR THE OTHER, black or white, no gray, no overlap.

http://www.commencement.ku.edu/2010/events.shtml

Ralph Reed 4 years, 8 months ago

@ outtatowntownie, re: your 0338.

I couldn't agree more. It's absolutely terrible that a group of students with similar experiences wishes to be recognized for their achievements. The practice needs to be stopped across KU immediately. /***/ Now, someone tell me, logically and rationally, what is wrong with a group of students having similar college experiences wishing to be recognized for their achievements.

rabbi1948 4 years, 8 months ago

Glad to hear this is happening. It was in September, 1970 that the Lawrence Gay Liberation Front was formed at KU. It was later on in 1970 that I became the incorporator of LGLF, Inc. as its Chair of Legal Issues and Constitution. I am so glad that the KU Queers and Allies, still acting under our old incorporation, having changed its name several times is still there doing the work we started.

ralphralph 4 years, 8 months ago

Wow! I got disappeareded, and I can even remember what I said! Must have been a weak moment ...

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