News: Gays, lesbians host conference

By Kevin Kiger, published March 24, 1989

Thwing Center will act as a meeting place on the weekend of April 1 and 2 for the Eighth Annual All-Ohio Gay/Lesbian conference. The Conference, held annually at CWRU, is being sponsored by the CWRU Lesbian/Gay Student Union in conjunction with many local gay/lesbian support groups. Publicity for the conference has consisted of classified ads in many Ohio gay publication and posters hung in locations frequented by gay people across the state.

From pre-registration forms and the number of participants last year, around five-hundred people are expected to attend this year's conference. Registration for the conference will also be held at 9:00 a.m. and last throughout the conference each day. The conference is free to undergraduate students at CWRU, two dollars for graduates of CWRU and students from other universities, and eight dollars for community participants.

Many activities are planned for the participants over the two day conference period, including three separate workshop sessions, celebrity guest speakers, a comedy show, and a dance held in the atrium.

Those attending will participate in three discussion sessions. Some of the topics included are: a discussion on AIDS and how to protect yourself and your partner from risk, given by the Health Issues Task force; how to organize student groups on other campuses; a discussion on gay plays throughout history; an information session given on Pride `89 (an annual gay pride march in Columbus); a discussion about the NAMES quilt (a project that brings attention to AIDS victims and has been on display around the country); several religious discussions; a discussion given by area lawyers and real estate agents about the legality of gay couples owning property jointly; and several other discussions on gay topics.

Separate discussions will be given by the three guest speakers. They are Allison Bechdel, nationally syndicated creator of "Dykes to Watch For," a cartoon about lesbianism; Rachel Beck, actress in Boston's lesbian soap opera "Two-In-Twenty"; and William Waybourn, president of the Dallas Gay Alliance who is seeking the removal of Judge Jack Hampton. Hampton presided over the trial of a man who murdered two gay men. He sentenced the murderer to thirty years in prison but later stated that he would have been more severe in his decision had the victims not been homosexual.

Saturday's activities also include an improvisational comedy show about gay lifestyles.