By Shelby Clark Petkus
Lansing Community College fills out its calendar with LGBT-centric events this month for students and non-students. October serves as LGBT History Month, signifying National Coming Out Day on the 11th, remembering the death of Matthew Shepard on Oct. 12, 1998 and now commemorating the Hate Crimes Prevention Act being signed by President Obama on Oct. 28, 2009.
One of LCC’s major events comes as part of Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month, also a part of October. National Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. According to the U.S. government’s website on the celebration, “The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on Sept. 15 and ending on Oct. 15. It was enacted into law on Aug. 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.
“The day of Sept. 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Dia de la Raza, which is Oct. 12, falls within this 30-day period.”
The special film showing of Tomas Gutierrez Alea and Juan Carlos Tabio’s 1993 film, “Strawberry and Chocolate,” will thus embody both LGBT and Hispanic history. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 10; location will be updated on the LCC website.
The Oscar-nominated film takes place in Havana, Cuba in 1979. LCC’s synopsis for the film reads: “David (Vladmir Cruz) is a university student who meets Diego (Jorge Perugorria), a gay artist unhappy with the Castro regime’s censored conceptualization of culture. David’s homophobic classmate, Miguel (Francisco Gattorno), plans to use David to spy on Diego, a person whom they see as aberrant and dangerous to the Communist cause. Diego, for his part, initiates the friendship with sexual intentions.”
Following the screening will be a post-film conversation facilitated by Monica Del Castillo (LCC Counselor) and Ana Woehr (LCC Academic Advisor).
In addition to the film and discussion, LCC will host its Gay-Straight Alliance meeting from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 6, Oct. 13, Oct. 20. and Oct. 27. The school’s GSA meets in Gannon Building Room 328 on campus.
Lansing Community College is located at 610 N. Capitol Ave., Lansing. For more information on Lansing Community College LGBT events, call 517- 483-1285 or visit http://www.lcc.edu/studentlife/whats_new.