By KERRY BORNSTEIN
Queers & Allies will host a speaker next week that will address issues surrounding bisexuality, something the group has seen a need for in recent years.
Fiona Hensley, ’12, treasurer of QnA, first saw this need her freshman year, when a peer asked during a panel discussion whether bisexuality was a myth. Speaker Casey Schroeder’s visit to campus has been in the making ever since. Maura Matvey, ’15, Public Relations chair of QnA said that she thinks there is a need for a speaker like this and that she hopes the talk will clear up the fabrications that surround bisexuality.
“Even though Allegheny is such a wonderfully inclusive environment, being an LGBT identified student is still tough on campus,” she said. “The first step to acceptance is education.”
Hensley said that Schroeder is the ideal speaker to address this topic because of her experience working for activist organizations. The two met working in Cleveland helping to pass a transgender non-discrimination ordinance. A Ph.D candidate in sociology from Case Western Reserve University, Schroeder will talk about bisexuality as an identity and look at issues that concern bisexual students as well as the myths that surround bisexuality. Eight years ago former organization Allegheny Gay Pride hosted the last speaker on bisexuality, Robyn Ochs.
“[Schroeder] is a speaker that will make an important issue a lighter conversation. Its an identity, so it’s really hard to sit back and let other people talk about your identity,” Hensley said. “That’s where tensions could run high.”
Although the talk is sponsored by QnA, it addresses an issue that affects people from all different groups on campus, according to Paige Slaughter, ’14, Historian of QnA.
“Even though bisexual students are a big population on campus, they are an unrecognizable one,” she said.
Schroeder will speak February 22 at 7p.m at Grounds For Change.