Volume 95, Issue 69

Tuesday, February 5, 2002

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Psychic: Sinal will win USC election

Let the ass-kissing begin

Pride Awareness Day hits UCC atrium

Wall of debt - much nicer than the Berlin Wall

Hot for teacher: Amy Gehring not guilty

Rebellious youth thumb noses at disease

Cops prevent biker rumble at fair grounds

Pride Awareness Day hits UCC atrium

By Trina Melatti
Gazette Writer

Pride Awareness Day was in full swing yesterday in the University Community Centre atrium, providing students with helpful resources about issues of gay and lesbian pride.

The event showcased a variety of Western organizations, including Western Equity Services, The Pride Library and the Queer Western Organization. It also attracted groups from across London including London Pride, AIDS Committee of London and Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

"Since Coming Out Week focused more on entertainment and events, Pride Awareness Day gives gay and lesbian groups an opportunity to present their resources," said Sera Vavala, VP-campus issues for the University Students' Council.

"The information is intended for the gay and straight community for all students," Vavala added.

Equity Services is located on the second floor of the Stevenson-Lawson building and commits itself to protecting human rights for Western students, staff and faculty.

The Pride Library, located in University College, is a donation-based facility that houses a collection of books, videos and magazines concerned with the culture of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals and queer youth. The Library also hosts occasional speakers, said Joy Burlton, a third-year health sciences student.

QWO is a student support group open to individuals of all sexual orientations aimed at providing a positive and comfortable social environment, said Brian Scarth, QWO communications officer.

"Our involvement is not about education, but about supporting gay pride and upcoming gay events," said Paul Johnston of the AIDS Committee of London.

Johnston said ACOL offers counselling for youth struggling with sexuality. Ali Dover, an ACOL youth support worker, regularly organizes gatherings for lesbian, gay and questioning youth on Friday nights at the ACOL location.

Dan Steele, a representative from London Pride part of the Homophile Association of London, said the organization's theme for this year is "Back to Our Roots." He encouraged the gay, lesbian and bisexual community of London to speak out at a Pride Meeting at the HALO Community Centre on Feb. 6.

Vavala said she was satisfied with the day's turnout and array of resources.

"I am glad to see all the resources available. I'm sure they will be able to provide valuable information to the students at Western," she said.

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Copyright The Gazette 2002