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Allies meeting to focus on bisexual support

By Jessica Sinn
University News Service
October 17, 2007

The Texas State University-San Marcos Allies will host a continuing education meeting featuring a presentation on “Becoming Visible: Bisexuality 101” 2-3:30 p.m. Oct. 24 at the LBJ Student Center.   
 
Texas State Allies Coordinator Heather Aidala said the meetings are an effort to educate students, faculty and staff members about the university’s diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community.
 
Aidala said the Texas State Allies strive to foster a safe, welcoming campus environment for all LGBTQ students. She said she encourages students and staff members to attend the meeting to learn more about the Allies program. 
 
The Allies training does not specifically target the topic of bisexuality, which is why it is an important issue to spotlight at the meeting, Aidala said.  
 
“The decision to focus on bisexuality came from our discussions about bisexuality in a broader sense,” Aidala said. “There are more gay and lesbian role models in our culture, but there aren’t a lot of bisexual role models, which can cause some confusion.” 
 
Aidala said, during her presentation, she will anonymously share stories from students who identify anywhere within the bisexual spectrum. She said she will also share some of her own personal experiences. 
 
“I’ve been asking for students, who identify anywhere within the bisexual spectrum, to bring their voices into the presentation,” Aidala said. “I encourage students to share their stories about falling in love with people regardless of their gender, and how they identify themselves and what that identity means to them.”    
 
Aidala said she hopes the meeting will provide a safe place for those who are not ready to come out and share their voice.   
 
“There are a lot of myths about the bisexual identity, so hopefully we can clear up some misconceptions with accurate details,” Aidala said. “We also want to help people understand their own sexuality and give them an opportunity to reflect on their identities, which can sometimes be uncomfortable.”
 
The first meeting, held last fall, featured a presentation by “TransGeneration” cast member Raci Ignaci. Aidala said Ignacio added a dose of comic relief when she shared her story about being filmed in the eight-episode documentary series while adjusting to college life as a male-to-female transsexual.  Although the meeting focuses on education, Aidala said it’s also about having fun. 
 
“One of the important things about being an Allie is having a sense of humor, so we reconnect through laughter,” Aidala said. 
 
Aidala said the meeting creates a connection for the Allies and offers one and a half hours of continuing education (CEU) credits for current Allies. Registration is required.  
 
“Once a semester, we offer a continuing education session which focuses on a specific topic,” Aidala said. “This is an opportunity for us all to come together, clarify certain topics and have fun together.” 
 
To learn more about becoming an Ally, visit http://www.txstate.edu/allies/ or call (512) 245-9289.
 

To register for the continuing education meeting, visit www.txstate.edu/allies/training_programs/training/registration1.html