Chaz Bono to speak at IUPUI for "It Gets Better Week"

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights advocate and former Dancing With the Stars contestant Chaz Bono will headline "It Gets Better Week" at IUPUI this month.

Chaz Bono

Chaz Bono (April 9, 2012)

Indianapolis

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights advocate and former Dancing With the Stars contestant Chaz Bono will headline "It Gets Better Week" at IUPUI this month.

Bono will present “Transition: The Story of How I Became a Man” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, 2012, in Scholars Hall located in University Place, 900 W. Michigan St. The nationally known speaker and author of three books — including "Transition," which discusses Bono’s 40-year struggle to match his gender identity with his physical body — will hold a book signing following his talk.

Six IUPUI undergraduate students and a graduate student supervisor have designed It Gets Better Week, April 12 to 18, to increase student awareness of the LGBTQA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and allied) community and to educate students about social justice and becoming allies. In addition to Bono’s appearance, planned activities also include a drag show featuring local talent and HIV/AIDS testing.

“The ‘T’ in LGBTQA is rarely explored in programs on college campuses, and many students have limited knowledge of what it means to be transgender,” said Lillian Zamecnik, the graduate student supervisor. “Chaz Bono is currently one of the most famous advocates for LGBT issues and will engage students in his personal story of identity and transition. Students will learn the meaning of the ‘T’ in LGBT, understand the struggles and triumphs of transgender identity, and have the opportunity to openly ask questions regarding gender and gender expression.”

The students are presenting It Gets Better Week on behalf of the IUPUI Office of Housing and Residence Life. The idea to hold a weeklong event stems from senior Mitchell Mosbey’s work putting on a highly successful drag show last semester. Seniors Corey Ariss and Kelsie Nagele have taken the lead in planning this month’s activities.

“While October has traditionally been the month for LGBTQA-related events, students face these challenges throughout the year. It’s important that we continually program around the needs of our students here at IUPUI,” Ariss said. “We are fortunate to be in a community that is supportive and engaged in raising awareness for social justice issues. Without the support of all of our co-sponsors, this event would not be possible.”

Free tickets for the Bono talk are available in the IUPUI Office of Student Involvement, located in the IUPUI Campus Center, 420 University Blvd. Tickets are also available in the Office of Housing and Residence Life at Campus Apartments on the Riverwalk.

Seating is limited to 430. Tickets will be available first to IUPUI students, faculty and staff. A limited number of tickets will be available to the general public beginning April 16.

Via IUPUI press release

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