Do you have questions about gender, sexuality, diversity, or acceptance? Would you like anonymous advice from friendly peer counselors?
Check out the Queer Resource Center, the educational branch of Triskelion, the Brandeis LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual/ally) group. We provide free, confidential peer counseling to people of all identities in Shapiro Campus Center room 328, Mondays through Fridays from 1 to 5 p.m.
Now you can have your questions answered anonymously in print! Submit a question to “Ask the QRC” at firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Hoot” in the subject line, and you’ll see your question addressed anonymously in next week’s paper!
I heard about this drag show coming up at Brandeis. What is drag – is it just men dressing up as women? Do you have to be gay to do drag?
Great question. The Annual Triskelion Drag Show is coming up on Tuesday, April 7, this year in the Shapiro Campus Center Theater! This is a time when Brandeis students of all genders and sexual orientations can celebrate the breaking of gender norms communally! ‘Doing drag’ refers to wearing clothes (costumes) in a way that transgresses or hyperbolizes gender. Drag has generally been divided into ‘drag queens,’ or male bodied people dressing in exaggerated women’s costumes, and ‘drag kings,’ or female bodied individuals presenting themselves as hypermasculine. However, anyone, male, female, intersex, gay, straight, queer, asexual, WHOMEVER, WHATEVER, can do drag. While some people see drag as an identity or a lifestyle, Trisk drag shows are for performance and fun, and so for us the focus is less on being concerned with who is doing what, but rather more on the act of hyperbolizing and transgressing gender. We do this as a way to explore gender norms and question the strict dichotomy and by no means intend to trivialize drag as just performance, for some it has a much greater personal, social and political implications.
I am questioning my own sexuality, but am afraid of exploring my same sex desires. I am Jewish, and was brought up to believe that homosexuality is wrong and unforgivable in G-d’s eyes. Is it possible to be Jewish and gay?
Issues of religion and sexuality are found in nearly all faith traditions. Whether it is possible to be both Jewish and gay is a deeply individual question that requires spiritual and personal exploration. Certainly there are examples of people who identify as gay from all of the Jewish traditions (one example is Rabbi Steve Greenberg, who will be visiting Brandeis starting March 13th), while there are also those who believe that homosexuality is unacceptable in the Jewish faith. Different sects of Judaism have different stances on the issue but Rabbi Greenberg has been able to negotiate his homosexuality with his orthodox faith. The reformed, conservative and reconstructionist movements tend to be more accepting as a whole, but it is possible to find acceptance is some orthodox communities. While the QRC cannot answer this question completely for you, we can provide resources such as literature, community leaders, and our counselors that can aid you in the exploration of your sexuality. On top of the great resources available on this campus Brandeis is lucky enough to be near Keshet, a non-denominational Jewish queer organization located in Jamaica Plain.
I would love to become a QRC counselor! When is the deadline to apply?
The application is due by 5:00 in the QRC office on Monday, March 30. Pick up an application in lower Usdan, or in the office. Applications are also available on the Trisk website, http://people.brandeis.edu/~trisk . We can’t wait to read your application!