Marlboro College

NewsPress Release: 11/1/02Marlboro Pride Reinvents Traditional Homecoming for All

MARLBORO, VT ­ Marlboro College community members who at one time may have sat in the bleachers at high school homecoming dances will strut their stuff at a dance created for everyone. The Marlboro Pride Queer Homecoming Dance is set for Saturday, Nov. 23 and will embrace all members of the Marlboro community, whatever their sexual preferences.

Marlboro students dressed for last year's Gender Bender Ball.

According to Jodi Clark, advisor to Marlboro Pride, the homecoming dance is both a follow-up and response to the success of the group's first party last year, The Gender Bender Ball.

"We are addressing a desire the group has to host parties with themes that
celebrate what Marlboro Pride is trying to do, which is to celebrate the
aspects of gay, lesbian, & queer diversity on this campus and to raise awareness of the rest of the community while having a really fun and well-organized party," Clark said.

Kitty Finer, a sophomore member of the group, came up with the initial idea for Marlboro Pride to host a dance where everyone would come with a "queer" date.

"This is in recognition that most high school dances were events where gay,
lesbian, transgender & bisexual folks always felt a bit on the fringe, if
not completely barred from because they didn't feel they could go with their girlfriend or boyfriend," Clark explained. "Many of the students, and even my wife and I, have never been to a Homecoming dance, as they felt like it was full of really silly traditions that celebrated football, a false sense of school spirit, and were just popularity contests for the folks who already knew they were popular in addition to only recognizing heterosexual relationships."

In response, one point of the event will be to poke fun of that sort of
event, reclaiming it so that it can be enjoyed by all people, Clark said.

"The response to the event has been campus-wide, with people immediately trying to get their same-gender dates, people asking around to see if so and so was thinking of asking them or to see if they thought they should ask this other person, a lot like real Homecomings, but with a wink and a nod for the satire of it, which makes it much more fun," she said.

The theme for the event is "Rainbow Connection" (sung by Kermit the Frog) which will be the song played for the dance of the King & King and Queen & Queen of Queer Homecoming, as well as the theme of the decorations. Marlboro Pride has at least 10 core members who are working on this event and at least 15 others who support, come to some meetings or events, and in general help the group come up with new ideas or support current ones.

According to Director of Admissions Julie Richardson, this event is another example of "Marlboro valuing diversity and honoring difference."

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