Shock and Pause For Tolerance

Culture Shock Dance Troupe held a program on March 6 titled “Pause (No Homo)” to raise awareness about heterosexism’s impact on the Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transexual or Questioning (LGBTQ) community.

The event was presented in Lecture Center 102 to the crowd of students who came out to witness the first panel discussion Culture Shock has held. Members from the troupe and LGBTQ community served as speakers and discussed issues they have faced as LGBTQ-identified individuals

Culture Shock Vice President Dey Armbrister said he and Culture Shock President Miyah Tomlinson had been planning the event since last semester and were inspired by the struggles they encountered.

“Miyah and I have been wanting to do this for awhile now,” Armbrister said. “We’ve experienced adversity in and out of New Paltz and it should be addressed.

Armbrister and Tomlinson were joined by other members of Culture Shock at the beginning of the evening in addressing statistics concerning LGBTQ youths in 2011.

According to the research they found, there were a reported 116 murders of transgender individuals within the last nine months of 2011. There were 1,277 hate crime incidents reported over the course of that year, with 32.2 percent occurring in homes and 8.4 percent of incidents taking place in schools and

After showing statistics and videos crises LGBTQ youth have faced, the panel spoke about the struggles LGBTQ-identified people experience every day and how they cope with the struggles they face in the community.

While the event filled a number of seats, fourth-year Black Studies major Euclyn Williams said he thinks more people should have attended.

“This program was really inspiring and there was a lot to gain from it,” Williams said. “I think that more people who should have been there should have been, and I hope things like this will be something they bring to orientation.”

Tomlinson said she was proud of everyone who participated and, while nothing is planned yet, hopes it can happen again in the future.

“For the rest of the semester we’ll mainly be doing performances, but this was definitely a success and I hope we can do something like this again,” Tomlinson said.