The Group

There were about 20-30 students who attended. The event was open to everyone, so the students did not necessarily have a connection to each other. Although many of the students had previous experience working with the Organization of Multicultural Student Affairs and the LGBTQ Office on campus.

In additon to the image, we used an excerpt from the chapter "Beyond Gay Marriage" from The Trouble With Normal by Michael Warner.

Highlights

The discussion was organic and the conversation really flowed from the participants. I think at least half of the individuals got into their own personal identities/struggles with their identities. Also, the two students that did not speak during the discussion brought up really good questions during our closing, which showed that even though they were not participating, they were really listening. One of the questions was even about how he could tangibly start using categories to identify people in a more productive and open minded way.

The object was really good and co-facilitating went well, we did a good job adjusting to the change. We communicated well before and during the conversation. The opening and closing questions went over well and the questions and discussion kept going after the event ended.

Challenges

Fewer people than we thought would showed up, we need to work on getting the word out there. There was one girl who would not get off her cell phone during the discussion. I think next time I will set this out as a ground rule -- just ask everyone to turn their phones off so we can have a meaningful conversation.

Opening Activity

1. Write a list of five words you would use to identify yourself. 2. Circle the one you feel the most strongly about. 3. Pair and share about that identifier. 4. Hand out Image. 5. Go around in a circle and say one word about the image. 6. Hand out Text. 7. Read silently.

Discussion Questions

  • Do you think there is a connection between the image and the text?
  • What is happening in the image?
  • Let us look at the line: “there are almost as many kinds of relationship as there are people in combination,” what do you think the author means?
  • How are labels used in these objects?
  • Hoes this text only speak to queer identity?
  • How do you maintain an identity without conforming to all aspects of that identity?
  • What are the people in the image feeling?
  • What do relationships have to do with identity?
  • Look at last part, “who among us would let that go?” What does it mean?
  • Who defines identity?

Closing Activity

In one sentence or phrase, what is one question you will be leaving with today?

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