Dec 092008
 
Authors: Johnny Hart

Thousands of members of the GLBT community will be calling into work today, telling their employers they are calling in “gay” in support of the nationwide event “Day Without A Gay.”

According to the organizer’s Web site, www.daywithoutagay.org, “Day Without A Gay seeks to shift our strong feelings about injustice toward service. Let’s fight for equality by out-loving those who would deny us rights.”

Instead of just taking the day off, GLBT groups across Colorado will be donating their time to charitable organizations, including Fort Collins’ Lambda Center, which will donate to the Family Center/La Familia of Northern Colorado food bank.

“We decided to take a positive spin,” said Andy Stoll, interim executing director for the Lambda Center, who said the event focuses on raising the visibility of how the GLBT community contributes to the community.

Stoll said he feels most employers will be open to the idea, and conflicts should be in the minority.

“I think most employers, especially in Fort Collins, support community service,” Stoll said.

“We’d rather do something good for the community.”

Despite saying Fort Collins employers mostly understand, Stoll said taking off the day could have a “negative impact.”

“We have to be mindful,” Stoll said.

Chelsea Penoyer, president of the CSU College Republicans, agreed with Stoll, but found the event “interesting” and unnecessary.

“I commend those who are volunteering tomorrow,” said Penoyer. “It’s a great thing for any group to do.”

“I don’t know how effective (calling in ‘gay’) will be or what it will accomplish.”

Penoyer said she disagreed with the purpose of the event, questioning how the public would perceive the nature of the event if it were another “minority” group.

“Why can’t we have a Christian version of calling into work or an African-American version of calling into work?” said Penoyer. “It just becomes a cycle of groups.”

Penoyer said she had “nothing against the GLBT,” but they shouldn’t need a specific day to be proud.

“They should be recognized everyday for who they are,” she said.

Stoll said that not only professionals could participate in Day Without A Gay, but also students, saying they could donate food or money.

Also, Stoll said that community members who did not want to or could not take off work could participate by wearing pride memorabilia or “having a conversation” with a co-worker about the issue.

“(We’re) doing something good in this hard time,” Stoll said.

News Editor Johnny Hart can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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