On Thursday March 24, the GLBTA, in conjunction with the Cultural Action Committee and All Campus Events, will be holding their annual Awareness Banquet. The event will feature Steven Reigns, who holds many hats as an artist, an activist, and a poet.
Steven Reigns quite an interesting individual, with talents in a slough of artistic disciplines. An openly gay advocate, Steven's younger years were marred by extreme emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Overcoming what he calls his "demons," Steven went on to get his degree in Creative Writing from the University of South Florida.
Steven was quite a controversial figure in his graduating class, where many of his fellow peers called his work "smut," because of its explicit nature and references to homosexuality. Today, Steven leads a very public life holding workshops around the nation, publishing books, and displaying artistic installations.
Although he is fairly young, his work has already been lauded around the nation. His most recent book, Your Dead Body Is My Welcome Mat, is an unapologetic critique of power and its spoils, and has received rave reviews. Furthermore, his emotionally evoking art instillations have been displayed all around the state of Florida.
Steven also is a huge supporter of libraries, as he feels that they were instrumental in bringing him to where he is today. "My library card helped me claim my life. I don't know an accurate metaphor for what it meant to me; a map, a compass, a fortune told, a life preserver, a bible, a Buddha," Steven said at the Following is Steven's speech from the Stonewall Awards ceremony at the 2004 American Library Association Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL.
Steven with his eclectic history is a perfect fit for the banquet. As an defender of people in the "margin", he exemplifies GLBTA's mission statement, which is "to promote understanding and equality in issues of sexual orientation, to provide a place of nonjudgmental and confidential support for those seeking to better their understand their orientation, and to provide a forum where all those of like concerns can share their views and lend support."
"The banquet is meant to promote tolerance, and to promote awareness of the gay culture that surrounds Rollins, and to help make people a little more relaxed about homosexuality," said Judson Winkles, president of GLBTA, the organizer of the banquet, and a friend of Steven. "We felt that Steven Reigns was a very appropriate speaker."
All Rollins College faculty, students, staff, members of the community, and friends are welcome to attend this banquet to help encourage tolerance at Rollins College. For any further information or to RSVP, please contact Judson Winkles at firstname.lastname@example.org by March 12, 2005. If you are RSVPing, please place RSVP in the subject line.