First annual Pride Night a joyous, educational celebration

Last Saturday, Geneseo's Pride Alliance hosted its first Pride Night, a celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender culture.

Junior Tom Sochia, one of Pride Alliance's co-presidents, expressed hope that there would be many Pride Nights in the future. "Tonight we are really trying to get our foot in the door so in subsequent years we can continue to show our voice and our community," he said.

"We want to educate the campus and the community about queer culture and show that we are a fun group of people and that we do have a culture," said senior Sharon Fox, another co-president of the organization.

The night began with a dinner that included a tossed salad, a taco bar, baked ziti, fruit salad and rainbow cookies. After dinner, the audience was treated to a play, written by Vice President junior Adele Costa.

"We tried to provide a cross-section of our entire community in the play," said freshman Kevin Pamper, who played the protagonist, Cameron. "There are characters that are gay, lesbian, transgender and allies."

The play revolved around a new product, the Gay TV, which had recently been put on the market and offered television shows that cater to the LGBT community. Cameron purchased a Gay TV and invited his friends - Danielle, Tristan and Tory - over to watch it.

Skits of the various shows that the Gay TV offered were then acted out, including a game show hosted by Ellen DeGeneres that focused on the history and culture of the LGBT community and LGBTMTV, which featured students performing a choreographed dance to Lady Gaga's "Telephone."

Suddenly, the Somewhere over the Rainbow News Report cut into the broadcast to announce the proposal of Proposition Nine, a fictional bill that would ban even the mention of anything relating to the LGBT community in the media on the grounds that it would be obscene and immoral.

The state police broke down Cameron's door and confiscated the Gay TV because it was in violation of Proposition Nine. The group of friends then decided that they had to take action in the matter and go to the courthouse, where they met transgender Regina Sapphire. Sapphire explained to the group the motivations and experiences of different transgendered people. The emotions of Sapphire eventually morphed into song, as other transgendered people joined her on stage for a theatrical drag number.

When the drag performance ended, a representative of the judge who was set to pass the proposition invited the four friends into the courthouse, which resulted in a heated debate about gay rights. Powerful objections were raised to the proposition, but in the end, the Cameron and friends were kicked out of the courthouse.

In the last act of the play, Super-Queer arrived to thwart the judge in a battle reminiscent of Star Wars, complete with light sabers. Super-Queer defeated the judge and stopped Proposition Nine from being enacted.

"I enjoyed how educational the play was," said Dyanjoule Valentine, residence director of Erie Hall. "Sometimes to learn we have to read a book or watch a movie or television show, but with something like this it is better to actually come here and experience it."

The Pride Alliance put together an impressive show of the LGBT community's culture and presented a play that both educated and entertained the audience.