On Saturday April 14, Geneseo Pride Alliance presented its annual cultural dinner, titled “Pride Night 2012: A Queer Carol,” in the College Union Ballroom.
The evening kicked off with a dinner featuring plenty of choices for vegans and vegetarians. The menu included fruit salad, pasta with tomato sauce, roasted butternut squash, curried quinoa, lemon chicken and a tossed green salad. Dessert was blueberry cobbler and vanilla ice cream with a raspberry sauce.
The show started with junior Shannon Dennehy in the lead role as Alex, who meets up with her best friends Casey and Chad – freshman Josh Hagen and senior David Alliger – with plans to “come out” to them.
Because Casey and Chad have homophobic opinions, Jacque, the spirit of the “queer fight for equality” played by senior Jill McPherson, comes to take the three characters on a “trip into [the] queer past” to take a look at the history of the fight for equality.
The trip starts at the protests and police raids at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York City in 1969, an event that made way for pride parades.
The group then visits the 1980s during Ronald Reagan’s presidency, where they attend an AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power rally in an effort to make President Reagan recognize the thousands of AIDS-related deaths in America.
At the end of the first act, Casey apologizes to Alex for not accepting her for who she is. Chad is still hateful toward the LGBTQ community, saying that those in the community are “just fags.” The act ends with Alex, Casey and Jacque discussing how they will help Chad to change his mind.
In the second act, Jacque creates a world where everyone is gay and those who are straight are the minority. After Chad’s mothers confront him about his sexuality and he attends a Straight Alliance protest, Chad realizes he had been wrong and apologizes to Alex.
After a dance to celebrate Chad’s new point of view Jacque takes the trio through the history of progress in the LGBTQ community.
The group first visits Geneseo, where same-sex couples are waiting to wed, and then to an army base where soldiers freely express their sexuality after the 2011 repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.”
“I thought [the show] was engaging and exciting,” said junior Silvia Roma. “I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
“The preparation was so hard but so worth it. Seeing it all come together was euphoric,” said McPherson, who is also the vice president of Geneseo Pride Alliance.
A representative from the Rochester Victory Alliance, an organization that conducts research on a potential HIV vaccine, also spoke to the audience about the organization and asked for volunteers to partake in a yearlong study for the vaccine. Visit www.rochestervictoryalliance.org for more information.
Pride Alliance meets Thursdays at 8 p.m. in the College Union Hunt Room.