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The Mass Media

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Time to Turn Gender Upside Down

Katie Govoni, student coordinator of the Vet’s Center, sang “One and Only” by Adele during her performance.




“I hope that someday, it won’t matter,” said Katie Govoni, coordinator of the Student Veteran’s Center, in regards to gender during her performance at the Drag Open Mic.

The event took place on April 20 in the Ryan Lounge of the McCormack building, and was hosted by the Queer Student Center. Daniel Pilling and Stefanie Carey, both UMass Boston students and members of the QSC hosted the event. “Whether we know it or not, we are forced to live in this binary gender system. I think it’s important to challenge it every day and have fun with it,” said Carey, a junior studying English and women’s studies. Manal Kahn, freshman and biology student said, “It’s a good thing people learn about gender and gender identity.”

Students from all over campus took part in the event, including members of the Stonewall Community, an initiative of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) on campus. Performances included poems, hula-hooping, singing and a couple of guest speakers, including last year’s Undergraduate Student Government student body president and UMass Boston graduate Neil MacInnes-Barker. MacInnes-Barker is now the GLBT commissioner for the city of Cambridge, and spoke about the work he is doing to enhance the lives of the GLBT community there.

Maura Albert, a Stonewall Community member and OLLI student, said, “The shock on your face does not match the peace in my heart,” during the reading of her poem, “Ten Ways to Look at a Bisexual.” Sophomores Reena Kumar and Marla Tim are engaged to be married. For the event, the anthropology and biology majors, respectively, practiced their first dance to a Korean song reflecting Tim’s heritage. She remarked she was glad so many people came to the event. Kumar said, “It was fun!”