Here’s Your New Year’s Resolution!
Attend Yale’s Second LGBT Reunion Feb 7-10, 2013
Better than going on that diet, hitting the gym, or promising to do your taxes on time, kick off 2013 by joining your fellow LGBT Yale alums for three days of on-campus camaraderie, panels, plenary sessions, parties, and special events that recognize, explore, and celebrate our Yale LGBT community from where it’s been to where it’s going. The theme of this year’s Reunion is “Remembering Our Past, Shaping Our Future.”
High points include a joint keynote address by Evan Wolfson ’78, Executive Director, Freedom to Marry, and Susan Sommer ’83, JD ’86, Director, Constitutional Litigation, Lambda Legal and the presentation of the first Artist for Equality Award to Cynthia Nixon of Sex and the City fame at a benefit concert where she will be serenaded by the Yale Whiffenpoofs. (See separate Cynthia Nixon profile)
As with the first Yale LGBT Reunion four years ago, this year’s Reunion is being co-sponsored by AYA and Yale GALA and is open to all alumni/ae, students, faculty, staff, family, and friends. (You can register by clicking here.)
“We wanted to build on the success of the first Reunion,” explained Gabe Seidman ’11, who is co-chairing the Reunion Committee with Anna James Wipfler ’09, “without simply trying to recreate it.”
There will again be a panel on generational perspectives on LGBTQ life at Yale – one of the most highly attended at the first Reunion – and a banquet and awards ceremony Saturday night in the Yale Commons as before. There will also be new programming such as panels on queer-friendly education and getting involved with your community, a Family Welcome Dinner for alums bringing their families, a Speed Dating cocktail hour at Mory’s for singles, a performance by Bad Romantics, Yale’s undergraduate drag troupe, and a film screening of Keep The Lights On, directed by Ira Sachs ‘87.
One example is a panel that will discuss “the changing nature of LGBTQ military experience,” Anna pointed out. “It will feature a current Yale student participating in the NROTC in its first year back on campus, the commanding officer of the New London submarine base, the secretary of the Yale Veterans Association, and Katie Miller who was a very public face in the anti-DADT campaign.”
The Yale LGBT Reunion will also coincide with the fourth IvyQ Conference (www.ivyq.org), which is also partially underwritten by Yale GALA and will bring LGBTQ students and their allies to Yale to build a “pan-Ivy community” for creating positive change in their lives, on their campuses, and in society. Anna predicts that “we could have as many as 1000 LGBTQ people descending on the campus that weekend” between the two events. While the IvyQ Conference will have their own separate programming, the Reunion and the Conference will have shared events such as a “Past Meets Present” workshop. Reunion attendees and IvyQ participants will also join together for what will now be a joint banquet Saturday night.
“This will offer alums the chance to engage not only with current Yalies,” said Anna, “but also LGBTQ undergrads from across the Ivy League.”
The first Yale LGBT Reunion held in April, 2009 was a game-changer both for Yale and the more than 250 alumni/ae who attended. “For many LGBT alums,” said Gabe, “the Reunion was the first time that they had come back to Yale and really saw the school for what it is today – an incredibly welcoming and diverse community.”
It is anticipated that there will be LGBT reunions at Yale every four years in the future. “This allows us to engage a new group of undergrads and connect them with Yale GALA before they graduate,” Anna added, “so that we’re able to continually build and strengthen our LGBT community both on and off campus.”
Will Yale’s Second LGBT Reunion be fun? Gabe and Anna answered in one voice: “Absolutely!” Indeed, Gabe’s one hope for the weekend is that “people walk away with new and renewed connections to each other that will last beyond Sunday afternoon, so that they can continue the conversations, the reminiscing the planning, and the dancing once the weekend ends.”
Check back for weekly updates about Yale’s Second LGBT Reunion including: