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February 10, 2005 - Image 17

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-02-10

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10B - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 10, 2005

A guide to who's where,
what's happening and why
you need to be there ...

The Michigan Da
it's because i'mgay, isn't it? jw ith S t e v e D u B o is

By Kathryn Rice
Daily Arts Writer
Valentine's Day is not just for those
ewho have boyfriends or girlfriends.
Whether you're single or attached,
there no reason to spend the 14th
as a social outcast. Fortunately, no
matter what your social status may
be, there are plenty of ways to cel-
ebrate Valentine's Day around Ann
Arbor. Below are a few local events
you might want to check out:
JThe Sweetest Thing:
Tomorrow, Circle K will be host-
ing its third annual a capella benefit
concert in celebration of Valentine's
Day. Appropriately titled "The
Sweetest Thing," the benefit will
feature six different a capella
groups in Rackham Auditorium.
Proceeds from the event will be
directed toward the St. Louis Cen-
s'ter, a nearby residentialcommunity
for teenage boys with developmental
Stefanie Theis, the Campus Rela-
tions Chair of Circle K, praises the
concert, saying, "This is the second
largest a capella concert on cam-
pus. We have all different groups
with different backgrounds - in
that aspect it is very unique." Audi-
ence members will have a chance to
survey a wide range of talent, from
popular Michigan groups such as the
Dicks and Janes, to visiting ensem-
bles from Michigan State and Pio-
neer High School. The production
begins at 7 p.m. and is expected to
run until around 9:45, allowing each
group a 20 minute slot to showcase

their talents. Students may purchase
tickets through the Michigan Union
Ticket Office for $7.
"A Queer Soiree"
This Friday, the Lesbian, Gay,
Bisexual and Transgendered invites
students to dress in black and white,
and attend their Valentine's Day cel-
ebration, titled, "A Queer Soiree."
Brittany Allen, one of the members
of the LGBT, describes the soiree,
saying, "the dance is to provide a safe
environment for LGBT and ally stu-
dents during Valentine's Day." The
event will be hosted in the Michigan
League, starting at 8:30 p.m. Admis-
sion to the event is free, however,
students will have the option to make
donations to HARC, a local HIV and
AIDS resource center.
The Charity nBall
Tomorrow, couples and singles
can join in the Valentine's Day fes-
tivities at Dance Marathon's annual
Charity Ball. This semi-formal
dance gives students an excuse to
dress up and have fun for a good
cause. This year's ball, is co-spon-
sored by theiMortar Board, and will
include a whimsical array of deco-
rations to a new theme: "under the
sea." The Charity Ball has enjoyed
immense popularity in past years,
typically reaching about capacity at
around 500 students. Dance Mara-
thon also invites the families who
benefit from their programs to join
in the event until 10 p.m., providing
students the chance to meet with the
children profiting from their dona-
tions. Krishna Nandigan, the coor-

dinator of the Charity Ball eagerly
anticipates the event, saying, "It is a
really good way to see the families,
and also a great social event."
The event will be hosted in the
Michigan Union Ballroom, from 8
p.m, to 1 a.m. Tickets to the dance
cost $10, and all proceeds will be
donated to pediatric therapy pro-
grams for children.
"An American in Paris"
If you're looking for a romantic
flick to celebrate Valentine's Day,
catch "An American in Paris." This
1950's classic tells the story of a
young American G.I. (Jerry Mul-
ligan) who remains in Paris after
fighting in WWII. The film chron-
icles his struggles as a starving art-
ist and his troubled love affair with
a young Parisian woman. The movie
is playing at the Michigan Theater
on Monday at 7 p.m.
"The Love Bang"
On Saturday, The Blind Pig will
host a retro Valentine's Day bash,
complete with music from the '60s,
'70s and '80s. Those who attend
the "The Love Bang" are invited to
dress in mob or hipster attire and can
expect a quirky blend of romance
and psychedelic mayhem. The dance
party features the local D Jeremy
Wheeler to a backdrop of wacky
video clips. Faith Wood, the gen-
eral manager of the venue, promises
the event is sure to be loaded with
"high-energy and surprise." The
event takes place at the Blind Pig
and doors open at 9:30 p.m. Cover
charge to the event is $9 for under

Almost 1,800 years ago, Saint
Valentine was- sentenced
to death for surreptitiously
marrying couples despite the Roman
Emperor's decree to halt marriages.
While awaiting his punishment, Val-
entine met, corresponded and fell in
love with a prison guard's daughter.
On the day of his death, Valentine
wrote a small note to his lady that said
simply, Love from your Valentine.
Thus began the Valentine tradition of
exchanging notes, flowers and love.
Today, heterosexuals and homo-
sexuals alike engage in similar Valen-
tine's practices. That's right - sorry
to disappoint, but Valentine's Day for
any homosexual is celebrated, or not
celebrated, quite similarly to any het-
erosexual. There are no underground
gay Valentine's Day orgies for us to
rejoice in our communal promiscu-
ity. Nor is there peculiar gay protocol
for a homosexual couple to follow
on V-Day that a heterosexual couple
wouldn't: I assure you we homos eat an
expensive dinner and exchange teddy
bears like the rest of you. So, in this
respect, I cannot rant on the purported
discrepant perceptions and practices
of Valentine's Day within the hetero-
sexual and homosexual populations. I
can, however, use this column and the
topic for just the opposite.
It's been damn easy for me to sit on
my columnist's pedestal and proclaim
myself to be, at first, your not-so-typ-
ical gay, and then, with subsequent
columns, to prove perhaps the oppo-

site, that I am your stereotypical, boy-
crazy queer who seeks nothing more
than insignificant sexual encounters
with other boy-crazy whores. And
maybe there is a small part of me, like
anyone, that succumbs to that sexual
stereotype. But that's no reason for
me to exploit myself as such. In fact,
on days such as Valentine's Day, I
want to proclaim nothing of the sort.
Instead I'd rather tell you, show you,
what else I'm packing - (figuratively
speaking, silly).
You might be surprised to hear this:
I want what you want on Valentine's
Day. You: heterosexual, homosexual,
Asian, Black, male, female reader ...
I wish for what you wish for on Feb.
14. I want an amazing person in my
life - Someone smart and funny and
attractive and creative and witty and
sweet. I want to watch movies with him
alone on Saturday nights. I want to talk
to him endlessly about trivial and not-
so-trivial things. 1 want to learn about
and understand him, and I want him
to understand me. Without hesitation,
I declare that I want simply what St.
Valentine gave to his cell-block visitor:
Love from (my) valentine.
Sure, it's fun to hook up and to
meet guys on The Facebook, but it's
more fun to share something substan-
tial with someone special - Some-
one with whom I truly relate and to
whom I want to give all of myself.
Someone with whom I am totally
vulnerable and completely strong at
the same time. Someone with whom

sex isn't commodified or cheapened
by lack of real emotion.
My goal, then, is to set the record
straight (or gay - or whatever).
Whereas, in the past, I might have
happily proclaimed that I got some
last weekend, today I proclaim that
I haven't gotten any of what I really
desire for a long, long time. That's
because what I desire, in my gay
little heart of hearts, is difficult to
obtain and maintain - for me, and
for anyone. But like you, I do desire
it. On Valentine's Day I have the
same duplicitous reaction as any
single person ... That is, the mixed
feeling of liberation on one hand and
that inevitable disappointment that
I won't be receiving flowers, choco-
lates or any other commercialized
gifts on the other. Such things, such
emotions,dare universal.
It has not been my intention to
interject a rift between the homo-
sexual and heterosexual communities
by pointing out blatant discordancies
between them. Nor am I attempting to
start grand social movements toward
sexual-orientation-based equality.
I'm surely not trying to speak for and
represent every homosexual in the
University community and beyond.
But, I do have a forum through which
to speak, to voice my opinions, and
sometimes, to share my mostly fabri-
cated sexploits. This week, though, I

wish to use the forum differently -
show you not that which is expeci
of me, but rather, what I truly wa
you to see of and in me.
Actually, this is my second dr
of this particular column. The firs
wrote is similarly themed, but I h
unconsciously laced it with a sup
ficiality that one might expect fro
a big, young homo. After proofi
it, I felt that I had sold myself shi
- that I wasn't showing readers t
parts of myself that are more real th
any random hook up or queer drai
- the parts of myself that superse
my sexual orientation and the imp
cations of it.
Because, many things do superse
sexual orientation (and race, SE
etc). And at the risk of sounding tri
love is one of them. Perhaps tha

The Michigan Theater will show "An American in Paris" on Monday at 7 p.m.

21, and $6 for 21 and over.
"Romeo and Juliet"
This weekend the U-M Depart-
ment of Theater and Drama presents
a re-invented version of the Shake-
speare's timeless tragedy, "Romeo
and Juliet." Directed by university
professor Philip Kerr, the play sets
the romantic drama in 1930s Italy.
This creative twist mixes the dreamy
allure of the past with a touch of

modern energy. Kerr chose this
particular era because it is isolated
from current times, but still charged
with social conflicts identifiable to a
modern audience. The Performances
will take place at the Mendelssohn
Theater, at 7:30 p.m. Tonight, 8:00
p.m. on Friday and Saturday and
2:00 p.m. on Sunday. Students with
an ID can purchase tickets to the
show for $9 at the Michigan League
Ticket Office.

A:Kp .




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