Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-10-22
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

Gay in the Life: Justin Romme Gay in the Life: Justin Romme
Justin Romme has been living a wild roller-coaster ride over the past ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times    Download PDF Issue

GLSEN executive to speak at Elmhurst College
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times
2013-10-09

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


Eliza Byard will be at Elmhurst College on Wednesday, Oct. 23, for a talk entitled, The LGBT Student and the Culture of Respect, which is this year's William R. Johnson Intercultural Lecture at the west suburban school.

It certainly, too, will be a flashback for Byard.

Years ago as a graduate student, Byard was an adjunct teacher for undergraduate students at Barnard College and Columbia University, in history and American studies. That brief teaching gig ended in the 1990s.

"It's an amazing thing," Byard said, laughing. "When I taught years ago, they had to listen to me. Now they've asked to listen to me. That's a very nice difference."

Byard is now the executive director of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network ( GLSEN ), a leader in the education, youth development and civil rights sectors fighting to end bias-based bullying, violence and discrimination in K-12 schools and promote a culture of respect for all.

The annual William R. Johnson Intercultural Lecture is named in honor of Elmhurst College alumnus Reverend Dr. William R. Johnson ( Class of 1968 ), who was openly gay, and one of the first in modern history to gain ordination to the mainstream Christian ministry.

Elmhurst College is a private liberal arts college, affiliated with the United Church of Christ. It also, in 2011, added a question about prospective students' sexual orientation and gender identity in its admission application.

"[On]-campus speaking engagements are particularly interesting because every campus has a very distinct personality. I love visiting with communities in the way that you do when you speak at a school," Byard said. "I often find that the Q&A session can raise issues that become fodder for future work.

"When I'm talking to faculties or schools, I'm always on the lookout for what's the next topic for concern or the next issues/topics, especially those that we haven't yet taken on at GLSEN.

"This particular speaking engagement seemed really interesting because it's about the dynamics of intercultural life, and then placing that within the world."

Byard's speech starts at 4 p.m., in the Frick Center of Founders Lounge ( 190 Prospect Ave. ). Admission is $10 for the general public and free for Elmhurst College students, faculty, staff and alumni. Tickets are available at www.elmhurst.edu/tix.

The college approached GLSEN in hopes she would speak at the event, Byard said, and she's "honored and pleased" to do so.

"From what I know about Elmhurst College, it is a place that has always fostered interesting dialogue; I'm really looking forward to being a part of that series," she said. "[Elmhurst College] does a great deal to foster real dialogue around issues of cultural difference and community, in a way that is very productive.

"Personally, I particularly enjoy presentations to a college audience, which is so wide-ranging. The thing I particularly love is, the kinds of questions that come up; I always look forward to that aspect of these talks and presentations."

Byard has spent 13 years at GLSEN, first joining as deputy executive director. She lives in New York City with her partner and their two children.

"One of the things that has been a real focus during my time at GLSEN is about putting the LGBT experience in context, in terms of why these issues matter, not just for the individual who is directly affected, but for the community around them," Byard said. "My interest is in drawing some connections for an audience about some of the successes that we have had and why I think we've had them.

"When I was teaching in the 1990s, the exploration of LGBT issues and themes, in the college context, was in its infancy. It was then called lesbian and gay studies, then queer studies. But it was not part of the everyday undergraduate college existence. Things started to happen through the 1990s that indicted that people were beginning to understand why this mattered, and why this understanding was so important. Now, to be going to Elmhurst College, in this context, is one of the examples of where we've come; people understand this as a key part of the dialogue.

"I can't wait to see what questions they bring to the conversation."

Byard added: "A lot of my time at GLSEN, particularly my earlier years, was about fostering common ground and really working with people who we had very fundamental disagreements [with] in order to find a way forward. Going to a place like Elmhurst feels like a slightly different experience, but certainly increases my sense of community, and what it means to talk to this community."

Byard said the fact that Elmhurst College asks prospective students' sexual orientation and gender identity in its admission application can make "an enormous difference, whether it's [to and for] the person who checks the box, or the person who just notices that it's there and understands this to be a place that recognizes and respects that category."

Thus, forward-thinking schools such as Elmhurst College should be celebrated, she said.

Byard spoke this past August in Washington D.C., in conjunction with the commemorative 50th anniversary March on Washington. GLSEN partner organizations, mostly in the South, nominated Byard to speak at the event, and the King Center selected her.

She said it was "the experience of a lifetime."

GLSEN was the lone LGBT organization represented at the event.

"When I got the invitation [to speak at the event], I didn't think it was real. But it was, and it really was an occasion like none other," she said. "To stand on the steps where Bayard Rustin stood, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., stood, where all of those incredible pioneers and path-breakers stood, and to honor what they did … to be a part of that was just amazing. It meant a lot to me to particularly call out the names of LGBT youth that we have lost as inspirations to keep going, and to re-dedicate ourselves to the struggle for real equality for everyone.

"It was an unforgettable experience, though I also refer to it as the scariest two minutes of my life. It was the most humbling experience of my life, humbling in a good way, one that left me happier than I was before.

"Plus, it was the first time my work has interfered with a family vacation—and yet my partner completely understood."


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily
agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here.
Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you
stay on this page, the more you help us.

Lesbian veteran to be buried with late wife in Idaho cemetery 2014-10-22
ELECTIONS 2014: Simon faces challenge in comptroller race 2014-10-22
Alison Bechdel: Artist, genius and instigator of change 2014-10-22
OPALGA's 25th- anniv. gala Oct. 25 2014-10-22
Early voting; HRC scores congress; alderman not running 2014-10-22
Upcoming events in film, music, poetry 2014-10-22
ELECTIONS 2014 Guide to the gays 2014-10-22
ELECTIONS 2014 Printable Election Guide Charts 2014-10-22
ELECTION PREVIEW: LGBT races to watch 2014-10-21
Cuomo's AIDS task force; 'drag queen' comment; Jazz Jennings 2014-10-21
Ellen's show in Asia; OutGames' campaign; 2018 Gay Games 2014-10-21
Cumberbatch on OUT cover; lesbian pundit canned 2014-10-21
Jennifer Knapp: Lesbian releases album, book with sense of self 2014-10-21
'By Women for Women' Oct. 25 at Joffrey Tower 2014-10-21
Mexico protest; Milk Foundation in Hungary; Vatican shift 2014-10-14
Task Force changes name; marriage news; Notre Dame 2014-10-14
NUNN ON ONE: MUSIC Sinead O'Connor takes us to 'Church' 2014-10-14
EqIL PAC announces endorsements 2014-10-14
Turkey gets its first umbrella LGBTI organization 2014-10-13
Legacy Walk plaques unveiled with new inductees 2014-10-13
Sami Grisafe inducted into school's hall of fame 2014-10-13
Eileen Myles: Queer, funny, feminist stand-up and poetry 2014-10-12
Vives Q features Norma Seledon 2014-10-09
HRC scorecard for Congress: Record gains for LGBT equality 2014-10-09
NUNN ON ONE: MUSIC Mary Lambert tells her 'Secrets' 2014-10-08
LGBT athletes: making an impact on and off the field 2014-10-08
Harris fundraiser celebrates victories, looks ahead 2014-10-07
Focused Media launches with celebration of The Gay Agenda 2014-10-07
Foster-to-adoption success story spans two generations 2014-10-07
Denmark's anniversary; Judas Priest's gay situation 2014-10-07
National Center for Lesbian Rights benefit in Chicago Oct. 18 2014-10-07
Equality Illinois endorses Madigan, White, Topinka 2014-10-07
She100 gives back to the queer community through grants 2014-10-06
Lesbian couple sues area clinic after sperm mix-up 2014-10-06
Jane Saks expands social-justice brand with Project& 2014-10-01
Forward-toward male volunteer Lenny Earl: fests, transition 2014-10-01
Open To Thinking: It's Your Money: Illinois 2014-10-01
World news: Gay Times' icons; Russia court upholds LGBT ban 2014-09-30
Houston mayor on prize list; pol comes out; Orman backs Warren 2014-09-30
Strict ID laws could hinder trans voters 2014-09-27





Copyright © 2014 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 



 

Sophia Bush on 'Chicago P.D.' and being an LGBT ally
 
Aon, KPMG hold pro-LGBT event
 
Dining news: "Dinner Party" Oct. 27; Cicchetti closes
 
BENT NIGHTS Xina Xurner;'Shame That Tune'; Asgeir
 
Cumberbatch on OUT cover; lesbian pundit canned
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now



  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.