Jonathan Hadad (Israel, AC 09’-11’)
Platform 6 is the Gender and Sexuality activity at Atlantic College. Last year I felt that a Gender and Sexuality group at my school was missing and could repair the negative attitudes towards these subjects. I also remembered how supportive gay youth groups back home were for me not long ago, when I decide to come out of the closet. So with the help of friends, we restarted Platform 6.
By involving the whole school, we created open and fun environments for all students to comfortably explore their sexual identity, in a same-sex couple party, cross-dressing days and weekly group discussions about topics varying from gender roles in Shakespearian plays to feminist porn and sexual health.
The group is trying to alter misconceptions and perhaps help prevent personal tragedies, by making Gender and Sexuality fascinating, worthwhile topics instead of shameful, intimidating mysteries. In the Gender and Sexuality Conference held in AC last weekend, we invited AC alumni to hold sessions for students to hear about the relation between LGBT rights, global sexual rights and human rights. We also had a session about Drag, which was very popular.
I am aware of the extreme opinions that exist against homosexuality in the college. Some students do come from countries where by law, openly loving the wrong person is another way to commit suicide. And the fact that those people who hold such strong opinions about the subject didn’t even bother to show up, reminded me that there is still a good reason for anti-homophobic campaigns and that they should definitely be circulated in public, in the global media and in educational institutions.
We also held a slam-writing competition. The writers were told to write anything that relates to Gender and Sexuality and the first line had to be “The first time I”. The winning piece was written by Rosario Freire Saray from Chile:
The first time I…
Shouted that I loved
her, they hit me.
The second time I shouted that
I loved her, they wouldn’t speak to me.
The third time I shouted
That I loved her, she put her hand over
My mouth. And kissed me.
-United World Colleges Student Magazine-