'Queer Bathroom Monologues' tell of LGBT encounters, experiences

The lights in the room dimmed as actors dressed in white T-shirts and jeans took the stage to perform for a packed room on Oct.17. The LGBT Resource Center presented the “Queer Bathroom Monologues” as apart of their OUTober celebration.

The cast was made up of LGBT Resource staff – Josh Richardson, Alex Baknaus, Ricci Cole, Andi Galactic and Katie Robey along with QUEST President Tristan Morton.

“Queer Bathroom Monologues” was presented as a stage reading with the cast members reading their lines straight from their scripts, with chairs as their only props. The dimly lit, small room created an intimate atmosphere between the cast and audience.

The monologues discussed various encounters of LGBT individuals in the bathrooms around Canada. Scenes range from assaults, sex and being accused of being in the wrong bathroom. Some scenes were humorous while others had a more serious tone.

The “Queer Bathroom Monologues” was eye-opening and thought-provoking, allowing students to see some of the challenges LGBT students go through regarding bathrooms, such as identifying as male but being born a female and having to decide which bathroom to use.

The LGBT Resource Center used the presentation on Oct. 17, also Spirit Day, as a test run to see how well “Queer Bathroom Monologues” would do.

During the question-and-answer session, students expressed how they enjoyed the performance and the message of personal struggles of discrimination, inclusion and acceptance.

The actors expressed how through their characters, they were able to say things they would not have said themselves. One student asked if any members of the cast were uncomfortable with their scenes they performed, and the cast admitted they were uncomfortable with certain lines during rehearsal.

“Queer Bathroom Monologues” is based on 100 interviews conducted by Shelia Cavanagh, an associate professor of sociology and the Sexuality Studies program coordinator at York University.
The interviews were used as research for her book, “Queering Bathrooms: Gender, Sexuality, and the Hygienic Imagination,” published in 2010.

For a list of the remaining events visit during OUTober, visit emich.edu/lgbtrc/events. To learn more about the LGBT Resource Center, visit the website at emich.edu/lgbtrc or stop by their office in room 354 of the Student Center.

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