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in the news/2
Volume 16/Issue 5

Spring Date Set for GLB Student Conference

A date has been set for the Louisiana conference of lesbian, gay and bisexual university student groups. The annual conference, produced aboard Louisiana university campuses since 1995, has been scheduled for the Spring of 1998 in New Orleans.

The Louisiana Gay and Lesbian Student Groups Conference (LGLSGC), hosted this year by Tulane University's Bisexual, Gay And Lesbian Association (BiGALA), is set for the weekend of April 17 - 19 on Tulane's campus.

The conference, a project of the Louisiana Electorate of Gays And Lesbians (LEGAL), a non-profit group, is being co-sponsored by the Office of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Life at Tulane University. It is free to any university students wishing to attend.

Providing more than a dozen workshops with subjects ranging from lesbian history to relationship issues to discrimination in the workplace, the LGLSGC creates an environment for students to gather, meet one another and learn from each others' experiences.

"These students gather and trouble-shoot their problems and their groups' problems together," says Brian Hartig, LEGAL's executive director. "When they go back home they tend to profit from these experiences by trying to keep from making the same mistakes."

The LGLSGC will commence on Friday, April 17, with registration, opening ceremonies and probably a featured guest speaker or comedian. With a theme of "Past, Present, Future," BiGALA hopes to present a weekend of the very best of our community's heritage, its "here-and-now," and its hopes for the years ahead.

On Sat., Apr. 18, "workshops" will be the word for the day. Workshop topics ranging from Spirituality and Sexuality, Campus Organizing, Careers: the transition from campus to community, Self Defence, Domestic Partner Benefits, Current Legal Issues, and Queer Icons & Queer Pop Culture, among many others, will be offered.

On Sun., Apr. 19, BiGALA is preparing a "forum of couples from all gender groups and all ages to come together to give advice and hope for the future" says the group's vice president James Lowe. This forum will be accompanied by a brunch.

"We would also like to set up a ... queer walking tour of the French Quarter for Sunday after the conference is over," said Lowe.

The LGLSGC, which attracted upwards of 150 glb students last year in Baton Rouge, started as a bi-annual event. Over the years, as it grew, it brought students and student groups in even from Mississippi and evolved into an annual event. It has always been free.

If you are interested in attending the conference and would like more information, contact James Lowe of BiGALA at ilowe@mailhost.tcs.tulane.edu, Christopher Daigle of the Office of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Life at Tulane University at cdaigle@mailhost.tcs.tulane.edu (504.865.5763), or LEGAL at the information listed below.

Louisiana Electorate of Gays And Lesbians (LEGAL) is a statewide, not-for-profit human rights organization for the lesbian, gay and bisexual community. LEGAL works to end discrimination based upon sexual orientation and to protect the safety of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals. For more information about LEGAL and how you can get involved, write to: LEGALinc, PO Box 70344, New Orleans, LA 70172-0344, email: legalinc@aol.com, web page: http://members.aol.com/legalinc/ or voicemail: 504.365.3105.


Advanced HIV Testing Access
For Sexual Assault Victims Urged

AIDS Action recently asked federal health and law enforcement agencies to implement a system of access to advanced HIV testing for victims of sexual assault that would provide rapid HIV infection information.

The "Victims of Sexual Assault Right to Know Initiative" would provide victims of sexual assault with access to advanced HIV testing, not widely available, that indicates HIV infection within fourteen days of possible exposure. Conventional testing only indicates exposure after as many as six months.

"Science has caught up with the needs of sexual assault victims but it's not being deployed," said Daniel Zingale, AIDS Action's Executive Director. "The horrors of rape should never be intertwined with the added trauma of unascertained HIV infection. Victims of heinous violent crimes should have the most accurate information about threats to their health as a result of the crime."

In separate letters to Claire Broome, MD, Acting Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Attorney General Janet Reno, AIDS Action asked both agencies to work to develop a system that would provide sexual assault victims with access to advanced HIV testing methods. This system could also include financial assistance through funds within the Justice Department's Office for Victims of Crime.

Conventional HIV tests detect antibodies the body begins to produce weeks or months following infection with HIV. Thus, the window period between infection and detection would result in a false negative. Newer, more advanced tests such as the PCR, p24 antigen and viral load tests detect viral activity and are usually accurate within days or weeks following exposure.


12th Annual Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival

Ticket sales are well underway for the Tennessee Williams/ New Orleans Literary Festival's "Weekend Named Desire," which celebrates its 12th anniversary honoring America's legendary playwright, March 11 - 15. Williams, who called New Orleans his "spiritual home," wrote many of his distinguished plays, including A Streetcar Named Desire, during his intervals in residence.

Highlights of the long weekend include 35 literary panels, eight different theatrical productions (see On The Boards elsewhere in this edition), 11 master classes (now a three-day "literary conference"), poetry readings, musical events, videos from past Festivals, a variety of French Quarter walking tours and an expansive book fair. The third annual Tennessee Williams Scholars' Conference takes place Fri., Mar. 13, and a new event - New Orleans Cooks and Books - debuts Sat., Mar. 14. The Festival finale, a Stella and Stanley Shouting Contest, is back by popular demand, with prizes awarded to the best interpretation of the warring mates in Streetcar.

Most of the events take place at Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre, 616 St. Peter St., which serves as Festival headquarters. Other neighboring French Quarter venues- the Cabildo, the Historic New Orleans Collection, Maxwell's Toulouse Theatre (now called 21 Supper Club), O'Flaherty's Irish Pub, the Monteleone Hotel, and the Palm Court Jazz Cafe-will also house events.

Topics for lively panel discussions range from the intricacies of writing a mystery novel, how humor can be used to tackle meaningful issues indirectly, authors' experiences of writing about family complexities, and the art of writing a short story, to name a few. Leading black thinkers look at the major social issues of our day-and the ways in which race does or does not inform their opinions; Williams chums reminisce about the playwright; veteran directors and theater critics discuss the challenges of performing Williams's work for a contemporary audience; and the transference of books to celluloid is pondered.

For information about tickets contact the Festival at 504.581.1144; E-mail: twfest@gnofn.org; or visit their website: http://www.gnofn.org/~twfest.


44th Annual New Orleans Home & Garden Show

The New Orleans Home & Garden Show returns to the Lousiana Superdome on Mar. 18-22 to celebrate its 44th consecutive year. This outstanding annual Home and Garden exposition offers the public the largest and longest-standing event of its kind in the Southeast. This year's show will fill the Louisiana Superdome with more quality exhibits, special attractions and entertainment for the entire family. One of New Orleans' finest traditions and offering everything for the home, it features over 700 exhibits with over 100 new companies and over 200 new booths, and is the best attended consumer show in the Dome; and, for the second year, it has been distinguished as one of the highest-rated home shows in North America.


Local Artist Anthony DiLeo
Holds First Showing
at Hotel Inter-Continental

Anthony DiLeo has been painting for the past 20 of his 51 years, though the showing at the Hotel Inter-Continental is the first public viewing of his work.

DiLeo did not receive any formal training in painting, but began experimenting with water color and acrylic paints on canvas and water color paper. Most of his work can be classified as abstract expressionism or abstract colorist, although there are a number of realistic representational pieces as well. DiLeo's works can be linked to classical abstractions because of his choice of simple geometry. Many of his early works in the late 1970s are basically tributes to color.

The emphasis of DiLeo's present work is on the relationship between one color and another. He presently works mainly with acrylics on canvas, experimenting with various techniques to achieve the luminescent color characteristic of his newer works. DiLeo finds large scale imagery exciting and has been painting on canvases 5 square feet and larger.

The artist's decision to display his work is due partly to a recent major change in his painting style in which the emotional content of the paintings became much more accessible and subtle, compared to the use of icon imagery of dramatic designs and shapes in earlier work. The vulnerability present in the newer work, as a result of increased personal investment, coupled with the inherent dignity the works possess, creates a sense of balance and completeness.

DiLeo has developed two major styles. One depending much less on distinctive individual paint marks and instead concentrating on building up large areas of color. These are calming and reflective. Some viewers find them very approachable with a strong spiritual quality. They are drawn in to examine the complexities of application and techniques. These works could be classified as color field paintings.

Among the pieces to be exhibited are several larger powerful works on canvas including "Hell Above, Heaven Below" and, for comparison, three works on acrylic paper entitled "Le Jardin," a bright and vivid layering of acrylics, "Heartstorm,"a turgid explosion of color, and "Woman Walking Away," which is an impressionist style of soft hues of gentle, but complex pastel tones. The companion piece, "Man Walking Away," is incomplete. DiLeo's paintings can be viewed at the Hotel Inter-Continental now through Mar. 26.


Salt Lake "OxyMormon" Zaps Anti-gay Zealots

In his Feb. 7 column, Salt Lake Tribune columnist and self-described "oxymormon" Robert Kirby takes on the anti-gay ideologues attacking school teacher Wendy Weaver for being a lesbian.

"If not flogged and shot, a lot of people want Weaver dismissed from teaching ... and from ever working with young people again," he says. "The Weaver situation illustrates the trouble supposedly good Christians face when confronting something they view as a sin. Namely the problem of 'hating the sin/loving the sinner.' It's a tough gig, especially when the whole hating/loving thing is being determined by morons. Would I want a lesbian teaching my daughter? Frankly, I am a lot more worried about the immorality of self-righteousness rubbing off on her than I am about lesbianism.

"The big question for Christians is whether a political fight over morals can be waged with the level of love for others that Christ commands us to have.

"Considering the miserable track record many Christians have on this point, it seems to me the more important issue."

Kirby sums up, saying, "If I remember my Bible right, Christ reserved his severest judgment for people who supplanted genuine love of others with a high-minded perception of moral correctness." [GLAAD}

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