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LGBTQ+ Center hosts special celebration

The+LGBTQ%2B+Resource+Center+hopes+to+normalize+queer+dating+with+their+Valentine%27s+Day-themed+event.+
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LGBTQ+ Center hosts special celebration

The LGBTQ+ Resource Center hopes to normalize queer dating with their Valentine's Day-themed event.

The LGBTQ+ Resource Center hopes to normalize queer dating with their Valentine's Day-themed event.

Photo by Jordan Johnson

The LGBTQ+ Resource Center hopes to normalize queer dating with their Valentine's Day-themed event.

Photo by Jordan Johnson

Photo by Jordan Johnson

The LGBTQ+ Resource Center hopes to normalize queer dating with their Valentine's Day-themed event.

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This Valentine’s Day, the LGBTQ+ Resource Center is hosting an event called Bake and Date: Queer Dating 101 aimed to be an enjoyable time and an educational experience.

The event is open to anyone and everyone interested in the conversation — and baking and eating cookies. It will be held in the LGBTQ+ Resource Center in the Alumni Memorial Union in room 140 from 4-5 p.m.

Jennifer Perdomo, a graduate assistant working for the LGBTQ+ Resource Center, said when the idea for a Valentine’s Day event came about, she talked to students to get their feedback and gauge their interest.

Along with cookie decorating, there will also be games that include prizes and conversation. Bake and Date: Queer Dating 101 is a different kind of event for the LGBTQ+ Resource Center, which typically hosts events featuring speakers. Past speakers have included Christian theologian and author Megan DeFranza as well as intersex activist Dawn Mark Bacon-Johnson.

“People can be sad on Valentine’s Day, so I thought it would be cool to have something fun to do that day,” Perdomo said.

Though Bake and Date is a fun activity to do on Valentine’s Day for those who may not have plans, an important part of the event is to engage in healthy conversation in a relaxed setting, Perdomo said. The topic of conversation, as indicated by the title of the event, is to talk about queer relationships in an effort to normalize them.

Along with the hope of conversation, Perdomo said she wants to see the students happy, having fun and laughing.

“I’m hoping more students come that I haven’t seen before,” Perdomo said. “(I hope to) get them used (to) the center. … I’m excited to see new faces.”

A few students, who are among those interested in attending, emphasized how the event would bring about a good sense of community no matter how one identifies.

Irin Sidoti, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, often stops into the LGBTQ+ Resource Center. Sidoti unfortunately has a class conflict, but otherwise would attend.

“I hope it (involves) different parts of the community, … (and is) just an equal space for everyone to talk about romance,” Sidoti said.

The hope for positive discussions on healthy dating in the LGBTQ community is not an idea exclusive to Sidoti.

“(I look forward to) having this Marquette community come together and just enjoy some baking,” Yaneli Urquiza, a freshman in the College of Education, said.

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