'Put This on the {Map}' Film Screening at UB to Raise Awareness about Homophobia and Transphobia

Seattle-based youth group on tour to address stereotypes

Release Date: March 23, 2011


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo's School of Social Work and office of Wellness Education Services will present the documentary "Put This on the {Map}," at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 28, in the Center for the Arts Screening Room on UB's North Campus

This public information event will feature the Reteaching Gender and Sexuality Tour, a team of Seattle-based community educators and "queer/trans youth group" and media-makers who aim to steer the conversation beyond bullying and help to increase awareness of the unfair stereotypes surrounding sexuality and gender.

Organizers from UB's Wellness Education Services and School of Social Work want to attract a wide audience, including social workers, teachers, school administrators, parents, and activists and advocates of all ages who are interested in learning more about gender and sexuality.

"The event certainly is focused on gender and sexuality and ways to combat homophobia and transphobia," says Laina Bay-Cheng, associate professor in the UB School of Social Work and one of the organizers of the event. "But I think it is more than that.

"It will also be a chance to challenge the stereotypes and practices that hem us all in. Norms about gender and sexuality affect and shape all of us, not just people who are marked as different."

"Put This on the {Map}," is an award-winning 34-minute film, the group's first pilot documentary, that suggests a bold way of looking at these stories of social isolation, violence, fearlessness and liberation.

"I hope that people will come away from the event with a sense that we have nothing to fear -- and a lot to gain -- from a loosening of rigid roles and stereotypes," says Bay-Cheng. "What's more, the audience will be hearing and learning about this from young people, which means it will be a chance to challenge our negative stereotypes about youth, too."

Members of the youth group will also be joined by filmmaker Sid Jordan and others from the Reteaching Gender and Sexuality Campaign for a discussion, and question-and-answer session about the film. Members of the group will also be speaking at the School of Social Work's Diversity and Oppression classes the following day.

"Whenever an issue is the subject of a 'hot' social debate, there's a danger that we never hear the voices of the people who actually live the realities being debated," says Nancy J. Smyth, dean of UB's School of Social Work. "I think we lose a great deal, as a society, when that happens. Our lack of understanding can result in policies and practices that damage people and our society as a whole.

"As a school of social work we are especially committed to ensuring that diverse voices are heard, and that we honor the dignity, rights and strengths of all individuals, families and communities," Smyth says. "This event is a rare chance to do that, a chance to hear from a group of young people who are almost never given a chance to speak for themselves."

UB's screening is part of the group's national tour "Reteaching Gender & Sexuality," designed to contribute additional queer/trans youth voices to influence policies and practices that impact LBGTQ youth lives.

The event is a partnership among the UB School of Social Work and its Student Association, Wellness Education Services, Gay and Lesbian Youth Services of Western New York, Pride Center of Western New York, the Institute for Research and Education on Women and Gender, UB's Teacher Education Institute and the Student Wellness Team.

A trailer for the documentary, "Put This on the {Map}," can be seen at http://www.putthisonthemap.org/education/reteaching-gender-and-sexuality.

For more information on the event, call James Bowman, lead coordinator of the event, at Wellness Education Services at 645-6935.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

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