A photo campaign to raise awareness of lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgendered people and their supporters (LBGTS) in the MIT community has begun with a flurry of posters. The postering will be done in conjunction with a photo exhibit in bulletin boards along the Infinite Corridor this month.
The posters contain photo portraits with the slogan "Members of the Community, LBGTS at MIT." Framed photos will also be loaned for displayed in MIT offices. Anyone interested in borrowing a photo should contact Chris Pomiecko, program administrator for Comparative Media Studies who coordinated the project for the LBGT Education Committee at x2-3503. The campaign is sponsored by the LBGT Issues Group.
"We hope to raise awareness of LBGT people on campus in a subliminal way, to show the variety and in a sense ordinariness of the LBGT community at MIT," said Mr. Pomiecko. "Basically, we are everywhere. So what?"
Kathryn Willmore, vice president and secretary of the Corporation who is featured in the exhibit, said, "This university is only as strong as its community. Our strength comes from individual accomplishments, to be sure, but it is grounded in shared values and respect. No one here should have to hide, to be afraid of others knowing who they are. If we each can bring our full selves to our work and learning here, there is no limit to what we can achieve together."
Contributing photographers for the project are Mr. Pomiecko; Luke Phelan, a junior in electrical engineering and computer science; Max Davis (SB 1999 in mechanical engineering and a lecturer in 1999-00); Erika Brown, a graduate student in aeronautics and astronautics; and Nathan Collins, a graduate student in physics. MIT students, staff and alumni agreed to pose for photos.
"We hope to make this an ongoing project," said Mr. Pomiecko. "We would like to continue photographing members of the MIT community alone, with friends, family, wherever they're comfortable. Anyone who would like to pose for a photo or take pictures can contact me."
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 16, 2001.