"Queerin' Putnam" in support of LGBTQ youth: Students gather at downtown bar for a "queer takeover" of Putnam Den

Posted by Julia Leef

In response to a recent incident at Putnam Den, in which two females who identified as queer were reportedly kicked out of the bar, BARE, the College's Sex Forum and online publication, organized a "queer takeover" of Putnam Den, which will host a drag show to raise money for the Trevor Project, which aims to prevent suicide in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, and Questioning youth.

Originally, a post on March 4 in BARE urged students to occupy Putnam Den but boycott its services to protest against acts of non-tolerance.

"Many people have experienced blatant acts of homophobia at Putnam Den and recently people have decided to do something about it," the post says. "Make sure to give them none of your money that night so as not to support their unfair business practices."

Since this time, the situation has changed. According to Skidmore Unofficial, which has released several Op-Ed columns on the subject, a $10 cover for the band will be collected at the door, although there will be a $5 discount for people 21 and over. Minors are welcome, but under-aged drinking will not be permitted.

Becks Kolins '12, is one of the organizers for the event, and described it in an Op-Ed on Skidmore Unofficial as a nonviolent, empowering gathering to create a safe space for queer-identified individuals.

"Many of us have felt uncomfortable at Putnam and while there may be queer-identified individuals who haven't felt that way, it's important that those who do feel uncomfortable and those who are in support, are able to create a safe space that many of us haven't felt at Putnam and don't feel at many places downtown," Kolins said.

Kolins asked people not to associate incident in Putnam Den with underage drinking, as the two individuals involved were of legal age. Kolins encourages supporters to come and work with those who feel discomfort to establish a healthy, safe environment.

"I ultimately hope we can all enter this without hostility and in a way that we can all support each other," Kolins said. "If Putnam is queer-friendly, then we shouldn't run into problems and I would certainly love for no problems to arise."

More information to follow.

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