One in 33,000: Student fights for equal rights though the arts

Jennifer Zeitlin

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Theater major Kathleen Jaffe, 23, loves volunteering her time to organizations that promote equality for the LGBT community and hopes to become even more politically active both on and off campus. Photo Credit: Jennifer Zeitlin / Staff Photographer

Kathleen Jaffe, a 23-year-old theatre major,  has found a way to combine her love for theater and film with her passion of spreading the message of equal rights for the LBGT community.

Jaffe has worked with several organizations with the mission of promoting equality, the most recent being Outfest which is a yearly film festival that showcases lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender films and art.

“I think the main reason I wanted to volunteer was because I wanted to see movies specifically for the gay communit…for my community, and just be in that atmosphere.”

As a volunteer Jaffe does several jobs like guest relations, ushering, and several others activities. 2010 will be Jaffe’s second year at Outfest.

Jaffe has been inspired by the films at Outfest and would like to submit a film of her own this year.

“It’s like two weeks of watching movies that reflect the world and how I see it.” said Jaffe.

Jaffe was involved in the Gay Straigh Alliance (GSA) at Pierce college and is is looking forward to becoming a member of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trasngender Alliance (LGBTA) at CSUNthis semester.

Jaffe is open about her sexuality and has been accepted by her family as being apart of the lesbian community. She wants to work to break the  stereotypes that have been attached to the LBGT community.

“It’s kind  of embarrassing when I watch shows like American Idol and you see these really flamboyant people and then they are just labeled gay and I feel like its embarrassing to our community. I think thats why some people don’t come out to prides because they’re more conservative and they don’t wanna be part of that stereotype.”

Jaffe feels that it is important to make the campus a safe haven for people of all sexualities. A second goal that Kathleen has is to really embrace the word “alliance.”

“I would like to see more political activism on campus and more straight people joining the LBGTA , showing there true alliance with us and just bringing out more people.”

Jaffe’s ultimate goal is just to be a role-model for people who are just  now expressing there sexuality openly.

“I hope to become more politically active for my community and set a good example for younger people who are just coming out just to show that gay people are at CSUN and they should stand up and be themselves.”