PULLMAN, Wash. — Greg Louganis, Olympic gold medal diver, will deliver a free public address Oct. 8 at Washington State University as part of WSU’s celebration of National Gay and Lesbian History Month.
The event will start at 7:30 p.m. in Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum.
Louganis, 37, who is openly gay and has AIDS, will discuss his difficult childhood, struggles with coming out, achievements in diving, and fear and ultimate courage in dealing with HIV and AIDS, said Melynda Huskey, WSU GLBA Program director.
The address and the month is sponsored by the WSU GLBA Program, which serves the university’s GLBTA community of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered people and their allies.
Louganis grew up in suburban San Diego. He is considered the greatest competitive diver ever after becoming the only man to win gold medals in platform and springboard events at consecutive Olympics, 1984 in Los Angeles and 1988 in Seoul. He also won a silver medal at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal.
Also during the month will be an Oct. 1 address by Leslie Feinberg, award-winning author of “Stone Butch Blues” and “Transgender Warriors” and Oct. 10 festivities on Terrell Mall to celebrate National Coming Out Day, said Huskey.
Other activities, Huskey said, will include a campaign encouraging WSU GLBT students to contact their high school about “how important it is to provide a supportive environment for young GLBT folks.” There will be brown bag lunch sessions on gay/lesbian parenting issues; GLBT and religion; new AIDS treatments and research, a panel of local gay-lesbian-bisexual writers, and a drag workshop.
In addition, the ASWSU GLBTA is planning a Halloween masquerade dance, an awards banquet, and the unveiling of a history project. The ASWSU GLBTA is an Associated Students of WSU recognized committee committed to raising awareness of WSU students, faculty, and staff to GLBT issues, said Huskey.
Louganis’ free address is assured, said Huskey. However, the GLBA Program is “raising funds to cover all expenses with bringing him in. All financial contributions are most welcome,” she said. To make contributions or for additional information, contact Melynda Huskey at 509/335-6428, or e-mail melyndah@mail.wsu.edu.