The UMPI 100% Society will be hosting two special guest speakers to discuss LGTBQ issues as part of its Gay Days events on the University of Maine at Presque Isle campus. Casey Faulkingham, with Hope and Justice Project, will speak on Tuesday, Oct. 6, and internationally acclaimed fantasy fiction author Lynn Flewelling will deliver a presentation on Wednesday, Oct. 7. Both talks will be held in the Allagash Room of the Campus Center at 7 p.m. All are welcome to attend this free event.
The UMPI 100% Society exists to create a safe space not only for those of the LGTBQ community, but to anyone who needs support or wants to provide support for others.
During the Oct. 6 event, Casey Faulkingham, prevention coordinator for Hope and Justice Project, will deliver a talk titled Rainbow Relationship Continuum: Identifying Health and Unhealthy Behaviors in LGBTQ Relationships. Faulkingham will facilitate a conversation about what is healthy and what is unhealthy in relationships and dating for LGBTQ people. Hope and Justice Project is the local resource center for anyone affected by abuse and violence in Aroostook County.
During the Oct. 7 event, Lynn Flewelling, will give her presentation, Finding Authenticity. Flewelling is an internationally acclaimed fantasy fiction author who grew up in Presque Isle, is a 1981 UMPI graduate, holds an M.A. in Counseling Psychology, and was recently accepted into the Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute in California. She has lived on both coasts and traveled extensively, experiences that are reflected in her writing.
Flewelling has worked as a teacher, a house painter, a necropsy assistant, and a free-lance editor and journalist. She lives in Redlands, Calif., and is adjunct faculty at the University of Redlands. Flewelling’s writings promote feminism and LGBT causes, having said in relation to these topics, “I’ve always believed that people are people, and it’s wrong to discriminate against them just because of what gender or group they fall into.” The protagonists of the Nightrunner books are both bisexual, and Flewelling has stated their creation was in response to the “‘Victim/Villain/Asexual Sidekick’ portrayals of LGBT characters in the genre and marginalization of existing ones.”
Flewelling’s talk will cover many areas, from the problems of being authentic, to her education as a writer, to why she chooses to write about LGBTQI characters and the response from the mainstream. She will also discuss how personal the process of writing the Tamir Triad was in the quest for personal authenticity, and how everything ties in with her decision to add the career of Marriage and Family Therapist working with the LGBTQI community, and her future as an author.