The Fine Arts Center lobby will be filled with Valentine’s Day decorations on Saturday night when the Stonewall Center hosts a Valentine’s-themed dance.
Promoted as “Love Comes Out: A LGBTQA Dance Party,” the dance begins at 9 p.m. and will last until 1 a.m. The event will feature a chocolate fountain, drawings for prizes and a kissing booth.
The dance will also have a “Cupid’s Love Factory,” an original way to meet people on the night of the dance. When people come in, they can write their name, email, and some facts about themselves and what type of person they are trying to meet on a piece of paper. By the end of the night, everyone who filled out a piece of paper will be matched up.
“It’s something different,” said Genny Beemyn, director of the Stonewall Center. “It’s kind of like speed meeting.”
Beemyn added that it was not meant to be a way to find someone to hook up with, but instead a way to meet new people and broaden horizons.
The Stonewall Center usually hosts one dance per semester, one in September and one in the spring, usually April. Beemyn said that having a dance in the spring avoids any potential weather concerns that could cancel the event.
“We [originally] scheduled it in April and the Fine Arts Center did not realize that the date they gave us was already booked,” Beemyn said. “The only date available was this weekend in February.”
Beemyn added, “It wasn’t our intentions to have a Valentine’s dance, but due to the date we were given, we thought it would be a good theme.”
The DJ for the dance will be Studebaker Hawk, who was voted “Best DJ in the Valley” by the Valley Advocate three years in a row.
The Stonewall Center provides support and programming for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual students, staff and faculty at UMass and the Pioneer Valley, as well as allies. They recently created a Five-College Certificate in Queer and Sexuality Studies and are in the midst of creating a group on campus to provide support to people of color who identify as LGBT.
Patrick Hoff can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.