On Friday, October 26 at 6:30 p.m., the Newman Club, in collaboration with the University of Hawai‘i Mānoa Rainbow Alliance and the Associated Students of University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (ASUH), will be hosting a pre-Halloween event at the Newman Center, “Movie & Masks.”
The cult classic, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” will cap off the event and will be shown with live participation from the audience.
“We have purchased some props for the event with the support of ASUH funding, such as noisemakers, party poppers, gloves, etc.” Francis Empeno, a member of the Newman Club, said.
“I’m a massive musical theatre geek, and I thought it’d be a fun movie for our members to see,” Empeno said, when asked about the choice of film, “...but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this event had the potential to create a much needed dialogue to bridge what seems to be a divide between the Church and the LGBTQ+ student community.”
It was after this that Empeno reached out to his friends from the Rainbow Alliance for their opinion as well.
The idea to bridge the two organizations to host this event came from Empeno as someone who identifies as a member of the LGBTQ+ community in the Catholic church.
“As someone who has firsthand experienced the marginalization that comes with having both of these identities, it was time to extend a hand and offer support to the students who need it the most."
"Feeling invalidated by a group is something I'm all too familiar with," Joshua Kim, president of the Rainbow Alliance and Chairperson for Committee on Student Affairs, said. "When Frankie and I started talking, the need to remind our communities that there are people that support, love, and accept us became clear."
Empeno admitted that there may be tension in the air during the event due too “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” which was a controversial movie during its time due to its provocative themes, “...but at the end of it, everyone’s laughing and a lot closer than they were when they first went in,” Empeno said.
"I hope that our attendees learn that these facets of our identity are not mutually exclusive, and can coexist. That being LGBTQ+ doesn't invalidate your existence as a Christian, and vice versa," Kim said. "I also hope that they become aware that resources such as Rainbow Alliance and Newman exist, and that we are here to support those regardless of gender identity, expression, sexuality, creed, etc."
The “masks” portion of the event refers to the supply of facial spa sheet masks as well as facial cleansing wipes that will be available for students to use to relax while watching the show.
Refreshments will also be provided at the event, chili cheese dogs or just chili and rice (vegan chili will also be available).
Attendees are encouraged to dress up as their favorite characters from “Rocky Horror.”
For more information on the event, including a detailed list of the “audience participation," visit www.newmanhawaii.org/2018/10/movie-masks-pre-halloween-event/