Students should support LGBTQA

Students should support LGBTQA

by Emili JohnsonStaff Writer




These are all derogatory words people use to describe a person who is a homosexual. These words are also used to insult a person into thinking that they are inferior and “different.” If you ask me, words being used in this sense should be banned from the English language.

But, that’s something much bigger than I am. So, instead I joined the Simpson College chapter of LGBTQA. If you are unaware of what this acronym stands for, it means, “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and Allies,” and this group is meant to play a role of activism in making people of the LGBT community feel safe. Also, it’s meant to let people know it’s okay to be who you are – regardless of sexual orientation.

Since this group doesn’t have the same super-status as CAB or Simpson Republicans, I thought it was high time to write a call-to-action piece about how this group needs support from its surrounding community.

I have been an ally to the LGBTQA since I was a sophomore, and I’ve had a blast since I joined. I think it was because the gay and lesbian community and I have so much in common – especially here on campus. We both feel somewhat isolated from the Simpson community because we’re different from the majority of students, whether because of race or sexual orientation.

“LGBTQA is a good way to promote the ideas of diversity and peace,” said senior Bryan Hoke, vice president of the group and a member of Lambda Chi Omega. Hoke has been openly gay since his freshman year.

“It lets me go out there and tell people what we are all about and let them realize that a lot of these groups that are discriminated against are not anything like they make them out to be,” Hoke said.

Homophobia is a serious problem on campus. Junior Dan Jacobsen feels this is something that affects him personally every day, no matter the circumstance.

“There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t feel a bad vibe from people, some days worse than others,” said Jacobsen, who also hears constant snickers and the word “fag” frequently from students. “That’s one of the worst things I could actually hear.”

One way the group doesn’t see much support from the campus is in the area of membership. With a very active Yahoo list serve and a small percentage of student support, Jess Wiltamuth, a graduate student in the Education Department, feels that people are getting the wrong impression of what the group is about in general.

“Some people I have talked to say that our group promotes flamboyant behavior and I find that to be ridiculous,” Wiltamuth said. “They are obviously not paying attention.”

It saddens me to see our campus cannot even be accepting of someone’s sexual preference, and the words “fag” and “queer” are used in every day language. I wonder when we will actually set aside our differences and just accept each other for who we are. Not by our gender, race or sexuality, but as the simple fact that we are all human and we are all on this planet at the same time.

So, my call to action is for the Simpson community to stop dwelling on the differences and start embracing them. I think many people forget that our differences make us unique and that is more important that dehumanizing someone and calling them a “fag.” Just remember that your LGBTQA peers need your support.