The media spotlight has deigned to shine on LGBTQ student issues, at least for a brief moment. The spate of highly publicized gay teen suicides has sparked shock, outrage and the "It Gets Better" campaign. But what about the systemic issues that contribute to LGBTQ people's isolation, mental health battles, self-hate and fear? What message does it send that same sex marriage is only legal in 5 states and DC? That employment discrimination is still legal against transgender persons? That House Republicans are mounting a major campaign to block the repeal of the "Defense" of Marriage Act? That it costs wildly more to be gay than straight in this country?
The country is talking out of two sides of its mouth: "it's sad that young people are struggling with their identity" but "there are certain identities that are intolerable".
The locus of change in our country is in colleges and universities. Places where students from all backgrounds come to study and learn about things that make them uncomfortable. Those things can be academic subjects, journal articles and people. So that's where I'm going. Back to school. To learn about all of the issues that affect LGBTQ students on college and university campuses and how LGBTQ issues are presented to the full campus population, in hopes of becoming an LGBTQ Center administrator myself.
I start my master's program in the Fall of 2011. In the mean time, I'm going to get ready by steeping myself in literature and resources that I see as relevant and that I may want to pull from in the future. Some posts may look like lit reviews, others may look like Op Eds, others may be lists.
If there are any readers out there, I would love to hear your thoughts, and help me debate and think through the many intersecting issues that will come up.