Recently the media have extensively covered efforts by the Gay-Straight Alliance and the Iris Reaction to have a resource center on campus and a Living Learning Community for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning students. The LLC DiversCity Q was approved, and efforts to create the resource center are slowly progressing.
What seems to be skewed by both supporters and opponents of a future resource center and the new LLC is that they will not only be for gay students. While Shelly Newkirk and Collin Duwe maintain opposing viewpoints in this debate, both identify as gay. The acronym LGBTQ includes lesbian and gay individuals, but opponents tend to miss the bisexual, transgender and questioning individuals that are included equally in the acronym.
This is not a matter of victimization or segregation. Duwe claims he has never experienced harassment, but that does not make it any more comfortable to those who have. I am not completely accepted by the student body because of my bisexual orientation. Furthermore, there are students who are curious pre-op or post-op transgender students whom neither Newkirk nor Duwe can speak for.
This is not about making housing just for gays, and it’s not about special treatment. It’s about accommodating students who do not have a comfortable environment.
Juan Martinez is a freshman communications major from Uvalde and executive chairman of the Gay-Straight Alliance.