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Archive for February, 2017

Reflecting on Creating Change 2017

Creating Change was a wonderful experience! Being a first-year at JMU, I had no idea what to expect from the conference. I was surprised at the multitudes of communities represented upon arrival at the conference center. I met people from different universities and cities as well as people of different religions, ethnicities, and identities within the queer community. I think the most affirming experience at the conference for me was the QTAAPI (Queer/Trans identified American-Asians/Pacific Islanders) Day Long Institute. In the closed group, we were able to explore our racial and queer identities as mixed influences, not two aspects separate from one another. Within the space, we were able to support and uplift one another through validation exercises and experience sharing. We also learned about the longstanding existence of queer influences in API cultures and belief systems in the institute. The next two days were divided into multiple workshop style sessions. I attended a session about masculinity within the queer community. The session was facilitated by an advisor from Georgetown University who stressed the importance of masculine unity within the queer community. Though I didn’t necessarily agree with all of his arguments, I was able to learn from the experience as a whole, as the session involved a great amount of interaction between participants. In addition to the educational value of the conference, Creating Change was an ideal setting to make friends and contacts. Members of Madison Equality got lunch with members of VCU’s queer organization and have made close connections for future, possibly inter-university events. Overall, Creating Change was a great learning and personal experience. I look forward to applying what I learned at the conference to Madison Equality, the Program, and my life.




What Would You Do?

What would you do in these situations described below? Some individuals feel comfortable speaking up in difficult situations, while others might not know how to do so in a way that will help maintain their relationship with the person. Standing up to family, friends, classmates, professors, or strangers can each bring their own specific challenges. I encourage you to think about these situations, discuss them, and post a response that you feel is the best possible way to respond!

Scenario 1: You are speaking with someone about a lesbian couple you know who just had their second child, and they say to you “You know, I have a hard time with gay people having kids. I think children need the influence of both genders – they need a mother and a father.” How would you respond to a comment like this, especially if you wanted to challenge one’s thinking about LGBTQIQAP+ families? 

Scenario 2: A class is talking about the military, and someone raises the issue of whether “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was a good policy. A male student says “Look, I’m in the military and when I’m in a foxhole with another guy, I don’t want to be worried about what he’s thinking, if you know what I mean.” How would you respond to this student about LGBTQIQAP+ individuals in the military?

Scenario 3: At a family dinner, a family member says they heard a speaker in a class talking about LGBTQIQAP+ issues. Your family member says “Look, i think they should have rights and all, but I still think it’s immoral to be ‘that way’ – we all know that God condemns that kind of lifestyle.” How would you respond to this comment, especially if you wanted to challenge your family members’ idea about religion and LGBTQIQAP+ people? 

Scenario 4: You are at the grocery store, and you overhear a conversation where someone uses “gay” in an explicitly derogatory way towards someone else. You turn towards them to find out who is saying this. How would you respond if you found out this person was a friend of yours? An acquaintance of yours? A complete stranger? 

Scenario 5: You are hanging out with your white gay friend Brian at a karaoke night. Beyonce comes on and Brian says, “Yaaaas, this song just channels my inner black woman!” You say, ” but, you’re white!” He responds, “I can say stuff like that because I’m gay.” How would you respond to Brian, especially if you want to bring up the idea of collective liberation? 

Scenario 6: You are talking to your brother-in-law about your female friend who is bisexual and he says, “bisexual chicks are so hot!” How can you respond to your bother-in-law, especially if you want to challenge his ideas about myths and stereotypes about bisexual people? 

*The above scenarios were provided by the Minnesota GLBTA Campus Alliance*

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