Aluminate Magazine Fall 2015
Letter from the Director
In many presentations that I’ve given since the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, someone has asked if heterosexism is still an issue since same sex marriage is now legal. It’s a question indicative of a belief that with same sex marriage now legal there is no need for education about the LGBTQ+ communities or for activism to address issues faced by these communities. In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth. Legalization of same sex marriage was a huge step forward to be sure, but so much remains to be addressed within the LGBTQ+ community and within society at large.
In this volume, Adrianne Gibilisco has written a piece, entitled “Are We There Yet?” that outlines the many issues still in need of being addressed. She presents statistics on homelessness, suicide, bullying, and employment discrimination that powerfully demonstrate this need. I know these statistics but what spurs me to action most are the stories of people with whom I work daily. These statistics also fail to demonstrate the ways in which people with multiple marginalized identities (e.g., transwomen of color, queer people with disabilities) are impacted by multiple systems of oppression not only in society at large but also within the communities of which they are a part (e.g., the LGBTQ+ community).
We all have a role to play in the undoing of systems of oppression even as we may simultaneously hold identities that carry both the benefits of privilege and the undue weight of marginalization. With respect to the privileged identities held, the solution is not to feel silently guilty for that privilege but rather to utilize that privilege in service to equality. We can take small but significant concrete actions to disrupt racism, classism, heterosexism, ableism and other systems of oppression and marginalization. For example we can:
- Challenge the roles and expectations of the gender binary
- Make room for others by asking and using the correct pronouns
- Seek racial reconciliation by centering the experiences of people of color
- Utilize the principles of universal design in the creation of space and programs
- Honor the wisdom of many beliefs and traditions
- Speak out against hate, injustice and exclusion in all of its forms.
Consistently taking these kinds of actions can help to create a world that honors the dignity and worth of each and every individual.
On a separate note, it is with best wishes but also sadness that I announce that Adrianne Gibilisco is leaving the LGBTQ Center at the end of November to take the position of Communications Specialist with the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Education. We wish Adrianne all the best in her new position and we will miss her greatly. [Aw shucks...I’ll miss all of you, too! - Ed.]
In this edition of the LGBTQ Center's semi-annual magazine:
- Are We There Yet?
- Spring Events in Review
- Featured Alumna Spotlight: Cheyenne Solorio
- Staff Transitions
- Support the Center