There are lots of topics that are incredibly newsworthy but also extremely sensitive, and LGBT issues on campus fall into that realm. When is it acceptable or necessary to identify students’ sexual orientations, if ever? How do you approach LGBT issues on a campus where many are strongly opposed to gay rights?
This session, led by Lori Marcias-Clark from Elgin Community College, was a great forum for student discussion. I was a little disappointed that the session did not incorporate a presentation, since I would have liked to hear Marcias-Clark give a bit of background about some problems with media coverage of LGBT issues, but it was interesting to hear what other students’ questions and answers were.
As I work on my long-term story about LGBTQIA issues on Elon’s campus, I’ve run into many questions that I simply don’t know how to ask. I liked how this session started off with putting questions on index cards, so there really was no limitation to what we could ask.
Several other students who attended the session identified themselves as part of the gay community and everyone who participated in the discussion contributed meaningful advice based on experience. Test part of the discussion was discussing how members of the gay and trans communities are represented in the media.
While we still have a long way to go before seeing same-sex couples in the media as normal rather than controversial or groundbreaking, many of us determined that we’re taking a step in the right direction. I only wish there had been more time to talk about this issue, since I think it’s an important one that many people are often uncomfortable discussing.