Saturday, October 24, 2009

QNOC Digest 2009.09.20

Queer News On Campus [QNOC] Articles Digest
For the week ending 2009.09.20


Brought to you by the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals. http://www.lgbtcampus.org

Archives of the QNOC Digest can be found at http://queernewsoncampus.blogspot.com

Reminder: If you come across articles that should be included in the digest, please email a link to the article to articles@lgbtcampus.org


1. Middle Tennessee State University Sidelines - Gender identity bill returns to SGA
2. The Miami Hurricane - Matthew Shepard’s mother speaks out against hatred
3. The Daily Aztec - BOY MEETS BOY: Gay dating on campus easier than you think
4. Washington Post - Disability, Gay Rights Expert Picked for EEOC
5. Temple News - Loving your body as LGBTQ
6. The Collegian, CSU Fresno - A Reel-flection of Diversity
7. Anchorage Daily News - Talks by 'ex-gay' Anchorage man spark debate at UAF
8. Pride Source - U of M welcomes Indonesian gay rights pioneer
9. The Michigan Messenger - MSU: ‘Ex-gay’ website will remain hosted on school servers
10. The Daily Aztec - LGBT minor now offered
11. The Daily Iowan - Participation in LGBT organizations high
12. St. Louis Today - Traveling exhibit focuses on transgender people
13. The Badger Herald - ASM: Funding for LGBT trip center of debate
14. The Daily Targum - FDA hinders U. blood donation policy
15. The Crimson White - SGA supports sexual orientation program


1. Middle Tennessee State University Sidelines, September 13, 2009
http://www.mtsusidelines.com/news/gender-identity-bill-returns-to-sga-1.472773
Gender identity bill returns to SGA
By Megan McSwain


The Student Government Association voted 25-3 in the first of two voting sessions to reinstate the bill proposal that would include “gender identity and expression” to the SGA constitution last Thursday.

The bill needs to pass by a two-thirds majority a second time in the SGA’s next meeting to be reinstated and available for students to vote on, said SGA president, Brandon McNary. The bill then needs to be passed by the student body by a two-thirds majority to amend the SGA constitution.

The amendment to Article 2, Section 2 didn’t pass the vote at the SGA Retreat over the summer. The issue was reintroduced in the SGA’s first meeting of the semester by senator Samantha Nichols who had previously voted against it.

“I really did not know a lot about [gender identity and expression], and I really just wasn’t aware of how the bill would affect me versus the students,” Nichols said. “After getting a little more educated about it and being more aware, I brought it up again.”

McNary, who in a June article in Sidelines said the amendment was redundant, said he also changed his opinion of the bill after doing some research and becoming more knowledgeable about gender identity.

“In our current constitution we have gender and we have sexual orientation,” McNary said. “So, under my eyes I thought transgender would be protected, but if you do more research and you’re informed on the issue you’ll see that transgender is separate from gender or sexual orientation.”

McNary and Nichols urged the 28 senators at the meeting to put aside their personal beliefs and do their jobs to represent every student at MTSU.

“[The SGA] deserves to give the students a right to vote on this issue,” Nichols said. “Yes, we’re the voice for the students and the liaison between the administration and the students, but the students need to vote on this. They need to have a say.”

Gender identity and expression is included in the Tennessee Board of Regents policy, with which MTSU and the SGA have to comply, said Brandon Thomas, an SGA senator and the vice president of MTSU Lambda Association, a gay straight alliance.

Thomas, who first introduced the bill, said it is imperative for the SGA constitution to include them because not everyone knows MTSU follows TBR’s non-discrimination policy.

“It’s important to show that MTSU’s inclusive, that it does not discriminate,” Thomas said.

Thomas said if the bill is passed, it will be a step in urging President Sidney McPhee’s administration to include gender identity and expression in a university-wide non-discrimination policy.

Lambda President Zak Craft, who spoke at the SGA meeting, said the bill will make students feel safer, more comfortable and accepted at MTSU.

“I think that including this provision in the SGA constitution will make students that are different, students that don’t fit into this gender binary system and feel more comfortable at the university,” Craft said.

Scarlet Dickinson, a member of Lambda, attended the SGA meeting to support the bill. She said the issue is important to her because she has friends who are transgender and that this bill is not just a piece of legislation.

“No matter what your opinion is of [gender identity and expression], you have to remember it’s somebody’s right, it’s somebody’s life you’re dealing with,” Dickinson said.

2. The Miami Hurricane, September 13, 2009
1306 Stanford Drive, Rm 221A, Coral Gables, FL 33146
http://www.themiamihurricane.com/2009/09/13/matthew-shepards-mother-speaks-out-against-hatred/
Matthew Shepard’s mother speaks out against hatred
By Caitlin Good


Judy Shepard mother of gay college student Matthew Shepard, who was murdered in Laramie, Wyo. and on whom the play and subsequent film The Laramie Project was based on, came to UM Friday to speak about diminishing hatred towards the gay community.
Dozens of students and faculty attended to hear Shepard’s speech at the Glasgow Lecture Hall in the School of Architecture.
The event was sponsored by SpectrUM, a club that provides support and organizes activities for all members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and straight community. Shepard’s speech marks SpectrUM’s fourth event this year.
Wanting to construct something positive out of the tragedy, Shepard launched the Matthew Shepard Foundation to not only commemorate her son, but prevent future hate crimes through awareness.
“We are who we are,” Shepard said. “We owe each other respect, at the very least.”
With a new president in office, Shepard remains optimistic for social and political changes. Shepard urged students to actively vote in elections and contact legislators to express the need for equal marriage and employment rights.
“We’re in a new millennium, and we can see how far we’ve come,” Aaron Esman, a junior and president of SpectrUM, said. “She did a great job connecting 11 years ago with what is happening today.”
Shepard blamed society and its teachings for sexual orientation prejudices. She shared her term silent, indifferent, and complacent (SIC). They are the characteristics that hinder people from embracing unfamiliar ideas.
“The same issues have faced every minority,” Shepard said.
As Shepard explained that hate is a product of fear and ignorance, she advocated education as a tool to eliminate discrimination and violence towards others.
Audience members grasped the importance of discussing the issue, rather than ignoring the clash of dissimilar views.
“The more we talk about it, the less people will be afraid,” sophomore Jesse Ray said.
Shepard addressed the common opposing argument for homosexuality that God sanctions marriage for a man and a woman. To dispel the religious claim, she noted that the New Testament simply urges readers to “love your fellow man.”
“We need to be disillusioned from the stigma that being gay is bad and separate it from religion,” Alex Suvall, a sophomore and secretary of SpectrUM, said. “Living by the books is very limiting.”
Shepard told a story of how during one of her speeches, a girl suggested that everyone who supported or affiliated themselves with the gay community should paint himself or herself blue on a certain day.
A visualization of the widespread support would convince people to openly come out, as well as look at the matter with a new perspective.
Esman agrees that making a cause personal has the potential to alter views.
“People think something will not affect them, without realizing how everyone is connected,” Esman said.
Students declared that UM’s diverse student population facilitates the acceptance of different sexual orientations.
“UM is pretty good in terms of integrating different types of people and collaborating with clubs,” Andrew Boysen, a senior, said.
In conjunction, sophomore Paige Giusfredi, Vice-President of SpectrUM, announced one of SpectrUM’s goals for the year.
“We’re really trying to make it more all-inclusive,” Giusfredi said. “We have a lot of allies involved.”

3. The Daily Aztec, September 14, 2009
San Diego State University, Education and Business Administration Building, San Diego, CA 92182-7700
http://www.thedailyaztec.com/features/boy-meets-boy-gay-dating-on-campus-easier-than-you-think-1.1875748
BOY MEETS BOY: Gay dating on campus easier than you think
By Allan Acevedo


Unquestionably, San Diego State has some of the most attractive people on campus. At least, that is a general stereotype I am perfectly happy perpetuating. The problem many of my friends and I face when we admire attractive people on campus is that we’re not sure who would also be interested in us; and it’s not because we’re out of their league. Actually, it’s because we bat for a different team.

For those of you who didn’t catch that subtlety: My friends and I are gay. It’s not always easy knowing who else around us is, and that makes finding Friday night dates that much harder.

Curious straight friends, freshmen, and new transfers always ask the same question: Where do you meet other gay people?

For the 21-and-older crowd, that question is usually answered with a list of all the gay bars in and around Hillcrest, the gay neighborhood in San Diego. Bars, however, leave little room to engage someone in conversation or get to know somebody. These places tend to be better for one-night stands or hookups.

If that’s what you’re into, there are many online sites you can check out such as: www.gay.com, www.manhunt.com and www.adam4adam.com, which are among the more promiscuous sites. In terms of lesbian sites, I’ve heard Web sites such as www.flawles.com and www.pinksofa.com.

Even with all of these online sites, there is still a void for people who are hoping to have a face-to-face connection and get to know that potential special someone.

On campus, some students attend Pride Action Committee or Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Student Union meetings that are held on a weekly basis. These meetings allow you to meet up with other gays on campus, but after the first few weeks, I’ve noticed it tends to be many of the same people who attend.

If you want to get more involved on campus, I’d caution not to play where you work. Many of us have had to deal with the awkward situation of working with an ex or a former one-night stand. With a smaller dating pool, this is even more likely to happen in the LGBT community.

Because the gay community is smaller, it’s easy to know or hear about other gay people on campus before you even meet them. This could put more pressure on an introduction, or even deter you from talking to someone you find attractive.

In my experience, there is no rhyme or reason to where or when you could bump into somebody gay who you may be interested in dating.

You don’t need to be surrounded by gay people all the time to meet someone. I’ve met people at work, on the bus on the way to school and even in class.

My current boyfriend, John, and I met at a charity fundraiser. His gal pal introduced us because she thought we’d be good friends. Once we started talking, we clicked right away.
Even though we began the night thinking we didn’t know anything about each other, it turned out we’d met before when he’d come in to volunteer for the local campaign against Proposition 8. When we became friends on Facebook we realized we had three other friends in common. This gave me the opportunity to do some investigation on this guy before it became too serious.

It’s unfortunate that the gay and straight ally community is small, especially on campus. But if you’re trying to find a special someone, use it to your advantage.

In reality, the closeness of the gay community is a pain when some of us may have a reputation, but it’s also your best friend when you want to know more about a person you’re interested in.

You don’t need to go on a sketchy Web site or get drunk at some gay bar only to find a one-night stand, unless that is what you’re in to. If you want to find a potential date, the best place to start is by asking your friends — gay or straight. We all know someone who is gay.

-Allan Acevedo is a political science and comparative literature junior.

-This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Daily Aztec.

4. Washington Post, September 14, 2009
1150 15th Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20071
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/09/14/disability_gay_rights_expert_p.html?wprss=44
Disability, Gay Rights Expert Picked for EEOC
By Garance Franke-Ruta


President Obama announced Monday his intent to nominate Chai R. Feldblum for Commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Feldblum, a law professor at Georgetown University Law Center, previously served as legislative counsel to the AIDS Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, where she played a role in the drafting of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

"She has also worked on advancing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights" and "been a leading expert on the Employment Nondiscrimination Act," according to a biography released by the White House.

Her degrees are from Harvard Law School and Barnard College, and she went on to clerk for Judge Frank Coffin on the First Circuit Court of Appeals and Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun.

The EEOC has five commissioners.

5. The Temple News, September 16, 2009
http://temple-news.com/2009/09/16/loving-your-body-as-lgbtq/
Loving your body as LGBTQ
By Joshua Fernandez


Whether gay or straight, no one is immune to insecurities.

It happens every Wednesday. Around 10 p.m., I get out of the shower, style my hair, throw on the “hippest” outfit I can and roll out of my apartment complex to a place many, but not I, call the gay mecca – Woody’s.
Once there, my posse and I head to our respective underage and 21-and-over entrances and reunite on the dance floor of Philly’s perhaps most infamous gay club. Everything is fine and dandy. We’re all dancing to Lady Gaga or the latest addictive pop hit, everyone is having a good time.
And then it all comes to a loud, ego-screeching halt (well, for me at least). Everyone in my group of friends, with the exception of those in relationships, is grinding up on someone. After a while, I start to feel like I’m missing out on something.
I go home after closing time, head immediately to the closest mirror and scrutinize my reflection. Aside from being drenched with sweat, the person I see in the mirror is someone I am proud of.
But after a while, I start nitpicking. I think to myself, “I could do without the round face. Maybe lose a little weight there, and my mid-section, definitely could lose a chunk of blubber out of my mid-section. Time to hit the gym.”
I’m a stellar friend. I’m witty. I’m funny. I’m an amusing character. When I can’t figure out why I haven’t attracted a guy at a stupid club, I automatically think it’s because I’m not a twig or a body-building gay. I’m somewhere in between. I’m an average guy with a larger-than-life persona.
So why do I feel there’s a hole in the “Josh package” because I don’t have pecs of steel, rock-hard abs or massive Popeye arms? My concern over this has led me to believe that I am not the only LGBT college-age individual with a body image problem.
Body image problems are not a gay thing, and they’re not a straight thing – body image issues are an every one thing.
I bring this up, though, because very little research has been done regarding the LGBT population and eating disorders. Numerous studies on this topic have been conducted for straight women, and rightfully so: eating disorders and body image issues definitely haunt a large number of young women. This type of research, though, tends to exclude LGBT-identified people.
Of the few studies that account for the LGBT community, one in particular was conducted by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. In April 2007, researchers surveyed 516 New York City residents, of which 125 were heterosexual males and the rest were gay or bisexual males and females.
The study found that 15 percent of gay or bisexual men had an eating disorder or symptoms of one at some point during their lives. Dr. IIan H. Meyers, who lead the research, couldn’t say why these men had eating disorders but hypothesized that it’s because of societal values that “promote a body-centered focus.”
Meyers found a correlation between the gay community and eating disorders. He noticed that of the male participants in the study, those who said they felt very connected to the gay community and were a part of various LGBT organizations didn’t have higher rates of eating disorders than those who were not as close with the LGBT community.
This study – “the first of its kind,” claims the school – is an excellent start, but more needs to be done. I want studies focusing on finding better patterns between eating disorders and the members of the LGBT community. I want another study that doesn’t seem gay or bisexual male oriented. I want this stuff to focus on lesbians and bisexual women as well.
Issues relating to body image affect us all.
Some body image problems are less severe, like my own, which revolves around me taking pot-shots at my form once in a blue moon. And not all these types of problems are related to being LGBT.
Two friends recently revealed to me that they experienced body image issues that led to eating disorders. While both are proud members of the LGBT community on campus and in Philadelphia, their eating disorders had very little to do with being gay.
“I was 14 when I was at my heaviest,” my male friend said. “I saw myself as lumpy and disproportional. I was surrounded [by my] swim team, and my grandmother would make comments about [my body].”
My lesbian friend revealed that her issues revolved around her parents.
“My family, especially my dad, was verbally and emotionally abusive,” she said. “I never found anyone as admirable as my mom, and I aspired to be like her, especially physically.”
Whatever the causes – pressure from gay culture, mainstream society in general, et cetera – it all boils down to one thing: the emphasis placed on the body.
Some days I wake up and walk past a mirror and think to myself, “Damn, you’re looking good.” Other days, I feel the complete opposite.
But either way, I’m tired of wasting time worrying that my body isn’t good enough. And you should too.
We as a society need to stop spending so much time and energy on our “imperfections.” For those of you who disregard this advice, you’ll likely regret it in three years, after spending so much time being critical of your bodies when you could have been having fun or finding someone who appreciates the whole package.
Josh Fernandez can be reached at josh.fernandez@temple.edu.

6. The Collegian, CSU Fresno, September 16, 2009
5201 N. Maple Ave., M/S SA42 Fresno, CA 93740-8027
http://collegian.csufresno.edu/2009/09/16/a-reel-flection-of-diversity/comment-page-1/
A Reel-flection of Diversity
By Angelica Cano


Twenty years ago, in a lecture hall on the campus of California State University, Fresno, the Fresno Reel Pride Gay and Lesbian Film Festival began as a one day event. In the two decades since, while its size and reputation have grown, the goal of showing quality, independent films with a unique perspective in Fresno hasn’t changed.
From the start, festival director Jon Carroll said the intent was to bring in films that allowed people “to hopefully learn a little bit more and understand what kind of experiences, issues and challenges the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community faces.”
The films have universality to them everyone can relate to, Carroll said. “Whether it was made by a gay filmmaker or a gay storyline, or whether the documentary was about L.G.B.T. issues, these films are the kinds of films that tell the same stories that everyone else experiences – love, lost, triumph over adversity,” said Carroll, who is also the Reel Pride Board Chairman.
Fresno artist Aileen Imperatrice and her husband have sponsored the festival since 2003 and said they have not found a better value for their money. “I have continuously been impressed with the caliber of films that have made their way to Fresno,” Imperatrice said in an e-mail to the Collegian. Reel Pride “gives such a positive reflection of the diversity of our community and is giving Fresno an incredible direct link to movers and shakers in the film and TV industry.”
A distinguishing facet of the festival is the exclusivity of its content. “A lot of the films are what you’d call independent cinema. They may have only one print or they’re made on a shoestring budget, they don’t get big blockbuster releases,” said Carroll, who added that without a program dedicated to bringing in such films, people may never get a chance to see them.
“That’s one of the great things about th film festival is that you get to experience something that no one else experiences,” Carroll said. “The festival is capturing a moment in time.”
Filmmaker and Reel Pride Board Member Paula Durette is thankful to see such superior content in the Central Valley. “There is a lack of artistic films in the commercial theater sector here in Fresno,” Durette said in an e-mail to the Collegian. “We are very fortunate that organizations such as Reel Pride and Fresno Filmworks are providing us with a variety of high caliber films that many in Fresno would miss otherwise.”
Film is the preferred mode of expression for Reel Pride. “When the lights go down a lot of preconceived notions, ideas and prejudices just sort of fall away,” Carroll said. “To experience the empathy that a good film provides and takes you on that journey – it does start to impact people.”
The festival’s programmers sort through hundreds of films from all over the world to find the ones that will make the final cut. This year’s festival consists of close to fifty films and features documentaries, feature and short films.
“It is the sixth oldest L.G.B.T. film festival in the country, and I think it gets better and better each year,” Durette said. “The film program this year is spectacular. There are so many incredibly smart and interesting films that will be shown. And Reel Pride isn’t just for the L.G.B.T. community. Anyone who likes great films won’t want to miss this.”
The Fresno Reel Pride Gay and Lesbian Film Festival kicks off Wednesday, Sept. 16 and runs through Sunday, Sept. 20. Reel Pride is offering a limited number of complimentary tickets on a first come, first served basis for students with a valid student I.D. except the opening and closing night films.

7. Anchorage Daily News, September 17, 2009
Box 149001, Anchorage, AK 99514
http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/938612.html
Talks by 'ex-gay' Anchorage man spark debate at UAF
The Associated Press


FAIRBANKS - An evangelist has stirred up controversy at the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a series of lectures about how he went from a gay teenager to a straight born-again Christian and happily married father.

Edward Delgado of Anchorage is offering 14 lectures this week, promoted by Campus Bible Ministries as an example of someone who left a gay lifestyle and how others can do the same.

Some students and faculty have been offended by the visit, particularly with a prominently displayed banner that says, "Gay? Lonely? Confused?"

The UAF Gay Straight Alliance and others have asked for it be taken down, but Chancellor Brian Rogers said he wouldn't order it removed. He mentioned the controversy during his convocation speech this week, saying he wants an inclusive campus, but freedom of speech is a core campus value.

"The university community must be one where we protect the freedom to speak, even when we find the speech disagreeable," Rogers said.

Karl W. Sapp, the events coordinator for Campus Bible Ministries, said there is no intent to be offensive. He noted that Delgado's lectures have been polite and respectful.

"We're not here to bash, we're not here to blame, we're not here to bruise," Sapp said. "We're here to help."

Four Gay Straight Alliance members silently protested outside Delgado's afternoon lecture on Wednesday. Chapter president Jessica Angelette said they plan to pass out literature they say debunks the claim that sexual orientation is a chosen lifestyle and causes harmful behavior.

Delgado speaks about his life as a gay teenager in Southern California, when he'd had 10 male sex partners by age 19. He said a suggestion by a friend to read the New Testament led to a religious awakening, which has allowed him to live happily as a straight man. He is a deacon at a Baptist church, has been married to a woman for 16 years and has two sons.

8. Pride Source, September 17, 2009
11920 Farmington Road, Livonia, Michigan 48150
http://www.pridesource.com/article.html?article=37610
U of M welcomes Indonesian gay rights pioneer
Between The Lines News


The University of Michigan will welcome Dede Oetomo, one of the principal founders of Indonesia's gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender queer and intersex rights movement, as a Martin Luther King - Cesar Chavez - Rosa Parks Visiting Professor on Sept. 22 - 24.

Oetomo will also give a public lecture on "The LGBTIQ Movement in Indonesia" at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 22 at the International Institute at 1080 S. University. The event is free.

Oetomo is founder and trustee of GAYa NUSANTARA Foundation, and is Indonesia's premier gay rights activist. Beginning over 30 years ago as a U.S.-trained doctor in linguistics and co-author of the major text for teaching Indonesian language to Americans, Dede used his position within the Indonesian academy to begin advocating for the rights of gay and lesbian Indonesians, who at that time were almost an invisible group in any public sense. Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim-majority nation, and in the late 1970s was also one of the world's largest authoritarian regimes. To publicly advocate for the rights of gay, lesbian and gender-variant Indonesians was, at the time, as it remains today, a daunting and courageous undertaking.

Founded in 1979, GAYa NUSANTARA was the first gay rights organization in southeast Asia, and remains one of its most vibrant and effective, particularly around issues of HIV/AIDS.

From 1984-2003, Oetomo was a lecturer at the faculty of Social and Political Sciences of Universitas Airlangga in Surabaya. He resigned when the faculty's Masters program in sexuality studies was blocked by management. Since that time, he has been working full-time within GAYa NUSANTARA and lecturing at Universitas Surabaya. He is now an organization trustee, undertaking research, training, advocacy and mentoring second- and third-generation Indonesian gay activists.

As a gay activist, Oetomo argues that in addition to community mobilizing and provision of safe space, it remains important to engage in contestation of knowledge with opponents of gay emancipation. To this end, he is a prolific publisher or articles for the print media in Indonesia.

Oetomo's public lecture on "The LGBTIQ Movement in Indonesia" will explore organizing based on gender identity since the late 1960s and on sexual orientation since the early 1980s in Indonesia. He will look at how emancipatory community development and the HIV program were the initial impetus to organizing, and how after the change of governments in 1998, the increasingly conducive conditions for democratization and human rights have facilitated the growth of a movement diversifying into film and arts, feminism, health and human rights.

Special consideration will be given to knowledge production and alliance building as strategies for strengthening the movement.

During his time in Ann Arbor, Oetomo will also lecture in classes at the university, and will meet with students and faculty in both Southeast Asian Studies and Gay-Lesbian-Queer Studies.

Oetomo's visit is sponsored by the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, the Spectrum Center and the Lesbian-Gay-Queer Research Initiative, as well as by the Centers for Southeast Asian Studies at Northern Illinois University and Ohio University.

9. The Michigan Messenger, September 18, 2009
http://michiganmessenger.com/26440/msu-ex-gay-website-will-remain-hosted-on-school-servers
MSU: ‘Ex-gay’ website will remain hosted on school servers
By Todd A. Heywood


EAST LANSING — After assuring LGBT activists and leaders for two years that a controversial website would be removed from its computer servers, Michigan State University said last week it will continue to host the website of the ex-gay ministry Corduroy Stone.

In an email, David Gift, vice provost for libraries, computing and technology at MSU, told Michigan Messenger that the universityʼs hands are tied because Mike Jones, who runs the site that promotes therapy as a way to convert gay individuals to a straight lifestyle, is a retired university employee:

We have made systematic progress over the past year at removing public purchased web publishing and e-mail accounts that had been established at MSU. However, retirees have the benefit of continued use of their MSU web space and our existing policies for controlling their use of that space are quite limited and do not permit us to address this particular case. The owner of this site is a retiree, and after we closed his purchased account under our general change of business practices he set up shop in his retiree space. He apparently has arranged for a .com URL, but has that URL redirected to his MSU personal webspace.

The website became an issue in June 2007 when the American Family Association of Michigan hired a plane to fly over the Motor City Pride celebration in Ferndale. The plane dragged an aerial advertisement behind it advertising a website for ex-gay programs, which included Corduroy Stone. At that time, MSU officials said the website would be removed. But in March 2008, the website remained. Officials at the time said it had been an oversight and the website would be disabled. Apparently, based on Giftʼs email, the site was disabled, but Mike Jones, the man who runs Corduroy Stone, is allowed website space because of his retiree status. He hasmoved the organizationʼs web pages to his personal MSU account.

Terry Denbow, vice president for university relations, explained MSUʼs decision via an email:

The point is that we do allow retirees to have Web spaces that link to other organizations. The fact that this organization has material that is offensive does not, in and of itself, violate any University policies. We cannot, under the First Amendment, make content based distinctions on what sites we allow and which ones we do not. We are continuing to review and update our acceptable use policies and will take this under advisement as we do so. In the meantime, so long as Mr. Jones is in compliance with U policy, his web space will remain available to him.

Denbow said that while the university was blocked from further action under current policies, it might be time to revisit those policies.

While MSUʼs hands may well be tied due to the First Amendment, experts and activists say the content of the website is still false and even dangerous to the well-being of LGBT people.

Jack Drescher, a New York-based psychiatrist, distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a member of that organizationʼs working group on sexual and gender identity issues, called the websiteʼs content irresponsible. In an email to Michigan Messenger he wrote:

Both the American Psychiatric Association and more recently the American Psychological Association have raised strong warnings about the lack of scientific evidence supporting sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) as well as the possible harm that these practices sometimes cause. A publicly funded State University should, in principle, provide a forum for a diverse range of community voices. However, since ex-gay ministries make hopeful promises that they cannot keep to many hopeless and desperate individuals, providing such a group with the appearance of official university sanction may unintentionally do more harm than good.

Earlier this year, the American Psychological Association released a report on reparative therapy for gay individuals, calling the practice harmful and illegitimate.

Wayne Besen, executive director of the national organization Truth Wins Out, which opposes the ex-gay movement, also called on the university to remove the website:

“Michigan State should cancel Jonesʼ e-mail address and immediately stop hosting his site. It gives the false impression that the university endorses a dangerous form of therapy that was just condemned by the American Psychological Association.”

Besen is particularly familiar with Corduroy Stone because when he was in Grand Rapids earlier this year to speak at an event at Grand Valley State University aimed at countering the national ex-gay conference held locally. While there, he met Patrick McAlvey, 24, of Lansing, who says he was victimized by Jones and the Corduroy Stone programs. He even went so far as to do a video interview with Besen, which was posted last month on YouTube. And Besen features McAlveyʼs story on his website.

“As both a graduate of Michigan State University and a recovering victim of Mr. Jonesʼ “ex-gay” therapy I find it sickening that the Corduroy Stone website continues to be supported by MSU. It is horrifying to think that taxpayer money, including my own, is supporting Mr. Jones and his strange and dangerous “work” with Corduroy Stone,” said McAlvey in an email to Michigan Messenger. “I am disturbed that this use of MSU server space could be be mistakenly interpreted as lending Corduroy Stone some sort of credibility it certainly doesnʼt deserve and in reality does not enjoy.”

10. The Daily Aztec, September 15, 2009
San Diego State University, Education and Business Administration Building, San Diego, CA 92182-7700
http://www.thedailyaztec.com/city/lgbt-minor-now-offered-1.1877977
LGBT minor now offered
By Kristina Blake


San Diego State has become the third university in the CSU system to offer a minor in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender studies. The new minor was approved last October and became official at the start of this academic year.

SDSU director of diversity, Aaron Bruce, said that the minor is an important addition to the list of minors and majors the university already offers.

“It gives all students an opportunity to develop valuable cultural competencies,” Aaron Bruce said. “As students graduate into a diverse workforce it is important they have an understanding of the true value of differences. Offering LGBT Studies at SDSU contributes to a wealth of scholarly research in a field overlooked by many universities. This new minor demonstrates the SDSU commitment to being leaders in diversity.”

Women’s Studies Professor Esther Rothblum, the program’s adviser, said the minor was a great addition to the school’s offerings, even during the current budget crisis. Because the minor consolidates courses that have already been established on campus for years, the school did not need to pay for additional courses or hire new faculty members.

“It’s a great way to bring all these courses together,” Rothblum said. “One of the advantages of this minor is now we have pulled all the courses together, so students actually know what exists.”

Edith Benkov, chair of the SDSU Senate, professor of French and chair of European Studies, teaches one of the required courses for the minor. Benkov has taught General Studies 322, Gay and Lesbian History and Culture, for more than five years.

She said the new minor can easily complement any academic major because the faculty members involved in LGBT Studies specialize in a variety of fields.

“There are a lot of LGBT students on campus and so they’re interested in (the minor) to learn more about their history and issues relating to them in arts and culture and media,” Benkov said. “Also, it’s a really good thing for the general student because it’s a way to learn about a group that you might not automatically recognize.”

According to Rothblum, about 20 students have either officially signed up for the minor or have contacted her about doing so. Eventually, she said she would be interested in initiating a LGBT major.

11. The Daily Iowan, September 15, 2009
100 Adler Communications Building, Iowa City, IA 52242-2004
http://www.dailyiowan.com/2009/09/15/Metro/12880.html (Click link for slideshow.)
Participation in LGBT organizations high
By Emily Busse


When UI student Cody Shafer came out at 15 years old to his religious family and his small, conservative community of Wapello, Iowa, the fear was “debilitating.”

But Shafer’s teachers and peers rallied to support him. He even took his boyfriend to the prom.

Now 22, Shafer is a leader in many local lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender organizations. He said coming out at a young age, combined with the progressiveness of Iowa City, is what helps many UI students open up during their college years.

And that has been proven in recent years.

Local leaders said they are seeing a spike in participation and are beginning to have a larger presence in Iowa City.

“Involvement’s definitely higher,” said Shafer, who serves as senator for UI Student Government. “It just keeps getting bigger.”

Laurie Haag, the Women’s Resource and Action Center program developer, said she has seen more first-year students who have already come out to family and friends before entering college, a trend that encourages students to get involved.

“Where it used to be you might come to college thinking you might be different and spend a couple years figuring that out,” she said. “Now, you’ve already spent those couple of years figuring that out, and when you get here, you’re ready to be who you are.”

Several officials said they’ve seen a marked increase of participation, though no numbers were available.

Iowa City’s history as a progressive community also adds to increased participation, Haag said.

The UI’s Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, Bisexual, and Allied Union was the first officially recognized student organization of its kind at a state university, Shafer said. It’s also the longest running and most continually funded organization.

And with Iowa City, the more than 20-year-old Pride Month celebration, history of activism, and recent legislation protecting against hate crimes add to the community’s long-standing reputation, Haag said.

“People know that Iowa City and [the] UI especially are really open and affirming and have a really positive community,” Shafer said. “A lot of people feel safe here.”

That there are “resources abound” both on campus and in the community helps create an inclusive atmosphere for students, Shafer said.

These resources offer UI students the opportunity to “be the person you believe you are,” Haag said.

“I just really encourage students to step outside the box they’ve been in all their lives and explore and check new things out,” Haag said. “For someone who identifies as gay or lesbian, this may be the first time they’ve had to do that.”

But in addition to student groups and UI resources, entertainment venues across town offering drag shows showcase the community’s increased acceptance as well, Shafer said.

“It’s great to go watch a performance. It’s a lot of energy, it’s fun and it’s quirky,” Shafer said, noting that even his straight male friends enjoy the shows.

The fear of being stigmatized by attending these events is becoming “less and less,” he said.

“It’s really great to see that aspect of the community not hiding itself,” he said. “It’s great to see them be comfortable and perform and be able to have a good time in their own skin, how they feel they should be.”

12. St. Louis Today, September 17, 2009
900 N. Tucker Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63101
http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/lifestyle/stories.nsf/healthfitness/story/8C568192445B86B08625763300731480?OpenDocument
Traveling exhibit focuses on transgender people
By Harry Jackson Jr., St. Louis Post-Dispatch


Arthur Robinson Williams wants his fellow medical students to know more about the unique challenges of patients who are lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual.

So he has produced a traveling documentary exhibit, "My Right Self: Transgender Considerations." It's composed of 25 photos and personal stories. On Monday, Washington University School of Medicine will be the next stop on its U.S. tour.

"The average medical school spends three to four hours on transgender issues," said Williams, a fourth-year medical student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "I've run across schools with no coverage of gay, lesbian or transgender issues."

The display will run through Oct. 9 in the atrium of the Farrell Learning and Teaching Center, 520 South Euclid Avenue. Hours are 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The appearance is sponsored by LGBT Lesbian Health Interest Group, an organization at the medical school.

Matt Zinter, a third-year medical student at WU and a spokesman for the LGTB Group, said while the university includes classes on treating lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual patients, the exhibit should increase awareness of problems that range from physical issues to mental health issues.

Some people, because of discrimination and stigmas, don't visit doctors, avoid health screenings and end up allowing their health to get so bad they can't be treated, he said.

"The images are meant to confront and dispel myths around this community," he said.

13. The Badger Herald, September 17, 2009
326 W. Gorham St., Madison, WI 53703-2017
http://badgerherald.com/news/2009/09/17/asm_funding_for_lgbt.php
ASM: Funding for LGBT trip center of debate
By Whitney Trotta


Students across various campus groups fought, unsuccessfully for the moment, for ASM funding to attend the National Equality March for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender equal rights.

A considerable number of students came to the ASM meeting to show their support for the National Equality March and to request somewhere in the range of $10,000 to $20,000 to provide buses to the event held in Washington, D.C.

ASM members debated on whether funding such an event falls within the realm of their power.

One reason being the trip has already received $960 from ASM, which event organizer Jessie Otradovec said is only half of what they requested and not nearly the amount they need.

Otradovec estimated about 110 people have expressed interest in the trip. She added her concern lies with a great deal of students that have expressed their desire to go but lack the funds to pay for the trip.

Sophomore Nathan Maney made his plea to ASM, saying he believes the trip is a worthy cause for the university to back, yet he is unable to afford the trip.

“If ASM funds this it will allow a lot of students in the same situation to go,” Maney said.

Currently several students and groups are organizing fundraising for the event and have raised $2,700 thus far, but with the two buses they have reserved for the trip they need a total of $9,750 to take 110 people at a cost of $88 per person.

“I feel the university would benefit from this march, not just for LGBT people, but for people in general because it advances rights for everyone when you have one group succeed,” Maney said.

Although several ASM members expressed their support for funding, there was uncertainty on a number of different topics, such as if supporting the event represents all students’ views on campus, where the funding would come from and if they could vote on it disregarding viewpoint neutrality.

Jonathan Elmergreen, a sophomore representing the Gay-Straight Alliance in Chadbourne Residential College, said the issue affects many students on campus and going to the event would bring back a new motivation to continue fighting for equal rights.

Regardless if the event is worthy of support, the fact that ASM might not be able to fund the group was the main point of debate.

“It is a blatant attempt to circumvent the funding system that is the foundation of the ASM Finance Committee. Approving this legislation would be the equivalent of slapping my committee, and each member of my committee, in the face,” said Finance Committee Chair Matt Beemsterboer.

With various viewpoints and arguments heard, no unanimous decision could be reached, and the representatives voted to postpone discussion indefinitely.

“I can’t think of any reasons why it’s not entirely appropriate for ASM to publically declare its support for equality on this march,” said Rep. Erik Paulson, a Badger Herald columnist.

He added he expects this issue of funding the National Equality March to be on the agenda at the next ASM meeting.

14. The Daily Targum, September 17, 2009
126 College Ave. Suite 431, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
http://www.dailytargum.com/news/fda-hinders-u-blood-donation-policy-1.1883602
FDA hinders U. blood donation policy
By Cagri Ozuturk


The Rutgers University Senate is exploring ways to avoid violating its own non-discrimination policy for blood donations, due to a Food and Drug Administration policy of denying donations from males who have had sex with other males.
“We have worked diligently for the FDA to review this policy, explaining what we believe to be a fair policy and why it would be safe to allow them donations, but you can only be in operation if you follow the guidelines of the FDA,” said Assistant Director of Hurtado Health Center Dr. Dorothy Kozlowski.
The senate was charged with finding out whether the FDA regulation violates the University’s non-discrimination policy. Though their research will not be finalized until December, so far they have found it does not violate the University’s policy.
“There is a distinct difference between homosexuals and ‘men who have had sex with men,’ as a homosexual male who is a virgin would be permitted to donate blood, but also, a straight male who has happened to have sex with another male would not. There is a fine line there which should be noted,” said Student Affairs Committee Co-chair Kevin Wild, who is a Rutgers-Newark University College junior.
Men who have had sex with other men at any time since 1977, which was when the AIDS epidemic began in the United States, are deferred as blood donors, according to the FDA Web site.
“The University is obligated to follow the rules and regulations of the blood service centers who are regulated by the FDA,” Kozlowski said. “The benefit is great and we feel very honor-bound to continue to approach the FDA to review their policy, but through the generosity of many students, faculty and staff who have donated blood, we know that blood donation does save lives.”
The Student Affairs Committee reached out to the University General Counsel, which stated blood drives do not violate the non-discrimination policy, Wild said.
They have also contacted University Health Services and the University Blood Drive Committee, who said men who have had sex with men make up a small percentage of reasons why people are excluded from donating blood, Wild said.
“It is from these three expert opinions that the Student Affairs Committee plans on reporting that blood drives do not violate the non-discrimination clause of University Policy,” Wild said. “I anticipate this occurring at the October meeting of the University Senate.”
In order to assuage feelings of exclusion, the committee will recommend that all blood drives at the University should be registered through the University Blood Drive Committee, in addition to a full listing of donor requirements be made public outside the room where donations are made, the elimination of donor incentives and a warning in all advertisements about eligibility requirements.
“I think blood donation is important but the act of not allowing members of the [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] community is a very discriminating act,” said Co-President of LLEGO Shawnna James, a School of Arts and Sciences junior. “I’m looking forward to seeing the discussion about this topic in the University Senate. I don’t see why that’s a policy in the first place if blood is screened regardless.”
After blood is donated, it is tested for hepatitis, HIV and syphilis, among other transmissible conditions, according to the New York Blood Center’s Web site, which is the parent company of the New Jersey Blood Center.
According to the FDA Web site, men who have had sex with men have a higher risk of donating during a “window period,” where low levels of the HIV virus make it difficult to detect it.
“I’m working for a blood drive coalition for the state of New Jersey for increasing donor supplies, and hopefully the state will also take a look at this issue and continue to work with the FDA on this,” Kozlowski said. “I work with people in the hospital association, Metlife [and] Rewardis.”
The Rutgers University Student Assembly’s University Affairs Committee is working on a similar project with members of the LGBT community to show the potential of those who are denied blood donation.
“They will bring friends to give blood in the name of a gay friend to see how much more blood would be given if this policy wasn’t enacted,” said University Affairs Chair Ben West, a Rutgers College senior. “This is a federal policy … but it does violate the non-discrimination policy, but we can’t just stop giving blood because a lot of groups benefit from it.”
The Food and Drug Administration is part of the federal government, which regulates policy regarding blood donation. For more information on their policy, you can visit http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/BloodBloodProducts/QuestionsaboutBlood/ucm108186.htm.

15. The Crimson White, September 18, 2009
923 University Blvd., Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
http://www.cw.ua.edu/sga-supports-sexual-orientation-program-1.1883879
SGA supports sexual orientation program
By Karissa Bursch


Members of the SGA are being encouraged to participate in the Alabama Safe Zone program, according to a resolution passed at Thursday’s SGA Senate meeting.

The Alabama Safe Zone program’s intent is to provide a safe support network of volunteers for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students, collectively known as the LGBTQ community, and other individuals seeking information regarding sexual orientation, gender identity, harassment and discrimination, according to the resolution.

Two UA students started the Safe Zone program in 2002, and it was restarted in 2007, according to the UA Safe Zone Web site.

According to the resolution, 699 faculty, students and staff have participated in Safe Zone training since 2007, and 474 volunteered to become LGBTQ allies. Of these, 388 made themselves available to students by listing their names and contact information on the Safe Zone Web site.

Sen. Amanda Reyes, a senior majoring in interdisciplinary studies in New College, authored the resolution. She said the SGA should make a point to provide for all different types of communities on campus.

“I think that in order for the SGA to make public policy we need to show that it is continually conscious of student diversity,” Reyes said. “In order to make policies about certain communities, we need to know these communities.”

Reyes said Capstone Alliance, the on-campus LGBTQ faculty alliance group, runs the program while Spectrum and other LGBTQ students help facilitate the training.

“We need to be aware of the issues facing the LGBTQ community on campus,” Reyes said.

While the UA Safe Zone program especially works to ensure the well-being and safety of LGBTQ students, the program also can be beneficial to any type of student, Reyes said.

“It helps students realize the types of issues and concerns that could face all types of minority groups, not just the LGBTQ community,” Reyes said.

Reyes said it also was a good leadership opportunity for students.

“I really want to encourage all students, not just SGA members, to participate in these trainings,” Reyes said. “This way we are all getting to know the issues facing the community.”

The UA Safe Zone program ensures the continuing validity of the Equal Opportunity in Education and Employment statement in the University’s non-discrimination policy, according to the resolution.

While the passage of that specific portion of the non-discrimination policy took a while, the UA Safe Zone program is a step in the right direction, Reyes said.

“UA took too long for Equal Opportunity in Education and Employment portion of the non-discrimination policy to be included,” Reyes said. “In my mind, as soon as it was added to the laws of our nation, our university, being a public university, should’ve added it right away without being asked.”

Reyes said she is not only encouraging SGA members and other students to volunteer with a part the network but to also to use the resource the Safe Zone network provides.

“This is a great resource, especially for freshman who are LGBTQ,” Reyes said. “A lot of times students feel isolated because they don’t know who they can talk to. Nobody, especially the University, wants students to feel alienated.”

Another resolution passed at the meeting encouraged the promotion of the aquatics center to sports teams as well as students. The SGA Senate also passed a resolution thanking and recognizing Bama Dining for its Go Green initiatives by installing plaques in Lakeside Dining Hall and the Ferguson Center.

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