Queer News On Campus [QNOC] Articles Digest
For the week ending 2010.11.07
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
1. The Mercury (UT-Dallas) - Remember it 'gets better'
2. OutSports - Kye Allums: Transgender man playing NCAA women's basketball
3. The New York Times - Transgender Man Is on Women’s Team
4. The Courier-Journal - Dealing with Difference: Gay, transgender students discuss bullying in college
5. Emerson College - Emerson Embraces Queer Studies
6. The GW Hatchet - University creates LGBT minor: New minor in CCAS to focus on LGBT issues
7. Dallas Voice - UT Arlington GSA honors David Mack Henderson
8. The Emory Wheel - Admins Focus on LGBT Visibility
9. Detroit Free Press - Assistant AG Andrew Shirvell lampooned on 'Daily Show'
10. The Independent Florida Alligator - Campus groups, services reach out to LGBT students
11. The Cavalier Daily (University of Virginia) - Awards recognize equality boosters
12. The Daily Targum (Rutgers University) - Transgender students seek more housing options
13. The Augusta Chronicle - Keeton says she tried to bargain
14. Detroit Free Press - U-M's ban on Andrew Shirvell modified
15. The Daily Helmsman (University of Memphis) - GLBT to educate staff members
16. Arizona Daily Wildcat - ASUA considers LGBTQ housing
17. Windy City Times - ISU gay-rights group marking 39 years
18. Windy City Times - UIC center marks 15th
19. Calgary Herald - Centre for gay students opens at U of C
20. The Badger Herald (University of Wisconsin) - Panel: Prominent leaders must recognize, accept LGBT rights
21. The Northern Iowan - Dwight Watson speaks at CROW forum
22. The Mirror - Promoting Acceptance: Gay Straight Alliance pushes for a stronger feeling of equality within the community
23. The Houstonian (Sam Houston State University) - Gay-straight alliance plants roots at SHSU
24. Houston Chronicle - Professor tries to get to the root of bullying: Study finds gender roles can be behind harassment toward the LGBT community
1. The Mercury (UT-Dallas), October 31, 2010
800 W.Campbell Road, SU 24,Richardson, TX 75083-0688
Remember it 'gets better'
By Danelle Adeniji
On Oct. 20, the National Day of Remembrance, people across the nation and campus wore purple to honor the memories of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (lgbt) teens who took their lives.
Throughout September a total of ten lives, ranging in from ages 13-19, were ended. These suicides had one thing in common - bullying.
The case that brought anti-gay bullying back into the light was Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi who committed suicide September because two students videotaped him in an intimate encounter with a man and broadcast the video online.
This issue has exploded the past month according to Dana Rudolph in her Oct. 10 article "Bullied to Death."
Writer Dan Savage started the "It Gets Better Project" in September for lgbt teens who have no one to talk to or no one to turn to. One of the goals was for older and openly gay lgbt adults to show lgbt teens that life will get better, Savage said.
Various people have contributed to the "It Gets Better Project" ranging from the President of the United States to students from UTD.
Vice President of PRIDE at UTD and business administration junior Kathleen Tinker was motivated to be a part of the "It Gets Better Project" after learning about the string of suicides in September.
Within days a group of students consisting of Tinker, emerging media and communications junior Chelsea Sargent, computer science freshman Greg Slagel, Arts & Technology senior Dan Trinh and Arts & Humanities junior Peter Haddox came together to film a message to live, Tinker said.
"There is so much more for them to live for," Tinker said. "Suicide is a touchy issue for me and even though it's their choice, I wish they hadn't done it."
Tinker said she believes lgbt teens will be motivated by the older generation.
As an adult Arts & Technology graduate student Luis Midence said society should change the message it sends to the younger generation.
"If we keep putting labels on everything, we are creating ‘others' and that makes it hard to get along," Midence said.
Midence said that he moved to the United States because of the freedom it has to offer. When Midence moved to the United States in 1998 he came during the time Matthew Shepard's story was gaining national attention.
Shepard was a 21-year- old student at the University of Wyoming. He was tortured and killed in October 1998. During the trial, witnesses stated that Shepard was targeted because he was gay. According to an exposé on Shepard on 20/20 in 2004 his murder brought international attention to the issue of hate crime legislation at the state and federal levels.
Midence said that he hasn't seen that type of public reaction until now.
In December 2009 Midence wrote and directed the short-film "Uncertain" in response to three lgbt teenagers who had taken their lives in April 2009 due to anti-gay bullying and harassment.
The film depicts the drowsy-dream of a gay teenage boy overdoses on pills to end his life because of the harassment and anti-gay bullying he faces at school.
Midence wanted to continue the conversation about ways to stop anti-gay bullying.
"This short video project is inviting viewers to participate in a constructive conversation by asking questions regarding teen suicide, school bullying and lgbt issues," Midence said.
Midence said he believes a change can come by understanding the other person and being knowledgeable about what is going on.
"Another young person should not have to die because of the intolerance of others," Midence said.
2. OutSports, November 1, 2010
Kye Allums: Transgender man playing NCAA women's basketball
By Cyd Zeigler
Not many people noticed a slight change on the George Washington University website earlier this year. It concerned a player on the school’s women’s basketball team named Kay-Kay Allums. Just a couple letters were taken away, a Y was moved and an E was added to form the player’s new name: Kye Allums. To most people it was meaningless, but to Allums the change was the most significant of his lifetime.
“A name is just a bunch of letters, but the letters make up a word and the words that make up my name have so many more emotions behind them,” Allums said. "My old name, that’s just not me. When I hear Kye, everything feels okay, everything is right.”
For the last 20 years, Kay-Kay Allums had appeared to the world as female. She was born with the anatomy that other women have. Her mom tried to dress her in only the most feminine clothes. But inside was a man waiting to burst out of the female body he was born in.
On Nov. 13, Kye Allums will introduce himself to the NCAA basketball world at the Best Buy Classic in Minneapolis in a game against the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. When he steps foot on the court, Allums will be the first publicly transgender person to play NCAA Div. 1 college basketball.
Allums grew up in the small town of Hugo, Minn., a half hour north of Minneapolis. Head coach Mike Bozeman scheduled the tournament appearance as a homecoming for him, long before he transitioned to male. The junior guard’s inaugural game identifying as a man will also be the first time he has played in front of his hometown crowd. While Allums is making a change now, most of his family and friends will recognize him as the same old Kye.
Growing up, Allums was a tomboy. The oldest of four kids, he would often say he was a boy despite being born a biological girl. Around age 12, he realized that no other girls behaved or dressed the way he did, so he adopted some of the trappings of other girls his age: Putting on make-up, wearing skirts and dresses. After just a year of putting up a feminine front, it was back to the tomboy clothes and wondering why he just didn’t fit in.
“I’ve always felt most comfortable dressing like a boy, but my mom would take all of my clothes from me and she’d force me to wear girl clothes,” Allums said. “I’d bring sweats and basketball shorts and put them in my backpack. I’d just change every day when I got to school, and I had to change back before I went home. It was annoying, but it was the only way I could go to school.”
In high school, Allums met other people who acted and dressed like him: They were lesbians. For the next few years Allums identified as lesbian, finally fitting into a group that he could define. As he progressed deep into his teens, despite their similar dress and manner, he realized he just didn’t fit with the lesbians at his school either.
It was a text message from his mother during his freshman year at George Washington that flipped the switch. They were in a fierce texting battle when his mother wrote, “Who do you think you are, young lady?” The answer was suddenly crystal clear to him: He wasn’t a young lady at all.
“I used to feel like trans anything was really weird and those people were crazy, and I wondered, ‘How can you feel like that?’” Allums said. “But I looked it up on the Internet and I thought, ‘Oh my god, I’m one of those weird people.’ And I realized they’re not weird. It’s all in your mindset and how you think.”
Early in his sophomore year, Kye began to emerge. When people referred to Allums as “she” or “girl,” he was quick to correct them. He distanced himself from the name Kay-Kay.
“When people refer to me as ‘girl’ or ‘she,’ it doesn’t sit well with me,” Allums said. “That feeling you get when someone pisses you off, that feeling you get when your stomach gets hot and it aches, that’s what it feels like. And that’s how I know I’m not supposed to be a girl. If I was, I’d be walking around like everybody else, getting make-up and doing my nails. But it doesn’t sit well with me.”
It was during his sophomore year that Allums told some teammates he was a man inside a woman’s body. At first, they didn’t believe him. They joked with him about it. But Allums was serious, and when he is on a mission everyone takes notice.
“We were all just talking, a bunch of teammates, and he said that he’s a guy,” said teammate Brooke Wilson, one of Allums’ closest friends on the team. “At first I didn’t understand, and then he explained that sex is how you’re born and gender is how you identify yourself. Then I started to understand.”
Allums began to correct everyone who referred to him with female pronouns; everyone, that is, except his head coach. The person Allums feared telling the most was Bozeman. Comments from the coach about religion had made Allums feel a little uneasy. He didn’t think his head coach would ever be able to wrap his head around the idea that he was coaching a man on a women’s team. Eventually, the internal pressure to be himself became too great for even Allums’ stubborn strength to repress.
“I was gonna have to hide a piece of me that was really important,” Allums said. “All my teammates knew. I don’t like keeping things from coach; I’m a very open person. It got to the point where I decided I wasn’t going to go through a whole season with my coach not really knowing me, even though I knew it would probably make him feel uncomfortable.”
The moment of truth came one day in June when Bozeman tracked down Allums in his dorm room to talk about another issue. When Allums eventually turned the topic to his transition, it became a difficult conversation. Allums explained, as best he could, that he was a man and had always been a man. When Bozeman asked Allums if God made a mistake, he didn’t know how to respond. It wasn’t going well. But at some point in the conversation, the tone changed.
“Why would you think I wouldn’t have your back?” Allums remembered Bozeman asking. “I’ve had your back through everything. Our relationship has grown from nothing to this, and now you think I’d just turn my back on you because you told me this? No. I love you and I’ll always be here for you.”
A request made through the university to speak to Bozeman was denied. Instead, Bozeman released this statement: “The George Washington University women’s basketball program, including myself, support Kye’s right to make this decision.”
Allums realizes now he should have known better than to assume the worst from his coach.
“Everybody’s pretty much accepting of everyone on the team. Everybody is different,” said Wilson. “We’re teammates, we’re like family. It’s a bunch of brothers and sisters. Everybody brings their life and issues to the family.”
In this basketball family, Allums has become the eccentric big brother. He’s the only player whose major, Interior Design, is artistic in nature. And when teammates get new boyfriends, they have to run them by Allums for approval. Having grown up taking care of his younger siblings, it’s a role that comes naturally.
“If you mess with one of my teammates,” Allums said, “you’re going to have to deal with me.”
Approaching his first women’s basketball season as a man has its potential dilemmas. At the top of the list is the use of locker rooms. While women’s teams have traditionally used the women’s locker room, Washington, D.C., law ensures individuals “the right to use gender-specific restrooms and other gender-specific facilities such as dressing rooms… that are consistent with their gender identity or expression.”
Candace Smith, spokesperson for George Washington University, said, "The university will work with Kye and Kye’s teammates on these issues."
Some opposing fans will be licking their chops to hurl other names at Allums. He has already heard taunts from fans for years: With a masculine build, opposing fans regularly try to insult him, calling him a “man.” What those fans don’t know is that Allums relishes it.
“I love it,” Allums said. “I say, ‘Yeah, you’re right.’ It makes me feel better about myself to hear them call me a man.”
As Allums’ teammate, Wilson doesn’t expect to hear anything the team hasn’t already had to handle.
“They say things about me, they say things about coach, they say things about everybody,” Wilson said. “We’ve been through it all.”
Allums, who started 20 of his team’s 28 games last year, said it’s rare that he hears smack talk from opposing players. According to NCAA spokesperson Jennifer Royer, players are expected to adhere to the NCAA’s code of conduct on the court, and transphobic language falls under that code.
“In addition to educational sessions at the NCAA Convention, Gender Equity and Issues Forum, and other conferences and seminars, [the NCAA] Constitution addresses the principle of sportsmanship and ethical conduct, which outlines the NCAA’s expectation that student-athletes and others associated with athletics programs will adhere to values such as respect and civility,” Royer said.
At some point, questions will come as to whether Allums should be allowed to play on the women’s team. Losing his scholarship was a real concern for Allums just six months ago as the task of fully expressing himself while still playing basketball seemed overwhelming. As he’s educated himself, that fear has dissipated.
In October, the National Center for Lesbian Rights released a report called, “On The Team: Equal Opportunity for Transgender Student Athletes,” in conjunction with It Takes A Team. The report was developed with the help of many subject-matter experts, including the NCAA. One recommendation of the report is for schools to adopt polices that “focus on maximizing inclusiveness, rather than restricting students’ opportunities to participate based on their gender identity or expression.”
According to Royer, as long as Allums does not accept hormone treatments, he is eligible to participate in NCAA women’s sports.
“As the NCAA continues to examine best practices for transgender student-athlete participation,” Royer said, “the member schools are advised to consider the gender classification of student-athletes’ state identification documents, such as driver’s licenses and voter registration, to determine appropriate participation.”
Allums is further protected by Washington, D.C., law, which prohibits discrimination based on gender identity.
The issue remains a complicated one for many to grasp. One coach who asked to remain anonymous said he might have a problem if a team in his conference had a player who identified themselves as a man. The reasoning: Because Allums identifies as a man, everyone should treat him as such and he should be playing men’s sports. Still, Allums’ education is on the line, and he has a scholarship to play on the women’s basketball team. No such scholarship has been extended for him to play on the men’s team.
“There’s not just a one-sentence answer,” said former NCAA basketball head coach Helen Carroll, who co-authored NCLR’s trans-athlete report. “It’s much more complicated than him being a man so he should play men’s sports. Kye as an athlete should have an opportunity to play sports. Period. What that looks like gets complicated because Kye is a transgender athlete.”
Allums has been aware of NCAA regulations for years, and he’s made plans around them. Circled on his calendar is the last possible date he could play in an NCAA game, in April 2012: That’s the date he can begin hormone treatment. Between now and then, he does plan to have sex-reassignment surgery next summer before he plays out his senior season.
“The only thing I can’t do is take testosterone,” Allums said. “And I don’t need that anyway. I probably naturally have more than some of the guys on the guys’ team. If I get surgery, it doesn’t affect my play, it doesn’t enhance anything, I’m just taking something off my body, like if I lost a finger.”
Through all of this, Allums continues to struggle with the “trans” identity. He doesn’t understand why he has to be labeled by some people as “transgender” or “transsexual.” He sees nothing wrong with the label, and his days of viewing trans people as “weird” are long behind him. But at this point in his life, he sees himself as a guy, not “female-to-male.”
Allums does have a regret on his journey. It came when his head coach asked him if he thought God had made a mistake. He’s given that question a lot of thought, and he wishes he could have given a better answer.
“God didn’t make a mistake,” Allums said. “I was meant to be like this for a reason. Clearly my life is going to be different from anyone who was born a biological male, because of what I’ve been through. And I was meant to go through all of this.”
3. The New York Times, November 1, 2010
620 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10018
Transgender Man Is on Women’s Team
By Katie Thomas
Monday was a lazy day for Kye Allums, a typically busy junior playing Division I basketball at George Washington University. Without any classes or practice on his schedule, Allums woke up late, stopped in at a team meeting, worked on a class project, then took an afternoon nap.
But Monday was anything but ordinary because it was the day the world would learn about the decision Allums had embarked on one year earlier: to come out as a transgender man playing on a women’s basketball team.
Advocates for transgender athletes said they believed Allums was the first Division I college basketball player to compete publicly as a transgender person, although not the first to play as a college athlete. In a statement, a George Washington official said Allums would remain on the women’s basketball team.
Earlier this year, the university changed the roster published on its Web site to reflect Allums’s name change, from Kay-Kay to Kye, and future references will use male pronouns.
He noted that he was biologically identical to any other female, but said, “I just would prefer for people to call me a he.”
“I decided to do it because I was uncomfortable not being able to be myself,” Allums, 21, said in a telephone interview Monday, hours after an article about his experience was published on the Web site Outsports.com. “Just having to hear the words ‘she’ and ‘her,’ it was really starting to bother me.”
Helen Carroll, the sports project director at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said she expected other Division I athletes to follow in Allums’s footsteps. Already, she said, “we see younger and younger children, middle school and high school kids that are in athletics and are playing who are transgender.”
Carroll is the co-author of a report released last month meant to serve as a guide for schools and universities to develop fair policies for transgender athletes.
Allums, a guard who started 20 of the Colonials’ 28 games last season, said he grew up feeling that he was a man, and although he identified as a lesbian in high school, he came to the conclusion that he was transgender while he was a freshman in college.
In addition to the expected stress of breaking the news to family and friends, Allums said being a member of the women’s team complicated matters. He worried that he might lose his George Washington scholarship.
“Being an athlete intensifies everything,” he said. “I’m seen more. I’m in newspapers. I travel. I represent the school more so than a normal student would because they’re under wraps.”
The first people Allums told were his teammates, who, after initial disbelief, offered their support, he said. After that, he said he often relied on the team to break the news to others.
“They started to say things for me, like, ‘No, don’t call Kye her, say him,’ ” said Allums, who is an interior design major and plans to pursue a career as an architect or personal trainer. “They would say it to everybody.”
Allums told his coach, Mike Bozeman, in June. Bozeman said in a statement that the “George Washington University women’s basketball program, including myself, support Kye’s right to make this decision.”
Erik Christianson, a spokesman for the N.C.A.A., said in an e-mail that the association was planning a review of its policies toward transgender athletes but currently recommended following the gender classification on a student’s identification documents, like a driver’s license. George Washington officials have said that the N.C.A.A. told them that Allums was eligible for the women’s team because he had not undergone hormone treatments.
Allums said he would like to receive the treatments but had held off because he did not want to jeopardize his spot on the team.
He is looking forward to Nov. 13, when Allums and the team will compete at the Best Buy Classic in Minneapolis. The game will be his public debut as a transgender man playing on a women’s team, but it will take place on friendly turf. Allums grew up in St. Paul and the nearby town of Hugo, and the stands will be packed with old friends.
“We’re ready to go,” Allums said of the team, adding that the transition had improved his game. “I’m able to just focus on basketball now. My outside life is not really a distraction to me.”
4. The Courier-Journal, November 1, 2010
525 W. Broadway, P.O. Box 740031, Louisville, Ky., 40201-7431
Dealing with Difference: Gay, transgender students discuss bullying in college
By Katya Cengel
The suicide of Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi last month after video footage of him with another man was posted online brought the issue of harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender college students to the forefront.
During National Coming Out Week earlier this month, we sat down with a group of University of Louisville students from the LGBT community at the Intersection, a gathering place for LGBT students on campus, to talk about the bullying they face. While some of the students felt the hounding was worse in high school, most agreed it took on an added edge in college because of less-familiar surroundings.
“It's a little more frightening just in the fact that the people that did it to you in middle school and high school, you knew who they were, where they came from,” said Colton Wilson, a 20-year-old senior. “But at a university with 20,000 metropolitan students, you have no idea how to even confront that when it's someone you've never even met in your life.”
During Pride Week, an annual student-driven celebration of the LGBT community, Wilson said he overheard some students talking about how they wished one of their friends wouldn't be “so gay.” Wilson was walking in front of them in a LGBT Pride T-shirt and said he was hurt that they didn't consider how what they were saying would affect him.
Zack Wickham, also a senior, had a more confrontational experience while wearing a “legalize gay” shirt. A man got in Wickham's face and said, “Oh, really?” Wickham was taken aback. In high school, he said, you know who is going to give you trouble for being gay. But in college it can come up at any time, as it did with the guy who commented on his T-shirt. There may be more safe places for members of the LGBT community in college, but people can come into those spaces, said Wickham, 23.
“And sometimes the attacks will be even worse because in high school, there are at least consequences and sometimes you almost feel safer because teachers are there,” said Wickham.
Clay Berry found high school particularly tough because that is when he came out, but he understands how terrifying the singling out can be for a student who comes out in college.
“They're just finding themselves, and when you get attacked verbally or physically, heaven forbid you go back into the closet a bit and kind of second-guess yourself,” said Berry, a 21-year-old junior.
One thing straight people don't understand is that coming out is not a one-off thing, it is something people in the LGBT community do every day, he said. They must come out to their parents, friends, churches and the college community, and if someone else outs them first, it could have devastating consequences, such as their parents stopping tuition payments.
James Wood is open about being gay, but when customers at the restaurant where he works ask if he has a girlfriend, he doesn't tell them he doesn't like girls. He doesn't want his sexual preference to affect his tips.
“So there's also that fear of not fitting in socially,” said Wood, a 21-year-old junior.
Another difference about college is the lack of familial support, said Wilson. In college, students are often physically separated from family members who may have provided a support system for them.
When Lee Reid was in high school, attacks on the LGBT community were pretty much verbal or physical, he said. But by the time he got to college, they had become more sophisticated with the Internet. Being transgender, a minority within a minority, is even more problematic, said Reid, a 24-year-old senior.
“With transgender, for most people, we're either a monster, a liar or a performer,” he said.
Harvie Walton has found it difficult being gay and an education major. In her major, she said, a lot of people are afraid to be out.
“Because there's sort of this fear surrounding being inappropriate with the children, which is ridiculous,” said Walton, a 20-year-old junior.
While Walton doesn't offer the fact that she is gay in initial class introductions, she doesn't hide it, either. When it comes out, she is often excluded from study groups, she said.
“So I'll be sitting there after all the groups are formed and my teacher will have to put me in a group,” she said.
Another time she felt left out was when she was living in the dorms and there was a policy prohibiting members of the opposite sex from staying over. Walton remembered thinking that for once, something was working in her favor.
“But then, the more you think about it, that's actually really excluding to the LGBT community because they don't even think about you when they make those policies,” she said.
Wilson recalled during his freshman year returning to the room where he was staying with his boyfriend to find the name marker on the door marked. One other room on the hall was marked the same way, and that room also belonged to a gay couple.
“We were terrified for a few days because we didn't know what that meant,” said Wilson.
Berry recalled a roommate who would leave whenever he entered the room and refused to go to sleep before he did.
“Apparently he just thought that I was going to try something in the middle of the night,” said Berry.
Meghan Lampe said some people tell her that they are fine with her being gay, but when she shows affection to her girlfriend or talks about anything gay-related, they tell her they are uncomfortable.
“Just socially, it's acceptable to be mean to gay people,” said Wood.
“It's almost like a bonding thing to make fun of certain kinds of people,” added Lampe, a 19-year-old sophomore.
Berry said someone told him once that he was “too cool to be gay.” The person didn't mean it as an insult, Berry said, but it hurt, nevertheless, just like the phrase “that's so gay” hurts because it implies gay is something inferior.
“It's like if they know you're gay first off, they don't care what kind of music you like, if you belong to this kind of religion, you're this kind of major,” said Berry. “You're not a person: you're ‘a faggot'; you're ‘a dyke.' ”
Reporter Katya Cengel can be reached at (502) 582-4224.
5. Emerson College, November 1, 2010
120 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116-4624
Emerson Embraces Queer Studies
By Tim Pratt
Five Emerson faculty members conducted a panel discussion on “Queering the Academy: Diversity of Perspectives on Queer Studies at Emerson” on October 27. The panel aimed to share their experiences teaching Queer Studies at Emerson as well as their research surrounding this new and emerging field of study.
The five panelists included Communication Studies Lecturer Cara Buckley, Performing Arts faculty member Sunil Swaroop, Institute For Liberal Arts faculty member Claudia Castaneda, Visual And Media Arts Scholar-in-Residence Ken Feil, and Institute For Liberal Arts faculty member Jason Roush. All five have taught courses or units at Emerson surrounding Queer Theory and GLBTQ studies in their fields, ranging from Writing, Literature and Publishing to film.
“The liberal arts department strives to put a priority on diversity here at Emerson, and one of the most diverse components of this school is its acceptance for different sexual identities. Queer Theory is a growing area of study, and we really want to develop more courses surrounding this field in order to showcase the diversity that does exist at Emerson.”
–Dean of Liberal Arts Amy Ansell
The panel opened with Dean of Liberal Arts Amy Ansell addressing the audience and explaining the importance of queer studies at Emerson.
“The liberal arts department strives to put a priority on diversity here at Emerson, and one of the most diverse components of this school is its acceptance for different sexual identities,” Ansell explained. “Queer Theory is a growing area of study, and we really want to develop more courses surrounding this field in order to showcase the diversity that does exist at Emerson.”
Each faculty member proceeded to speak on his or her perspectives and research on queer theory, including gay representation in media, the deconstruction and impact of ‘gay’ as a label, tolerance and acceptance, the desire for difference, and transgender phobia. Another topic of discussion included the level of acceptance on Emerson’s campus.
Queer Theory has been offered at Emerson since 2001. Roush, who offered the first course focusing on GLBTQ issues, said the class has grown in popularity over the last ten years, now totaling about 250 enrolled students per year. Queer Theory attracts a wide variety of majors from film and WLP to theater and marketing, and includes an equal number of students who identify as gay or straight.
“Emerson has really been a progressive school by offering courses that focus on this unfamiliar territory,” Roush said. “Even in the last few years, I’ve noticed that the students here, who are mostly open-minded and accepting, have started to embrace and desire queer studies as a normal subject of study on campus.”
In continuing to showcase Emerson’s diversity on campus, courses focusing on queer studies include Queer Theory, taught by Castaneda, and Queer Film and Video, taught by Feil.
6. The GW Hatchet, November 1, 2010
2140 G Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037
University creates LGBT minor: New minor in CCAS to focus on LGBT issues
By Amy Rhodin
The Columbian College of Arts and Sciences established a minor in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies last week, after student leaders lobbied the University for over a year to create the discipline.
Dan Moshenberg, the director of the Women's Studies Program which houses the minor, said the curriculum was passed after a multi-disciplinary group of faculty came forward with the proposal more than a year ago. The formation of the minor paves the way for a major in the area to be established in two years.
"This has been a longstanding conversation," Moshenberg said. "Professors from the psychology, American studies, writing department and many others help to bring this before the Columbian College."
The curriculum will include a series of courses that focus on issues relating to the LGBT community, including "Transnational Film and LGBTQ Culture."
Moshenberg said that students who hope to pursue a minor in the course of study can start taking classes this spring. Already-established courses will count toward the minor, and at least two GW seniors will be able to graduate with the minor on their transcript in May, he said.
Michael Komo, who is in a five-year combined bachelor's and master's degree program, said that adding this minor to his curriculum will be beneficial for his future career goals.
"It will give me the tools necessary, along with my internships and LGBT activism in D.C. and at GW, to enable me to be as successful as possible as a lifelong LGBT activist," Komo said.
Komo said he helped rally the creators of the minor over the past year by meeting with administrators and faculty members to pitch the proposal. As the director of GW's Diversity Affairs Commission, Komo said this project has been a huge part of his mission for the fall.
"I am excited that future generations of GW students will be able to enhance their academic careers by pursuing this field of study," Komo said.
Moshenberg acknowledge that without an effort by interested students, the program would not have gotten off the ground.
"In many ways this was generated by a group of students who've done a lot of hard work," Moshenberg said.
7. Dallas Voice, November 1, 2010
4145 Travis, Third Floor, Dallas, TX 75204
UT Arlington GSA honors David Mack Henderson
By David Taffet
On Thursday, Oct. 28 the Gay Straight Alliance at the University of Texas at Arlington celebrated the 30-year anniversary of the founding of the campus’s first gay organization.
As part of the celebration, they honored David Mack Henderson of Fairness Fort Worth. That organization was created in the wake of the Rainbow Lounge raid and has worked with the city to become more inclusive.
Henderson was one of the founders of the UTA Gay/Lesbian Association when he was a student at the school. He is a tax accountant and Realtor and is a facilitator for the diversity training that all Fort Worth city employees must take. In the 1980s, he was a member of the Dallas Gay Alliance board and a founder of Resource Center Dallas.
The Certificate of Appreciation was presented by GSA President Joshua Little and Vice President Zachary Murphy.
The GSA meets every Wednesday at noon in the Upper University Center, usually in the Guadalupe Room. The group is open to all students. UTA policy prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. Homage is another LGBTQ organization at UTA. Homage meets Thursday evenings in the University Center.
8. The Emory Wheel, November 1, 2010
Emory University, Drawer W, Atlanta, GA 30322
Admins Focus on LGBT Visibility
By Roshani Chokshi
Emory University’s administrators continue to work closely with the Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Life and the Office of Greek Life to ensure ongoing efforts of approachability and inclusivity on campus following an incident at an off-campus Sigma Nu house during which a gay student was dragged from a party.
Dean of Students Bridget Guernsey Riordan said current plans include a collaborative effort among the LGBT Office, Student Government Association (SGA) and College Council (CC) to introduce curricular and co-curricular initiatives in an effort to improve access and inclusion for all students. Other initiatives include the upcoming week’s Unity Month Wonderful Wednesday with LGBT Life and other organizations. Greek Life’s Wonderful Wednesday events will now include LGBT/Greek Life No H8 events on Nov. 10.
To assess the visibility of LGBT students’ needs, the President’s Commission on Sexuality, Gender Diversity and Queer Equality are working on a bias reporting system and a visibility campaign.
Director of the Office of LGBT Life Michael Shutt wrote in an e-mail to the Wheel that the University’s next steps in response to the Sigma Nu incident remain tentative.
“Much of last week was spent listening to students’ concerns, engaging student leaders in discussion and ensuring the immediate needs of students were met,” Shutt wrote. “We will continue to assess our needs on campus, but we will now begin the process of establishing our next steps and identifying the groups and individuals who will take leadership for these initiatives.”
Shutt commended the University’s response and student efforts, while acknowledging the difficulty of responding to an issue when there remains an active investigation.
Riordan said she was very impressed with the student leadership who helped facilitate a number of discussions.
“I think the most important thing is that people feeling victimized should know that their support and resources are here,” Riordan said.
LGBT visibility remains an issue of concern among many administrators and student leaders. Buck Cooke, director of the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life, said his experiences as a closeted gay in his fraternity were a considerable departure from this generation’s acceptance of LGBT members.
“I know we have students who are in the closet,” Cooke said. “I’ve been there, and I have firsthand knowledge of the problems that come with that. It’s hard to be in the closet, but your generation is more accepting than my generation was.”
Cooke expressed hope that students will flock to the available resources on campus, such as the Counseling Center.
Part of the issue today focuses on raising people’s awareness and fostering dialogue on a number of LGBT issues and matters of approachability within Greek life.
Cooke said he estimates that there is probably at least one LGBT member in each Greek life organization on campus.
“They need to realize that every one of our groups has a member who is LGBT,” he said. “It’s just math...If there’s a certain number of the population, then take a look at a chapter of our Greek community.”
Cooke added that his ultimate goal is for Emory’s LGBT community to be form an alliance with members of Greek life.
“We want to be supportive with students and be seen as a place for everyone,” he said. “Greek life is a subset of the college environment, and the Greek community should also be an extension of that.”
Recalling his personal experience, Cooke expressed an unapologetic confidence in his own identity.
“I’m not going back in [the closet] for anybody. If someone doesn’t like it, then they don’t like it,” Cooke said. “I’ve lived it. I know what it’s like to be that invisible minority and hear things knowing that if they knew that about me it wouldn’t matter.”
9. Detroit Free Press, November 2, 2010
615 W. Lafayette, Detroit, MI 48226
Assistant AG Andrew Shirvell lampooned on 'Daily Show'
By Mark W. Smith
Click link for video.
Michigan Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell appeared in a mock news segment on Monday night's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," bringing more national attention to a story about cyber-bullying at the University of Michigan.
Shirvell starts the segment by bemoaning attacks that he himself has faced after maintaining an antigay blog that attacks University of Michigan student leader Chris Armstrong for being gay.
"We have no decency in this country," Shirvell says.
Shirvell's blog — Chris Armstrong Watch — included accusations of out-of-control parties and featured a picture of Armstrong with a rainbow flag and swastika.
The blog is now closed to the public.
"He's a radical homosexual activist," Shirvell told Jason Jones. "He's promoting an agenda that is diametrically opposed to the natural order of things."
And what does Shirvell have to say about the critics who call him a bully?
"I think they're focusing on me because, hey, I'm a right-wing guy, and, oh, he's pro-life, oh, he holds up pictures of aborted babies," Shirvell says.
For the show's national audience, the segment's big laugh came in a sight gag when Jones went out to seek comment from the Attorney General's office to discuss the cyber-bullying.
He got Shirvell, one of Attorney General Mike Cox's deputies.
"You're the assistant attorney general?" Jones said.
"I'm not answering that," Shirvell said. "I told you I can't answer these kind of questions."
10. The Independent Florida Alligator, November 2, 2010
1105 W University Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601
Campus groups, services reach out to LGBT students
By Erin Jester
UF freshman Shawn Abrahams is like most college students his age. He likes to watch football games and hang out with his friends, and he is looking forward to getting more involved with his new major, botany.
Yet Abrahams considers himself better off than most freshmen.
Abrahams, who is openly gay, has made use of the many resources available to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students at UF, attending every meeting of the Pride Student Union since school began.
“In high school, it was hard to meet people who were gay,” Abrahams said. “Now there are all these people I can talk to. It’s kind of like a culture shock, going from being a lone wolf on campus to being part of a community of people.”
The highly publicized suicides of several gay youth over the last two months have served as a reminder that there is an ever-present need for support and resources for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, particularly among teenagers. UF is home to a few programs that have goals to help people accept their own identities and feel safe and welcome.
The Rainbow Room, located on the fourth floor of Peabody Hall at UF, is a dedicated space for LGBT students to feel safe and welcome. The room was set up by the Office of LGBT Affairs.
The space is just one of the Office of LGBT Affairs’ efforts to support and advocate for the student LGBT community and to provide education and a sense of community, said AC Stokes, director of the Office of LGBT Affairs, which is located one floor below the multicolored sanctuary.
Stokes said that people who are struggling with their identity don’t always seek the kind of help the Office of LGBT Affairs or the counseling center can give. Instead, they might try to suppress their feelings by seeking the help of people who enforce the idea that homosexuality is abnormal or wrong.
“They go to people who want to make them ‘normal,’” Stokes said. “If someone feels that level of self-loathing, that’s probably what they want. That’s why we need allies and not force people down the same road of agony.”
Students can find allies at the Counseling and Wellness Center on Radio Road, which has 31 full-time senior staff members, plus several part-time counselors, interns and trainees.
“Certainly there is a set of issues and a set of tasks around coming to terms with not being heterosexual in our culture,” said Jim Probert, a licensed psychologist who works at the center. “And there’s a lot of work for that individual to do.”
The best way to start, he said, is by finding people who are accepting and encouraging and to start a support system.
Joining the counseling center’s LGBT empowerment group is one way to do that. Another way is attending a Pride Student Union meeting. Pride meets on Monday nights in the Ustler Hall atrium to discuss everything from hate crimes to body image to career counseling.
According to Donnie Fields, a political science senior and the president of Pride Student Union, the forum is designed for all students, not just for those who identify as LGBT.
“We really have to take care of each other,” Fields said.“This is a tolerant campus, but things aren’t perfect here.”
Fields encourages students who are struggling with their own identity to come out or talk to just one person who is willing to listen. He stressed that after talking about it, things start to get easier.
“The hardest thing is to take the first step to ask for help,” Fields said. “There’s no magical fairy that comes around and makes things better for you.”
11. The Cavalier Daily (University of Virginia), November 2, 2010
University of Virginia, PO Box 400703, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4703
Awards recognize equality boosters
By Callie Herod
The University’s Office of Equal Opportunity Programs honored 11 people and organizations on Grounds with its annual Champion Awards last Friday.
The awards recognize those individuals who assist in the office’s mission to eliminate discrimination and particularly those individuals who may not have otherwise been recognized for their efforts, said Director Darlene Scott-Scurry.
“They received the awards because of their contribution to social justice and equal rights,” Scott-Scurry said.
Recipients range from undergraduate students to faculty, staff and even organizations.
Two students were among this year’s honorees.
Fourth-year Commerce student Jason Shapiro organized an events program for Disabilities Awareness Week to promote respect for people with disabilities.Fourth-year College student Reginald Benbow, Jr., who was also recognized, founded “My Brother’s Keeper,” a program at Albemarle High School that mentors black male students and helps prepare them for college. He also re-established the Minority Squad, a previously inactive support group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students of color.
“U.Va. really does value diversity of opinion and thought,” Benbow said. “I just want students to celebrate and appreciate diversity in all its forms.”
Eight University faculty members and employees also received the award.
Yared Getachew, Law School assistant dean for public service, was honored for his efforts to encourage students to pursue career paths that focus on assisting underprivileged individuals. Astronomy Prof. Charles Tolbert was a former chairman of the University’s Access Committee who worked to better University life for the disabled. John-Lee Holmes, survey operations manager and acting senior research analyst at the Center for Survey Research, was nominated by his coworkers for creating a work environment that embraced diversity.
“I feel pretty humble that I would be included in that group,” Holmes said. “Even as a student, you can be inspiring and make a difference in your community.”
Lori Kressin, information technology specialist, improved the Kruzweil Educational System reading technology for the visually impaired. Yoke San Reynolds, the University’s vice president and chief financial officer, is a member of the Women’s Leadership Council and serves as president of the Piedmont Chinese Association. She has been involved with several groups that promote the Asian-American community. Julie Roa, Multicultural Student Services program coordinator, helped found the group Hoos for Open Access, which works with families and students using AccessUVA to provide opportunities to afford college.
“I would hope that inclusion is an everyday part of everyone’s experience at U.Va.,” Roa said, adding that leaders at the University come from all kinds of backgrounds.
Carolyn Vallas, director of the Center for Diversity in Engineering, expanded recruitment and retention of students from underrepresented populations in science technology, engineering and mathematics fields. LGBT Student Services Coordinator Edward Warwick implemented new programs to raise awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues, including the “Love is Love” T-shirt campaign.
Common Ground Community of the University Library was the only group to receive the award this year. It was honored for hosting several multicultural events and a Holocaust remembrance group discussion.
Recipients of the award were nominated by their peers, community members or colleagues.
“Collectively, they demonstrate a commitment to making the world a better place by creating a future where everyone is treated with fairness, dignity and respect, a world where all are valued and appreciated, where equality and inclusion are embraced,” Scott-Scurry said.
12. The Daily Targum (Rutgers University), November 3, 2010
126 College Ave. Suite 431, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Transgender students seek more housing options
By Mary Diduch
Despite the University's mantra of diversity, some transgender students are finding it difficult to feel comfortable in traditional on-campus housing.
Transgender students do not identify with their biological gender, or sometimes any gender, which could be problematic for some in on-campus housing, which assigns rooms based on legal and not self-identified gender.
Aaron Lee, a School of Arts and Sciences senior, started transitioning from female to male before college, making him one of a handful of other transgenders on campus.
Before entering the University, which Lee was excited to attend for its size and diversity, Lee felt concerned he would have difficulty living with a female roommate, since he does not identify as a female despite what his records indicated.
His mother had him contact several administrators, including Residence Life, to notify them of his situation. Lee was placed in a double converted into a single in Demarest Hall on the College Avenue campus.
Lee said he spent most of his first year alone.
"When you're gender non-conforming, it's very easy to keep the door shut," he said.
Executive Director of Residence Life Joan Carbone said the University sees one or two such cases a year — though there could be more.
"Assigning a transgender student, who is transitioning during their first year of living on campus, is a complex issue which is best addressed on a case-by-case basis," Carbone said. "We try to provide for the needs of all students and work individually with those with special needs."
Acting Director of the Center for Social Justice and LGBT Communities Jenny Kurtz said Demarest Hall has a history of being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer affirming.
"Demarest has a sex, sexuality and gender discussion and special interest group, and people then sort of it see as the dorm that's most accepting," Kurtz said.
But despite this, Lee said when some in his building found out about his gender identity, they reacted negatively.
"Even there, people made nasty comments … Even in one of the more safer places on campus," he said.
School of Arts and Sciences senior Lauren Selton was outreach coordinator for Demarest last year and lived in the hall for two years before moving off campus.
"I know a number of gender nonconforming students in Demarest, and it's one of the safest dorms on campus you can have, but it's definitely not a perfect place," Selton said.
Another potential area of concern for transgender students in residence halls are gender-segregated bathrooms —specifically which one to use.
"[Transgenders] have always been able to use the bathroom they identify with," Carbone said.
Kurtz said gender-neutral restrooms, those not designated as male or female, are becoming more popular across college campuses.
"A lot of traditionally gendered bathrooms tend to make life very difficult for transgender folks and for people who are gender nonconforming," she said.
Demarest Hall introduced the University's first gender-neutral restrooms this year, when Residence Life designated two out of its six as gender-neutral.
Selton worked with Carbone to formally make the restrooms gender-neutral, as that is how they had been used informally in the past. Selton said the gender-neutral bathrooms, while a welcome addition, still present some concerns.
They require resident-only swipe access for entrance, given to the residents of the hall, and the showers have doors not curtains.
"If I was on the second floor and I lost my swipe and didn't have access, I couldn't use that bathroom, which is a problem in emergencies or if someone gets sick," Selton said.
Carbone said they require swipe access to provide safety to the students using the bathrooms. A transgender student specifically told her he felt insecure in the shower, prompting the restricted access.
"The swipe prevents any entry from anyone except residents or their escorted guests and therefore provides those using the bathrooms with safety from violence," she said.
Lee, who was a resident assistant in Demarest Hall last year, advocates creating more safe spaces for LGBTQ students in residence halls and on campus.
"I was asked to identify Demarest as an LGBTQ safe space, but I want all my halls to be safe for LGBTQ students," Carbone said. "I need to work with the students toward this goal. One hall is not enough."
Lee said as an RA, it is important to know how to work with LGBTQ students, but there is no specific training.
"Mainly the training was about women and race and a little bit of religion, but we didn't really touch on sexuality or gender," Lee said.
Carbone said Residence Life strives to hire staff members who are aware of all student issues.
Professional staff members receive more than 80 hours of training a year, including a four-hour session last year about transgender students, she said.
Residence Life has long been passionate about supporting diversity, Carbone said. Their diversity statement celebrates different gender identities and sexual orientations, but Carbone said there is no written, specific policy for LGBTQ students.
"Yes, it falls under diversity, but that doesn't mean we talk about it," Lee said.
Under the queer radical group Queering the Air, which formed last spring, Lee now advocates for gender-neutral housing, where men and women can reside together if they so choose.
They said this would allow students who do not identify with a gender feel more comfortable living in a room where gender is not used to assign its occupants.
At least 54 universities, such as New York University, Carnegie Mellon University and Harvard University, have gender-neutral residence hall options.
"I think gender-neutral housing can be very helpful to students if they need it," Carbone said.
But Carbone said the possibility could not be considered until 2012 when the new Busch and Livingston campus residence halls, to house 500 and1,500 students respectively, finish construction.
"Right now, while we have a housing crunch, it will be impossible to do such a thing," she said.
With tight housing, if a person drops from a room, they need to fill it as soon as possible. Since Residence Life is unsure whether some students will want to live in gender-neutral housing, she cannot accommodate this request as every space needs to be filled, Carbone said.
For the present, Lee said housing could do a better job pairing roommates to make LGBTQ students feel more at ease when coming to the University with an unknown roommate for the first time.
On the housing sign-up survey, there could be a check box or ranking system to designate whether a student is LGBTQ-identified and whether students would feel comfortable living with an LGBTQ student, Lee said.
"The beauty of diversity is you meet some really interesting people, but there's another side," Lee said.
While the University is safer than most places, Lee said it could improve so LGBTQ students who might not feel secure reaching out may do so more easily.
Lee, who was abused physically before attending the University, said it is often difficult for transgender students to feel accepted. On campus, he has experienced verbal abuse.
"It's kind of a daily fear that you live with," he said.
Robert O'Brien, an anthropology associate instructor who does not identify with any gender, said LGBTQ harassment happens in some form everyday, specifically centered on those who do not identify with their biological gender.
"When students living in dorms come home, they go to a world that is 24/7 not accepting of gender non-conforming [lifestyles]," O'Brien said.
People may not speak up about harassment because when they have, they might not have seen any real action taken, O'Brien said.
"It's about finding a community that tells you you're not crazy," O'Brien said. "That's ideally what Rutgers could support."
If an LGBTQ student does have a negative experience, it could be for a number of reasons: they are living in the wrong environment, studying the wrong major or missing home, Kurtz said.
"It's really hard to know," she said.
Lee said there should be a committee to go through the policies to see if they include LGBT students.
"Saying civility, saying diversity is one thing," O'Brien said. "Doing civility, doing diversity requires work."
13. The Augusta Chronicle, November 3, 2010
725 Broad Street, Augusta, GA 30901
Keeton says she tried to bargain
By Adam Folk
The Augusta State University counseling graduate student who is suing the school because of an alleged free-speech violation was willing to undergo, and even signed, a remediation plan designed to increase her understanding of the homosexual community before retracting her agreement days later out of concerns she would be forced to abandon her biblical convictions about homosexuality.
In court documents filed Tuesday as a response to the school's motion to dismiss the lawsuit, attorneys for 24-year-old Jennifer Keeton describe her professors as adamant that Keeton could not complete her degree program unless she fundamentally changed her beliefs.
Keeton's account of the events leading up to her lawsuit against the school paints a picture of a faculty whose "core concern" was that she believed her biblical views were universal and not just personal preferences, which they said was unethical.
Keeton, on the other hand, was willing to undergo a remediation plan designed to increase her contact with homosexual communities -- telling them she had "determined that she could both maintain her biblical beliefs and affirm the dignity of her clients."
The faculty, specifically Dr. Paulette Schenck, openly questioned Keeton's sincerity, writes her attorney, Jeffrey A. Shafer, of the Alliance Defense Fund.
"Dr. Schenck responded by questioning her motives, suggesting that Miss Keeton was agreeing to participate in the Remediation Plan in order to stay in the ASU counseling program, not because she was committed to reconsidering her views on (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) matters," court documents say.
The documents show that both sides were close to reaching an understanding that would have skirted legal action, but which fell through after neither was willing to compromise.
Schafer argues that school officials' "highly partisan retelling" of the events surrounding the lawsuit in their motion to dismiss the case omits critical facts that show Keeton's rights were violated.
To defend their claim, Keeton and her attorney spend several pages detailing the events from Keeton's point of view. In them, they describe the school as formulating a remediation plan "designed to counter, undermine, and change (Keeton's) convictions" by having her attend workshops, readings and a scheduled Augusta Gay Pride parade in order to become more knowledgeable about the homosexual community.
In a June meeting about the plan -- the group's third -- Schafer writes that Keeton again told her professors that she "would not impose her beliefs on clients, but noted that she could not affirm homosexual conduct." She was then told by defendant Dr. Mary Jane Anderson-Wiley that it was not possible for her to both complete her degree and maintain her biblical convictions on homosexuality.
"She additionally urged Miss Keeton to not even attempt the Remediation Plan if she was not willing to affirm clients' homosexuality, and urged her to consider completing her degree at another school whose program is more consistent with her beliefs," Shafer wrote.
In an e-mail sent to the defendants after the meeting, Keeton writes that she would help her clients work toward their own goals, but she was not willing to affirm behavior that she thought was immoral, listing abortion and homosexuality as examples.
"I can't alter my biblical beliefs, and I will not affirm the morality of those behaviors in a counseling situation," she wrote.
Later, Shafer argues that the school's actions chilled Keeton's speech during a summer session psychology class.
Shafer said the class was holding a discussion on human sexuality and gender that conflicted with Keeton's views, but that she chose not to speak up in class because of the "unfavorable attention and consequences" that happened earlier.
In their motion filed in September, school officials said their intention was to only ask Keeton to "make certain her own beliefs and values do not interfere with her ability to counsel clients who do not share those same values," according to the filing.
Attorneys for the defendants filed a notice of intent Wednesday to reply to Keeton's filing.
14. Detroit Free Press, November 3, 2010
615 W. Lafayette, Detroit, MI 48226
U-M's ban on Andrew Shirvell modified
By Lori Higgins
Andrew Shirvell's ban from the University of Michigan campus has been modified.
He'll now be allowed on campus, but he can't have contact with Chris Armstrong, the openly gay student leader he has been attacking.
Diane Brown, spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety at U-M said Shirvell, an assistant attorney general, has been granted access to campus after being banned Sept. 14. He can't, however, have any "physical or verbal contact with Chris Armstrong," she said.
Also, she said this morning, Shirvell "is not to be in the same place on campus where he can reasonably anticipate Mr. Armstrong will be present."
The only exception is athletic events. They can both be at the same football game, for instance, but Shirvell can't communicate with Armstrong.
The modification of the ban is the result of a meeting Shirvell and his attorney had Friday with DPS Deputy Chief Joe Piersante.
Shirvell's attorney, Philip Thomas of Grosse Pointe Park, said he hadn't seen the letter that explained the modification, but had it read to him over the phone by his secretary.
"I'll have to speak to my client over the course of the next few days to make a determination as to whether we're satisfied," Thomas said.
On another matter, Thomas addressed his client's appearance on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" on Monday. He said the segment was taped Sept. 29, before Shirvell had been served with Armstrong's now-dropped request for a personal protection order against him, and before Shirvell had retained Thomas as his attorney.
Thomas said he would have advised his client to not tape the show, though he said it is the same advice he gives all his clients regarding talking to the media. Thomas said he believes his client thought "it was going to be a fair interview," but it turned out to be a comedy bit, as most "Daily Show" interviews are.
"I think they attempted to make a fool out of Andrew on that show."
15. The Daily Helmsman (University of Memphis), November 3, 2010
113 Meeman Journalism Bldg., Memphis, TN 38152-3290
GLBT to educate staff members
By: Timberly Moore
With the goal of creating a student-friendly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community, The University of Memphis Office of Student Affairs will host a webinar educating its staff on LGBT life at 2 p.m. in the Michael D. Rose Theatre.
Stonewall Tigers will also host a game night where students of all sexual orientations will be encouraged to bond over board, card and video games, in room 340 of the University Center at 8 p.m.
Stephanie Blaisdell, assistant vice president for student development, said the webinar is a professional development course for the staff to learn about this aspect of student life.
Blaisdell cited a recent Rutgers University incident as an example of why people need to be educated on the growing LGBT community.
In late September, Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi committed suicide after two co-eds allegedly filmed and posted on the internet a sexual encounter between Clementi and another man.
Clementi was one of three gay teenagers who took their lives that same month after being bullied or teased for being gay.
Jeanett Ballentine, administrative associate in the office of student affairs, said that the two-hour webinar is probably necessary for the department.
She said being angry with someone for their homosexuality is as "absurd" as someone being angry at her for being black.
"You can't know how to treat anyone before you learn about them," Ballentine said.
"I am not gay or bisexual, but that doesn't matter. They are human just like I am and the Bible says we need to love one another â€¦ it didn't mention race or sexual orientation."
A transgendered student using the pseudonym Peter Parker said that the webinar could help staff and LGBT students develop a more understanding atmosphere, possibly even helping Stonewall Tigers pass their own proposed LGBT initiative, "Safezone."
Safezone would make The U of M a literal safe zone for LGBT students by educating faculty, staff and students about ways to combat discrimination in the classroom.
"Previously, 'Safezone' has had opposition from the Staff Senate but we hope that this webinar will help ease some of the campus tensions," Parker said.
M.J. McAuliffe, sophomore English major and liaison for The U of M's Gay-Straight Alliance, said she thinks it's great that the staff is educating itself and showing that there are people outside the LGBT community willing to learn about, and even help with, their cause.
She said Stonewall will continue its support of the LGBT community by providing a welcoming community and bringing together students with "fun events."
16. Arizona Daily Wildcat, November 3, 2010
615 N. Park Ave, Tucson, AZ 85719
ASUA considers LGBTQ housing
By Jazmine Woodberry
ASUA Senate tackles diversity housing among other items at its weekly Wednesday meeting with Sen. Scott Rising's resolution on UA Residence Life's proposed new housing options such as gender-inclusive housing and an LGBTQ -themed wing.
In a resolution to the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, Rising noted that the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and questioning section of campus totals an estimated 10 percent and amongst concerns of limited housing options.
"Creating a safe living space for LGBTQ students is a forward step towards creating a more inclusive environment at The University of Arizona," Rising's resolution states, asking the senate to take a positive stance on the issue.
A Pride Alliance presentation by Rising will precede the resolution vote.
The Women's Resource Center, which works heavily with LGBTQ affairs on campus and Pride Alliance, is also presenting at the meeting. The center has one of its largest events of the fall semester, Sex-Ed College Style day, coming up later in November.
A scholarship presentation also will be given at the meeting, following approval of the ASUA Appropriations Board consent agenda.
The board which delineates money each week out of the senate's club funding budget to requests made by clubs, allocated $5,685.26 this week, bringing the total of money given to clubs nearly $40,000, or nearly 30 percent of the $143,000 available for club funding during the school year.
Near Eastern Studies Undergraduate Organization got full funding for its off-campus room rental for "The Hefla" a Middle Eastern themes food and entertainment event. Stocks and Securities Investments Club got three-quarters of the money they asked for from the board for attending the Las Vegas Traders Expo later this month, to cover some hotel and registration costs.
The New Abolitionists Club, which advocates against human trafficking, asked for aid in creating a community banner but had no representation at the meeting and had their request delayed to be considered at the next meeting.
SPRITE, a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and allied student organization, requested full money for T-shirts, but by ASUA bylaws only half of that amount could be given by appropriations board.
S.M.O.R.E.S, a sophomore honorary had no representatives arrive for the meeting and got their application for money for T-shirts pushed until next meeting.
Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán, or MeChA, was fully approved for UA Mall and classroom rentals, but was denied funds for its politically motivated shirts, which violated ASUA bylaws, to be used at the 19th annual Youth Empowerment Conference at the UA.
The Muslim Student Association requested funding for "Fast-a-thon 2010" but due to a lack of copies of receipts, the board rejected money for decorations.
17. Windy City Times, November 3, 2010
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113
ISU gay-rights group marking 39 years
By Sam Worley
Illinois State University's ( ISU's ) student gay-rights group—incorporated under the name "Homophile ISU," once called the "Gay People's Alliance," now simply called "Pride"—will mark its 39th anniversary Nov. 9. Windy City Times recently caught up with the founder of Homophile ISU, deg farrelly, who talked about the group's beginnings. ( farrelly prefers not to capitalize his name. )
Incorporated in Normal, Ill., in 1971, Homophile ISU was founded at a heady time: The Stonewall riots, considered to have sparked the modern gay-rights movement, had occurred just two years earlier. Gay student groups were sparking across the country, including a handful at Chicago universities—a chapter of the national organization Gay Liberation Front, for instance, had recently formed at the University of Chicago.
In the fall of 1971, farrelly placed a bulletin advertising the nascent organization in the school newspaper, the Vidette. The initial meeting, he said, drew a crowd of a dozen or more.
"I know that I was scared," farrelly said. "I truly was alone." Despite his fears, farrelly said that he encountered little resistance to the group, either from the school administration or from his classmates. About a year after the founding, the group changed its name to the "Gay People's Alliance" and registered as an official college organization—a move that gave it access to school funding.
The group also did its own fundraising. "Our first fundraising activity was a drag show," farrelly said, laughing when he recalled the contention that accompanied the plans. "We had enormous debates over whether that was an appropriate thing to do." The group found professional drag performers in Peoria and Springfield, one of whom, farrelly recalled, performed "some Diana Ross stuff."
With its funding, the Gay People's Alliance started an office on campus, which for a time housed a gay library with titles like The Gay Mystique and Patience and Sarah, the latter a historical novel with lesbian themes. One year, farrelly said, the group participated in the Chicago Pride Parade. He said that the banner that the students carried—"Normal, Illinois Gay People's Alliance"—drew laughs from the crowd.
The Gay People's Alliance also sponsored activities like lectures, one of which, farrelly recalls, was by gay activist Barbara Gittings; farrelly said the title of her lecture was "Homosexuality: What Every Heterosexual Should Know."
"We had no idea what to expect" from the college audience, farrelly said. "And they were hanging from the rafters."
farrelly left ISU for graduate school in 1974. He is currently a librarian at Arizona State University.
18. Windy City Times, November 3, 2010
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113
UIC center marks 15th
The University of Illinois at Chicago's Gender & Sexuality Center celebrated its 15th anniversary Oct. 28 at the Iguana Cafe as part of the closing program for LGBTQ Heritage Month. Approximately 40 people were in attendance. Pictured here ( from left to right ) is Jacob Mueller ( one of the original, founding staff members ) , Moises Villada ( visiting coordinator ) , and Liz Thomson ( interim director ) .
Established in 1995 as the Office of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Concerns, the office later included the “T” for transgender and then in 2008 re-named itself as the Gender & Sexuality Center to be broader and more inclusive.
19. Calgary Herald, November 4, 2010
P.O. Box 2400, Station M, Calgary, Alberta T2P 0W8
Centre for gay students opens at U of C
By Sarah McGinnis
Six weeks after an American college student committed suicide when his roommate publicly outed him for kissing another man, the University of Calgary Students' Union has launched a program aimed at helping promote sexual and gender diversity on campus.
Tucked in a quiet corner of the MacEwan Student Centre is Q, the first space dedicated to serving the U of C's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and queer community.
Q is designed as a welcoming place for students to receive information or hang out and will be run by a team of student volunteers trained to offer peer support, said program coordinator Kris Schmidt.
Inside the small blue room are pamphlets on various programs and posters advising "the best way to fight homophobia is to outlive it."
Student volunteer and self-described queer Liza Hughes was thrilled to see Q open on Wednesday.
"It's important at U of C because it's a particularly conservative campus and it can be especially difficult for queer students here as opposed to some other Canadian universities," said Hughes, a fourth-year development studies student. "Hopefully, it will make a really big difference."
Fellow volunteer James Landsburg, who also describes himself as queer, is looking forward to providing a voice for his community and helping people who may feel isolated by their sexuality.
Q was created by the U of C's students' union after various student groups lobbied for a place to hang out and support one another, said Jennifer Abbott, the union's vice-president of student life.
The opening comes as postsecondary institutions across North America are questioning what they can do to stem bullying on campus, especially when it targets homosexual youth.
In September, first-year Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi, 18, reportedly jumped from a bridge after his roommate secretly filmed him kissing a man and then streamed the video over the Internet.
The U of C administration supports the Q student centre, especially if it makes students feel more welcome on campus, said Ann Tierney, vice-provost of students.
"Our view is always the more services and supports we can offer to our students and the community, the better the university is," said Tierney.
"And we want to make sure there are supportive environments for everyone."
20. The Badger Herald (University of Wisconsin), November 4, 2010
326 W. Gorham St., Madison, WI 53703-2017
Panel: Prominent leaders must recognize, accept LGBT rights
By Tim Poellmann
A faculty panel gave the University of Wisconsin campus and Madison community different perspectives on the current issues surrounding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender bullying Thursday night.
The panel covered topics from how race complicates sexual identity to how more suicides can be prevented.
The UW Center for the Humanities and the UW Hillel foundation co-sponsored the faculty panel “Feeling Queer: Tyler Clementi and the History, Politics and Rhetoric of Bullying,” which discussed the recent suicides of Clementi and five other American youths and the implications of bullying in the LGBT community.
The panel, consisting of UW professors Karma Chavez, Joe Elder and Erica Halverson, along with moderator Kenneth Burns of the Isthmus, led a presentation and ending forum specifically detailing the recent suicides and efforts around the nation to curtail discriminatory violence.
Elder said the recent suicides have probably “created uneasiness on every college campus.”
Along with discussing the campus concerns, the panel brought up the issue of gay-youth identity and how it factors into youth’s hardships in dealing with bullying.
Broadening the issue and realizing the complications of how widespread this issue is outside of the media plays into an even larger hardship in gay people of color and will lead to more solutions, Chavez said.
Elder also quoted many prominent American leader’s opposing views on the subject of homosexuality, and said these negative views make it hard for the LGBT community to come out and be okay with their identities.
“Whenever a country’s prominent leaders say absurd things about this subject, for anybody in the shadows who is debating whether to come out, they are driven even further in the shadows,” Elder said. “People looking at this not as a right, but that it is shameful, is the problem here.”
The panel concluded that while there has been much advancement in resources for LGBT youth, both resources to help in the present and the narratives of others will lead to decreased suicides and LGBT youth feeling much safer in the tough grade school transition time.
After the faculty panel’s statements, Burns turned to the audience for a forum on the current issues.
The main discussion, which received commentary by many in the audience, focused on the issue of how bullying originates in the first place.
Halverson said since the issue is so complex and multi-faceted, the focus still lies in just anti-bullying measures because there is no single variable bullying can be attributed to.
“We don’t know the answer to where bullying starts because it’s complicated. There’s no isolated variable that has yet to be found, and I don’t know if there is such a thing of distilling it down to one variable,” Halverson said.
While the panel and discussion was held at the Hillel Foundation, the audience was a mix of both students and many community members.
UW senior Levi Prombaum said he is frequently at Hillel, and attended because he thought this issue is widespread enough that it needs to be discussed on every campus.
“As one of the audience members said, bullying and displaced human aggression is everywhere, and it’s important to discuss these issues and be conscientious people,” Prombaum said. “Just having this event tonight is an important statement.”
21. The Northern Iowan, November 5, 2010
L011 Maucker Union, Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0166
Dwight Watson speaks at CROW forum
By Maggie Donovan
On Nov., 1, Dwight C. Watson, the dean the University of Northern Iowa's College of Education, presented "Exploring Social Connectivity through the Adolescent Queer Literature" at the Current Research On Women forum.
The CROW forum's main purpose is to inform and educate UNI, along with the community, about gender-related research on campus. At the forum, Watson was able to present his current research on the social and psychological development of gay and lesbian adolescents.
A big emphasis on social isolation was addressed during Watson's presentation. Social isolation is a problem that many gay and lesbian adolescents struggle with, especially in school. Socially isolated gay and lesbian youth tend to withdraw and lose confidence in their ability to socially interact with their peers. Watson encourages current and future teachers to try to minimize the social isolation students may face in the classroom.
"If you're a teacher and you have a classroom of kids, you might see kids who are not participatory, kind of peripheral and on the fringes. These might be kids who are intentionally kind of ostracized and marginalized in various ways," said Watson. "You have to think about ways you can get the kid more engaged and figure out what are some of the causes of the social isolation. If you could teach kids how to be more inclusive and how to welcome everybody, that would be a wonderful thing as a teacher."
Watson proposes that literature circles, using different adolescent gay literature, are a great way to help students engage in discussions and literary critique about adolescent gay issues. The characters in these books are identified as scholarly, strong individuals.
"It's important for them to see strong characters that are like them, who are navigating through struggles that are similar to their own," commented Watson.
The presentation showed the crucial importance of creating comfortable, welcoming spaces for any gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual student and how literature can help contribute to positive social change.
"Being aware is the first step to try to make positive social change. So as we become more aware of the social isolations that Dr. Watson talked about, the more apt we are to work towards positive social change," said Phyllis Baker, professor of women's and gender studies.
Watson ended his presentation by laying out door plaques for the audience to take with them. The door plaques can be used to declare a safe zone for any room the plaque is placed in. The plaque declares that regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age or ability, whoever enters the room will be treated and respected as a human being, and that ignorance, bigotry and harassment will not be tolerated. Dr. Watson assures students that his office is a safe zone.
"You can talk to me about anything or everything. You don't have to be within my college. If you want to talk about these issues, recognizing that my presence here is a bit of an anomaly, and if you feel that I could be of support to you in any sort of way, then you're welcome," said Watson.
22. The Mirror, November 5, 2010
Promoting Acceptance: Gay Straight Alliance pushes for a stronger feeling of equality within the community
By Andy Tupa
Nick Lahman kneels in front of his desk, combing the pink hair of a mannequin bust. Standing a few feet away is Austin Mielke, trimming a red dress.
"We just want to create a leveling ground, so everyone can feel comfortable in their own shoes," says Mielke. Lahman and Mielke are preparing their drag outfits for Halloween, but they also have taken on the challenge of reviving Augustana's Gay Straight Alliance (GSA).
Lahman is a nontraditional student who is starting at Augie for the third time. In his first year at Augie in 2005, Nick, an open homosexual, was the subject of harassment due to his sexual orientation.
"My door was vandalized and rude messages were written on my door" Lahman said. Compared to 2005, he finds Augustana a much more accepting home, but he still believes that Augustana students can do more to be accepting of their gay classmates and that is why he has chosen to lead GSA.
Mielke, a freshman, grew up in Brandon, S.D.
"Growing up gay in a small town, I really was the black sheep. I was kind of an outcast" said Austin of his high school experience. "I had friends in Brandon, but Augustana is a refreshing experience."
GSA existed last year, but was unsuccessful in the eyes of Lahman and Mielke.
"They were thinking too big, too fast. We want to try to focus our efforts locally and try to be on campus more" Nick said.
Kate Schleusener, a junior anthropology major, agrees that GSA was unsuccessful in past years.
"I was really shocked, on coming to Augie after transferring from Colorado College that the GSA did so little" Schleusener said. "This is college, and is supposed to be a place where everyone should be able to feel comfortable figuring out who they want to be."
Lahman and Mielke have a much more student-oriented approach to leading GSA.
"We want there to be no hierarchy, everyone in GSA is equal," they said. "We really just want to get involved in the community and get ourselves out there."
Being involved around campus is one thing Schleusener does not think GSA did a successful job of last year.
"I think GSA coming back will make a difference, if they get on campus and make themselves more of a presence" Schleusener said. "Being visible is a huge part of getting accepted into a community; it can't just be a passive ‘I hope they'll like us' kind of thing. The only things I ever did last year was watch movies in Tuve."
The presence of gay people on campus is growing, but Lahman and Mielke still feel they know more can be done to include gay students.
"I don't think we feel excluded, but I think many gay members of society feel uncomfortable coming out," they said. Acceptance into the community is something Lahman and Mielke hope to accomplish. Education is going to be a major part of their agenda.
"Right now, homosexuality really is just not talked about, but it becomes a bigger deal when people choose to ignore it," Lahman said.
The GSA held a preliminary meeting on Oct. 20 and they were overall very pleased with the turn out. The GSA meets every other Wednesday. Their next meeting will be Nov. 17.
23. The Houstonian (Sam Houston State University), November 5, 2010
P.O. Box 2178, Huntsville, TX 77341
Gay-straight alliance plants roots at SHSU
By George Mattingly
A new student organization is causing a stir of both excitement and controversy on the SHSU campus.
G.L.O.B.A.L., unofficially known as the Gay-Straight Alliance, was created this semester by the combined efforts of students and a faculty member, Andrew D. Miller, Ph.D., and, recently, the group lit up the LSC mall area with purple, as they participated in "Purple Spirit Day." Wearing the color, they advocated for awareness and prevention of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender bullying in light of the recent suicides.
The group, which passed out ribbons throughout the area, said the event was a success.
"We ran out of all eight rolls of purple ribbon, and the students were interested [in learning] more about the cause," Jason Tilton, the group's president, said.
Despite the group's achievements, it has not gone without its fair share of antagonism from those opposed to gay rights.
For example, after a mother of an SHSU student discovered her son's promotional flyer he received on "Coming Out Day," she called the Student Activities Office to find out what G.L.O.B.A.L was, and she chastised the school for allowing this type of organization to exist. Also, the group has faced opposition from the Baptist Student Ministry in a recent open forum concerning homosexuality and the Bible.
Nevertheless, the group has high hopes for its future at SHSU. Upcoming events include speaking to middle and high school students about the affects of bullying and an awareness event on World AIDS Day.
"As time progresses, I hope for this organization to be a beacon of strength, hope, and inspiration for the GLBT culture and its allies," Tilton said.
This group is not the first of its kind on college campuses. Other major universities have similar organizations aimed at providing support and awareness for the GLBT community, such as the GLBTQ Business Student Association at UT Austin, the GLBT Aggies at Texas A&M, and even the GaYalies at Yale.
So, while the organization is awaiting official approval from University President Dana Gibson, Ph.D., it continues to outgrow meeting rooms in the LSC, as more students are eager to join.
To find out more about G.L.O.B.A.L at SHSU or to attend a meeting, e-mail the organization at email@example.com or follow it on Facebook.
24. Houston Chronicle, November 7, 2010
P.O. Box 4260, Houston, TX 77210-4260
Professor tries to get to the root of bullying: Study finds gender roles can be behind harassment toward the LGBT community
By Cindy George
Torment from his classmates drove Cy-Fair ISD middle-schooler Asher Brown to kill himself in September, his parents say. The 13-year-old's mother and stepfather say he was "bullied to death," partly because of his homosexuality. Physical and verbal harassment, including bullying, is routinely experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students, according to a national school climate survey from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. It's not just one's espoused or perceived sexuality, but gender expression that may cause LGBT children to be targeted by bullies, said Thomas Schanding, an assistant professor in the University of Houston's school psychology program. He also chairs the National Association of School Psychologists' GLBTQ committee, which focuses on the issues faced by gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth in public and private schools. Schanding spoke recently with Chronicle reporter Cindy George about bullying.
Q: What is bullying?
A: It could be the snide comment, the name calling, the texts, the post on the wall of your social media. It's almost always evolving because kids find new ways to push buttons. It's cyber-bullying, verbal harassment, physical harassment, physical assault and sexual harassment.
Q: How did you get interested in studying LGBT bullying?
A: Since I got into graduate school at the University of Southern Mississippi. When I was there, I worked at (a high school in the Hattiesburg, Miss., area) and, at one point, we had the issue of a few girls who came out as bisexual. There were a lot of fights and a lot of harassment surrounding those girls, from guys saying: "Well, I can turn you straight — you don't need a girl." And then the girls who were dating would break up and date other girls and they would start fighting. It was just kind of a mess. When I tried to talk to the principal at the school, he said: "This is not for us to address," and that we weren't going to deal with those types of things. I was interested in how schools are dealing with this and what we really could do. There aren't as many researchers out there that really get into this because it is really kind of an invisible topic within schools.
Q: Describe your research on the issue.
A: I have a handout that was accepted for the Helping Children At Home and School third edition. It's a guide for parents about how to support a gay or lesbian child. Another project that I'm doing right now is looking at the intersection of biological sex, gender identity and sexual orientation and which of those factors seems to put someone more at risk for being victimized, having self-esteem issues or school problems. Some of the research that I've looked at shows that it may not necessarily be your sexual orientation that may set you up for rejection from peers or bullying, but that it may be that you're not conforming to your gender role.
Q: How are you conducting your study?
A: One of the measures that I used was created by a researcher in Boston — a conformity to masculine norms inventory and a conformity to feminine norms inventory. It's a survey that basically gives you a score. It's my proxy for how you are gender conformity-wise. This study is looking at 12- to 19-year-old students. I also ask them about physical harassment and assault. It's a crude measure of how much victimization and bullying that they might have experienced.
Q: Do adults bully these youth?
A: Yes. This would take the form of an adult telling you "You're not man enough" or "You're too manly" if you're a girl. I've heard stories of teachers who've told students: "This is not how you're supposed to be" and "This is what boys do" and "Don't do this."
Q: What should adults — teachers, parents or administrators — do about a kid being ostracized because of gender identity or sexual orientation?
A: I would hope an adult would take a stand for that kid, confront the aggressor to give support to the kid who's being victimized and to tell that other kid that's not acceptable behavior. Also, make sure school officials are aware so they can go back and think about the school's policies on bullying.
Q: What if you're the target of LGBT bullying?
A: They need to know that adults will support them and that they can go to them to talk. That was one of the findings out of the GLSEN survey: 62 percent who were harassed don't even report that harassment to adults and of those who do, 34 percent said the adults don't do anything about it. That perception needs to change so that kids know if I do tell you, things are going to change, it is going to be addressed and I can be safe here at school.
Q: What about the bullies?
A: For the perpetrators of that violence, they need to have some type of intervention as well. The problem is that there aren't a whole lot of intervention programs out there that necessarily show success, so we need to have more research in that area and more discussion about how we change these attitudes and deter someone from engaging in this sort of aggression towards others.
Q: What's your advice to the parent of a child who is being bullied because of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity?
A: If this is occurring at the school, they have to get in touch with the school and they have to take a stand with the administration and say: "You will make sure my child is in a safe, respectful environment because that is their right."
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