FGCU to host pride conference this weekend
Published: Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 00:03
I read every email that I receive, even some of the junkie spam ones. Over the past week I have received a few that really disturb me. One was about a group of women in Africa that petitioned their government to stop raping women to "cure" them of lesbianism. Another was a spam add for a "treatment" facility that could eradicate gay tendencies.
Homosexuality is not something that can be "treated" like the common cold. The debate in the scientific community is about just that fact.
Many experts are starting to think that someone being gay is a natural phenomenon comparable to being left handed; there is no way to know or change it. Others think that it is an illness that can be "conditioned" out of someone. I say live and let live.
Why should we worry ourselves about the sexual orientation of the person that sits next to us on the bus, in class, or across the world? Why should we care what anyone does, consensually, with another adult in their private space? Why should I care that 2 people who really love one another and want to commit to that relationship legally can do that? Other than to say that they can, I don't. I don't judge people based on any of these factors, and you shouldn't either.
Every year more and more lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) community members succumb to the ridicule and bullying. Suicide rates among LGBTQ youths are on the rise and it can all boil down to the need for acceptance. Does a person need to lie about the fact that they are gay? No, they shouldn't have to. Do you lie about being straight? Do you lie about having had premarital sex? No, I doubt you do.
April 1-3, FGCU will host the Florida Collegiate Pride Conference. This conference will bring together students from all over the state to discuss the trials and tribulations that affect their community, and I am proud to be listed among the presenters. The LGBTQ community is in the midst of similar struggles of minority groups from throughout history, denied rights, exclusion from services, and the focus of hate crimes. The more unified they become the more stereotypes they can overcome. FCPC will, in addition to the QPR training C.A.R.E.S. will provide, have a myriad of classes that discuss heterosexism in education, accepting yourself, writing about the gay experience, and many more workshops. All of these are meant to help solidify a community and educate a group that feels segregated. These workshops can help the 19 year old girl who has faced a form of discrimination that can lead to her taking her own life.
College is about experimentation and horizon expanding experiences. Use this time wisely to educate yourself about the culture of others, maybe even immerse yourself in that culture. If you find it's not for you, then ok, but just keep in mind it is for others and not your place to say otherwise.