This page was established to provide a comprehensive education and information as well as to maintain an open, safe, and inclusive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning students, faculty, and staff, their families and friends, and the campus community at large.
Want to support the LGBTQ Community?
But don't know all the terms or how and when to use them? A crash course about the different terms used in the LGBTQ community.
Hooray for the LGBTQ Community of Southern Utah!
2/27/10 Cedar City »
A rally about a need for laws to bar discrimination against members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community drew about 50 people Saturday in this southern Utah city. Read more about the Rally in the Salt Lake Tribute!
Arguments presented for city non-discrimination ordinance
by Ashley Langston
Jun 09, 2010 » The city council heard from representatives from Southern Utah University and the SUU Queer Straight Alliance... about the need for a non-discrimination ordinance in the city at its June 2 meeting. Benjamin Smith, of the SUU QSA... he spoke about a need he sees for non-discrimination ordinances in housing and employment. “Discrimination still exists,” he said, citing information that reported people who are perceived to be gay or transgender are six to seven times more likely to be discriminated against... SUU Vice President for Student Services Donna Eddleman said QSA is not asking anyone to condone a lifestyle, but rather to be inclusive, value others, and “love they neighbor.” Read the full article on the non-discrimination ordinance.
Ways to Reduce Homophobia
- Make no assumption about sexuality. If a student/peer has not used a pronoun when discussing a relationship, don't assume one. Use neutral language such as "Are you seeing anyone" instead of "Do you have a boyfriend". Additionally, do not assume that a female who confides a "crush" on another girl is a lesbian. Labels are often too scary and sometimes not accurate. Let students label themselves.
- Have something gay-related visible in your office--a sticker, a poster, a flyer, a brochure, a book, a button. This will identify you as a safe person to talk to and will hopefully allow a gay, lesbian, bisexual or questioning youth to break his/her silence. SAFE ZONE campaign stickers and resources can provide this visibility.
- Support, normalize and validate a persons feelings about his/her sexuality. Let them know that you are there for them. If you cannot be supportive, please refer to someone who can be. Then work on your own biases by reading, learning and talking to people comfortable with this issue. And always remember, the problem is homophobia not homosexuality.
- Do not advise to come out to parents, family and friends as they need to come out at their own safe pace. Studies show as many as 26% of gay youth are forced to leave their home after they tell their parents. IT IS THEIR DECISION and they have to live with the consequences. Help them figure out what makes sense for them.
- Guarantee confidentiality with students. Students need to know their privacy will be respected or they will not be honest about this important issue. If you cannot maintain confidentiality for legal reasons, let students know this in advance.
- Challenge homophobia. As a role model for your students, respond to homophobia immediately and sincerely. Encourage in-service trainings for staff and students on homophobia and its impact on gay and lesbian youth.
- Combat heterosexism in your classroom. Include visibly gay and lesbian role models in your classroom.
- Learn about and refer to community organizations. Familiarize yourself with resources and call them before you refer to make sure they are ongoing. Also, become aware of gay-themed bibliographies and refer to gay-positive books.
- Encourage school administrators to adopt and enforce anti-discrimination policies for their schools or school systems which include sexual orientation. The language should be included in all written materials next to race, sex, religion, etc.
- Provide role models. Gay and straight students benefit from having openly gay teachers, coaches and administration. Straight students are given an alternative to the inaccurate stereotypes they have received and gay students are provided with the opportunity to see healthy gay adults. You, as teachers, can help by making gay and lesbian students feel more welcome.
LGBTQ Myths and Facts
Myth. Most Lesbians Or Gays Regard Themselves As Members Of The Opposite Sex.
Fact. The majority, if not all gays and lesbians are very happy with their gender. In many ways, their sexual identity is seen as a celebration and an affirmation of their gender, not rejection of it. People often confuse homosexuality with transsexuality and or transvestism. Transsexual people feel as if they were born into the wrong body and should be the opposite gender. Transvestites are people who often dress in the clothing of the opposite sex.
Most transvestites are heterosexual.
Myth. Homosexuality Is A Form Of Mental Illness And Can Be Cured.
Fact. The American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of official mental illnesses in 1973. The American Psychological Association followed suit in 1974. And so have most Psychiatric and psychological associations around the world.
More LGBTQ myths.
LGBTQ Community Resources