Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Students

IMAGINE THIS (guided imagery exercise)1

Close your eyes. Imagine, if you will, that you have met the perfect person…a soul mate. You love spending time with them…they make you laugh…they make you complete. You ache when you are away from this person for an extended period of time. You are totally and completely contented and happy, and could think of nothing better than spending the rest of your life with this person…telling and proclaiming to the whole world your love for this one special someone. There is only one catch though…you can’t tell ANYONE!! You can’t bring this person home to meet your parents and family, and you can’t tell any of your other friends about this person.

Think about how this would make you feel??

Now imagine that you are sitting alone in your residence hall room, and you are cuddling with this special person. A group of your “friends” from down the hall come knocking at the door. You and that special someone jump to opposite sides of the couch before telling them to come in. They are so excited. They know that you never really “go out” and they say they have found a wonderful “date” for you.

How does this make you feel? How does this make your “special someone” feel?? What do you do?? Do you go?? Do you not go??

Dealing with Homophobia2
Heterosexism is so deeply ingrained in our society we often hardly even notice it. The questions below were put together to help in that awareness and to give you ideas about things you can do to be supportive of LGBT students in your classes. These questions are useful both for heterosexual audiences and to help lesbians/gay men/bisexual people look at internalized homophobia.

  • Do you laugh at jokes whose humor depends upon stereotypes (usually negative) of lesbians, gay men or bisexual people? Do you tell these jokes in the classroom? If students make a humorous remark based on a stereotype, do you point that out or do you just laugh?
  • Do you use dehumanizing slang: for example, homos, fags, pansies, dykes, lezzies? Note that queer is seen differently by various sub communities. Some want to reclaim queer as an inclusive word for lesbian, gay, bi and trans people. Others find it as offensive as those in the list above. Still others feel that queer acceptable within the LGBT community but not when used by or heterosexuals. There is an academic area is called queer studies by its proponents. Use queer at your own risk.
  • When you hear of someone being fired or denied promotion or tenure (or limited in any way) because of the person's sexual orientation, especially in your own college or university, do you speak out against that decision and offer your help to the person involved?
  • Are you consciously aware of the group you are generalizing about—for example, when you say "people," do you really mean everyone? When you say "women," do you really mean heterosexual women? If so, do you make the more narrow specification when you teach or write?
  • Do you assume that, because someone speaks in support of gay/lesbian issues, that person is homosexual?
  • Do you identify yourself as heterosexual (or let yourself be assumed so) when homosexuality is a topic of discussion or when confronting people about derogatory remarks? Why? Will you risk making mistakes in what you say about homosexuality, without simultaneously justifying that mistake by stating your heterosexuality?
  • When speaking of couples, do you include gay and lesbian couples?
  • Do you assume the person you are speaking to is heterosexual? For example, do you say, "Do you have a girlfriend?" or "Do you have a boyfriend" rather than, "Do you have a lover (or spouse, partner, life-mate)?"
  • Do you respect the need for secrecy of persons you know to be gay, lesbian or bisexual? If someone asks you whether or not Janet Doe is a lesbian, do you say, "You should ask her," even when you know her to be heterosexual? or bisexual? or lesbian?
  • When speaking to students or peers about sexuality, do you present homosexuality and heterosexuality as equally valid orientations? Do you press other adults, faculty, administrators, etc. to do the same?

Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Resource Center

(213) 740-7619
Student Union 202B
Email: ude.csu|tbgl#ude.csu|tbgl

The LGBT Resource Center works in collaboration with other campus departments, organizations and community networks to create a safe, welcoming and inclusive campus environment for LGBT students and their supportive allies, including students, faculty and staff. If you identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, supportive ally or are simply interested in itsservices, please contact the LGBT Resource Center. The LGBT Resource Center's services include the following:

  1. supportive setting for you to seek assistance on any issue of concern, with or without confidentiality;
  2. a mentoring program for students who are dealing with problems or concerns about their sexual identity;
  3. LGBT-sensitive educational programming for supportive allies, as well as working on sensitivity concerns with various departments, residence halls and student organizations;
  4. LGBT-related crisis interventions, information and local referrals to help you deal with coming-out issues, hate crimes, or simply getting involved with campus activities;
  5. student programming opportunities and leadership development, such as an emerging spring semester leadership retreat called "GQ";
  6. connections with neighboring LGBT-friendly resources, including employment, mentoring and volunteer opportunities within Los Angeles County; and
  7. networking opportunities for students with university faculty and staff, alumni and community professionals who are sensitive to LGBT people.

LGBT student involvement is not limited to undergraduates. There are several graduate and professional student organizations at USC. Most are discipline-focused to establish networking within specific career fields. Groups include the Gay and Lesbian Law Union, the Marshall School of Business Gay and Lesbian Association, MedGLO on the Health Sciences campus, the Social Work LGBT Caucus and Out for Reel for cinema students. Group representatives meet monthly through the Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) LGBT Concerns Committee. For more information, contact the LGBT Resource Center.

In addition, Student Counseling Services offers free individual and group opportunities for lesbian, gay and bisexual students.

For more information about these and other programs, go to:

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