Jonathan Kim | Staff Writer
The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) Rave was held on Friday at 6 PM at Talley Student Center. The rave was a social opportunity as well as an opportunity for students to know about the GLBT Center. Justine Hollingshead, Director of the GLBT Center, said that the staff of the GLBT Center “wanted this to be a social opportunity for new students to meet with our returning students.” She also that she wanted “first year students to have something to do on the weekends.” If you missed the GLBT rave, it was an excellent chance to meet new and returning students. The event was sponsored by the GLBT-CommUnity Alliance with support from the GLBT Center.
The goals of the GLBT Center are to:
- Provide a safe and welcoming space for the GLBTQI and ally communities.
- Serve as a resource center.
- Educate the GLBTQI and larger university communities.
- Represent the GLBTQI community and serve as its advocate.
- Promote ally development through Project SAFE and other programs.
Ms. Hollingshead said that the overall goal for the NC State GLBT community is for them “to feel like they are welcome and to feel that they are part of NC State.” She also said that the goal for the entire community of North Carolina State University is to create opportunities for people to become more aware of sexual orientation and gender identity. She said that the goal is to help the entire NC State community to understand what it is like to be a member of the GLBT community on the college campus of North Carolina State University.
Hollingshead believes that the members of North Carolina State University have come far in respecting and accepting the GLBT community. However, she believes that “there is still more work to do.” For example, “there are certain comments in class or on the campus of NC State” concerning the GLBT Community that students find demeaning. What can students do as individual students to support the GLBT Center and community? Students can become more aware of how sexual orientation and gender identity in North Carolina are not included as projected classes. Students also are personally responsible for making sure that the entire NC State community feels welcomed, loved, and accepted. Therefore, students can act against and speak out against events in the tunnel that do not show respect to all the members of the NC State community. Students should also stand up against everyday situations of someone being mistreated because of their sexual orientation.
I recently heard someone say that people who are part of the GLBT community should not have full rights. I told him he was wrong and that all humans regardless of anything about them should have full rights because they are human beings. Hollingshead said that “GLBT community members do not have equal rights. There is not equality for the GLBT community in areas such as marriage, employment, and adoption.” Hollingshead also said that “as a human being, I deserve rights that all humans have. The U.S. Constitution does not say that only heterosexual people should have full rights. The U.S. Constitution says that we are all to be treated equal.” We, as human beings who are supposed to be a community that thrives when each member feels welcome, have a responsibility to stand against these harmful thoughts and words. How do we change these thoughts and words of hate? Hollingshead said “that the best way is to sit down and have a conversation with dignity as adults. It is possible as long as that person is someone who is willing to listen and willing to be exposed to different people.” She also said “that people need to have a mutual respect” for this conversation to take place and for the conversation to succeed in providing a perspective on what members of the GLBT community feel. Hollingshead also said that “it’s hard to change someone who believes they are extremely right.”
Students can also become part of a larger group that is standing up for respect for all community members. Students can attend a program or event hosted by the NC State GLBT Center that will help students to learn about the GLBT community. This will also help students to “learn what it is like to become a member of the GLBT community and what a GLBT student feels.”