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Reflecting LGBTQ diversity

Jason G'Sell, Cody Gaffney, Tom Lienhoop | Wednesday, March 7, 2012

In response to “LGBTQ students discuss campus relationships” (Mar. 7,) we, as LGBTQ members of the Notre Dame community feel that the article does not sufficiently or accurately describe the experience of the community as a whole. The article fails to consider the perspectives of students whose experiences do not align with those of the three students quoted, demonstrating a lack of attention to the sensitive nature of such issues.

In our experience, a majority of LGBTQ students would not be comfortable publicly outing themselves in The Observer. By only including interviews from students who are publicly out, Mervosh ignores many LGBTQ students who live with the difficulties of the closet on a daily basis. Moreover, the article’s portrayal of the gay community as a whole suggests a culture that is concerned primarily with sexual pursuits. Not all students, however, choose to engage in such activities.

Many LGBTQ students desire, yet struggle, to form lasting and meaningful relationships due to fear of being outed or rejected by their peers. We believe that the creation of a gay-straight alliance would facilitate the formation of friendships among LGBTQ individuals and allies and lead to a stronger, more unified Notre Dame community.

If approved, a GSA would not serve as a venue for LGBTQ students to hook up. If anything, this article demonstrates that students who are interested in pursuing hookups will find other means of doing so. The underground hookup culture is one of the many negative consequences of a lack of university-sanctioned support networks for LGBTQ students to pursue mature, adult friendships.

We believe The Observer should be more sensitive to realities LGBTQ students face at Notre Dame. Providing such a narrow perspective on the LGBTQ community only serves to reinforce negative stereotypes that do not represent many LGBTQ students’ experiences.

While we appreciate The Observer’s attempt to create dialogue about LGBTQ issues, this series of articles should serve simply as a starting point for future discussions surrounding the diversity of experiences of LGBTQ students and allies at Notre Dame.

Jason G’Sell

senior

Duncan Hall

Mar. 7

Cody Gaffney

senior

Keough Hall

Mar. 7

Tom Lienhoop

sophomore

Dillon Hall

Mar. 7