Allies for spirit of inclusion
Karl Abad, Jack Diaz de Leon, Sam Costanzo, Chris Collins and Brandon Buchanan | Thursday, April 7, 2011
We all may have different reasons for deciding to come to Notre Dame — academic, religious, athletic, familial or some combination of these and more. Notre Dame’s tradition attracts people with similar values and aspirations, acknowledging their uniqueness while providing them with a firm sense of commonality. More often than not, over time one can firmly establish a reassuring sense of community here.
For lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and especially questioning individuals (LGBTQ), the opposite has often been true. From the beginning, they are inundated with abrupt and firm assertions of heteronormativity. Frosh-O, Domerfest, SYRs and dorm parties negatively reinforce commonly held assumptions about “normal” sexuality and orientation. LGBTQ individuals are faced with a choice: either adhere to the standards of “straightness” or face ostracism and exclusion. And yet this is their home, and a place close to our hearts as well, where comfort thrives — or at least should thrive — from the freedom to be oneself.
As AllianceND’s officers our mission statement is as follows: “The purpose of AllianceND shall be to further embody Notre Dame’s Spirit of Inclusion, in accordance with the Catholic Church’s Doctrine of Universal Acceptance, and to address aversive homophobia towards Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning persons and their Allies.” Knowing the needs of the Notre Dame community, we have grounded ourselves in an ongoing social conversation. The best way to combat prejudice is to know people that experience prejudice; and with campus culture being as it is, we have realized that we need to speak up — to let people know that everyone knows someone that this impacts.
The involvement of allies is crucial in developing this alliance. All we ask from our allies is to be supportive and understanding of the fact that past our differences, we are all individuals of the same community who deserve to be treated equally. We therefore invite you to come together with many of your current classmates, roommates and friends and begin a conversation.
If you are interested in finding out more, please contact [email protected], and we’ll add you to the listserv. We meet at 9 p.m. in the Great Hall of O’Shag on Wednesdays. Please come by to discuss what being an ally means both in general and here at Notre Dame!
Saint Edwards Hall
Jack Diaz de Leon