A STATMENT REGARDING THE PULSE SHOOTING:
As the Queer Community Interns, we would like to send our thoughts and prayers to the victims of the Pulse Shooting as well as their families and communities. We recognize that this mass tragedy has touched the hearts of many in our own community, especially those who identify as LGBTQIAA+. We also realize that by the media's focus on ISIS and terrorism breeding more Islamophobia and demonization of Islam, many of our community members may be feeling targeted and unsafe. Whichever group is centered as responsible for this attack, we know that there is not a group without queer identified people and want to acknowledge the complexities of their pain.
We understand that this was not an isolated event and that fatal violence against the queer community happens every day and disproportionately on black/brown bodies. While the magnitude of this was felt, we must continue to contextualize this as a hate crime supported by overt and covert homophobia, transphobia, racism, and heteronormativity.
While you will hear messages of tolerance and love, we know that tolerance does not equal acceptance, and real change requires real work. That work starts with us, in our homes and here at Wesleyan, exploring how we support or perpetuate violence in our communities, through our words, actions, or inactions. We urge you all to revisit what it means to be an ally and stand in solidarity with marginalized communities. We encourage you to listen to the voices of those directly impacted by this tragic event and to think critically about the narratives shared via the media that may cause more harm and violence.
We understand now, more than ever, the illusion of safe spaces and yet we will still work diligently to create safer ones for us here at Wesleyan.
We hope to see you all in the fall with renewed energy,
PeaceElijah Jimenez ‘18Jose Luis Sanchez ‘18
The community that constitutes Wesleyan is diverse and unique. Students’ sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression are as diverse as the larger community at Wesleyan. Students, faculty, administrators, and staff strive to create a safe space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and intersex (LGBTQQI…) students at Wesleyan. Many queer faculty, staff, and administrators also make themselves available to serve as resources to LGBTQQI… students.
Many people in the Wesleyan community use the word “queer”, a non-gender specific and anti-normative word, in place of other terms that do not fully encompass the variety of sexual and gender identities of our community members. While this term was used as a derogatory epithet against LGBTQQI… people in the past, many have sought to reclaim it. Radical activists in the 1990s especially deployed “queer” to signify empowerment and a sense of unity against the oppressive heteronormative sex/gender system in America. There is, however, space at Wesleyan to self-identify with any words that best validate one’s identity. When Wesleyan students use the word “queer” to describe themselves and their communities, they use it with pride.
LGBTQQI… students are vocal, active, organized, and respected members of the Wesleyan community. While some students choose to become involved in political and social organizations that exist on campus, there is no universal or typical way of being queer at Wesleyan. In fact, there are numerous queer communities at Wesleyan that serve different purposes for the people who choose to become involved with them.