Running head: THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 1The Experience of Gay and Lesbian Students of Color in Countersp...
THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 2PrologueThe inspiration for this topic derives from my positionality as a gay ...
THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 3When a dark skin person enters the room, people return to their conversations ...
THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 4once. Therefore, it is important that affinity spaces be open to these diverse...
THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 5AbstractDue to their multiple marginalized identities, gay and lesbian student...
THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 6Literature ReviewWhile there have been studies completed on gay and lesbian st...
THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 7Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual (LGB) Equality challenged the Black community to in...
THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 8Racism in the Queer Community and on CampusDespite the Queer community’s long ...
THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 9having small genitals. Manalansan (1996) noted that White men who desire Asian...
THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 10White culture. Therefore, some members of the Black community reject anyone w...
THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 11because lesbians are not seen as child bearers (Boykin, 1996; Bridges et al.,...
THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 12not have; White privilege. Likewise, heterosexual people of color are conside...
THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 13ImplicationsFor this discussion, it is important to have an understanding of ...
THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 14issues around sexual identities (Sanlo, 2000) and cultural centers to address...
THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 15Collaboration Among CounterspacesOne can never fully understand another group...
THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 16identities become more and more prevalent in our work, we should consider org...
THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 17ConclusionGL students of color face discrimination from the mainstream domina...
THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 18ReferencesAdams, E. M., Cahill, B. J., & Ackerlind, S. J. (2005). A qualitati...
THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 19Dumas, M. J. (1998). Coming out/coming home: Black gay men on campus. In R.L....
THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 20Johnson, R. G. (2009). Still Invisible: The African-American gay male experie...
THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 21frame opportunity in the United States. Journal of black psychology, 34(1), 3...
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The Experience of Gay and Lesbian Students of Color in Counterspaces

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Due to their multiple marginalized identities, gay and lesbian students of color have a different developmental experience and journey towards self-authorship than their peers in the White mainstream queer and heterosexual communities, as well as among heterosexual people of color. As a result, counterspaces should be equipped to support gay and lesbian students of color in a way that may be quite different than the support for the mainstream communities they typically engage with. This paper examines the literature that exists on this topic and offers suggestions for improving our counterspaces on college and university campuses.

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The Experience of Gay and Lesbian Students of Color in Counterspaces

  1. 1. Running head: THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 1The Experience of Gay and Lesbian Students of Color in CounterspacesCornell F. WoodsonAdvisor: Dr. Shametrice DavisApril 4, 2013
  2. 2. THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 2PrologueThe inspiration for this topic derives from my positionality as a gay Black male andexperiences with the Black heterosexual community and the Black and White queercommunities. According to Paulo Freire (2006), instead of rising above the oppressor, theoppressed groups emulate the oppressor to satisfy their desire to be in a position of power. Sincesubordinated groups cannot have power over the dominant White, male, and straight community,they attempt to dominate those within their own community. Each of the groups mentionedabove have shown how they have taken on characteristics of the oppressor by discriminatingagainst people within their own community.In the Black heterosexual community, I have been called “faggot” in both a quiet roomand in the middle of a teacher’s lesson. It was as if this treatment was normal, because no oneever said anything about it, not even the teachers. In middle school, my peers beat me like a ragdoll. They knocked me to the ground, spit on me, kicked me in my ribs, and even threw rocks atmy head. Meanwhile, the school security guards watched and cheered them on as if it was anOlympic sport. In the Black church, I have sat through Sunday morning sermons about the sinfulways of the homosexual lifestyle and of my future to spend eternity burning in Hell. At the sametime, the pastor preaches how we need to be more loving of our fellow man [sic]. I have watchedhow members of that same church fight to hide secrets of their sexuality as they spew hate in thename of God from the pulpit.I have felt rejected by the Black queer community, because of the dark pigmentation ofmy skin. When in a social setting, such as a nightclub, I have noticed how the dark skin and lightskin people congregate away from each other. In the same social setting, I am aware of thedifferent reactions people have when a dark skinned or light skinned person walks into the room.
  3. 3. THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 3When a dark skin person enters the room, people return to their conversations and ignore theirpresence. When the person who walks into the room is light skinned, people smile widely, startpointing at them, and scurry toward them to start a conversation. I have been in conversationwith people in the Black queer community who have blatantly stated they would never date aperson who was darker than a brown paper bag. This community gives into the dominantnarrative of what is considered attractive in order to fit into a culture that continuously rejectsthem because they are not White.Members of the White queer community have neglected my experiences as a Black gayman. I have been told again and again by White gay men that they feel there is no differencebetween the experience of White and Black gay men, because we are all gay and fighting for thesame rights. I have been called overly sensitive and told that things really are not that bad. Itappears that the White queer community has no interest in understanding the experience of queerstudents of color. In my experience, the only time some members of the White queer community,mainly White gay men, have been interested in students of color is when they are looking for anamazing sexual experience. I have had White gay men approach me and share their sexualfantasies that include Black gay men and their large extremities. In social settings, I havewatched White gay men chase after Hispanic, Asian, or Middle-Eastern gay men because theyare, “exotic”. Some White gay men see gay men of color only as sexual beast or some rare itemto be acquired.It is for these reasons that I chose to highlight some of the experiences of gay and lesbianstudents of color. We do not walk through the world or experience life through a singular lens.Unlike the White queer and heterosexual communities, and the heterosexual students of color,gay and lesbian students of color deal with discrimination from numerous other groups all at
  4. 4. THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 4once. Therefore, it is important that affinity spaces be open to these diverse narratives and theissues that sometimes come with the intersection of multiple marginalized identities.
  5. 5. THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 5AbstractDue to their multiple marginalized identities, gay and lesbian students of color have adifferent developmental experience and journey towards self-authorship than their peers in theWhite mainstream queer and heterosexual communities, as well as among heterosexual people ofcolor. As a result, counterspaces should be equipped to support gay and lesbian students of colorin a way that may be quite different than the support for the mainstream communities theytypically engage with. This paper examines the literature that exists on this topic and offerssuggestions for improving our counterspaces on college and university campuses.
  6. 6. THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 6Literature ReviewWhile there have been studies completed on gay and lesbian students of color (Adams,Cahill & Ackerlind, 2004; Bridges, Selvidge & Matthews, 2003; Goode-Cross & Tager, 2011;Griffin, 2000; Harris, 2003; Misawa, 2010; Strayhorn, Blakewood & DeVita, 2008), most haveonly focused on the experience of Black gay men. A small sample of literature (Harris, 2003;Mobley & Levey, 1998; Savin-Williams, 1996; Boykin, 1996) mentions other racial minoritiesbesides African Americans, as well as women of color and their experiences in the queercommunity. However, there has not been enough research conducted that focuses on queerstudents of color equally. Similarly to how the White master narrative is used, most of theliterature attempted to provide insight into the experience of all queer students of color throughthe lens of Black gay men.This review of literature focuses on the broader umbrella of issues of the GL communityof color. Most if not all of the literature only highlights the experience of Black gay men in theclassrooms, residential halls, fraternities and sororities, athletic teams, and student organizations(Unks, 1995; Evans & Wall, 1991; Sanlo, 1998). There is a lack of focus on the experience ofqueer students of color in counterspaces on college and university campuses, which are meant toserve as a safe havens for students who hold marginalized identities (Jones, 2005; Sanlo, 2000).Although not all of the literature was higher education specific, the literature reveals four majorthemes that describe experiences some GL students of color face on campus.The Rocky Relationship between the Queer and the Black CommunityBoykin (1996) argued the conflict between the two groups was and still is instigated byWhite religious conservatives who tell the Black community that the Queer community threatensthe legitimacy of the civil rights movement. The 1993 National March on Washington for
  7. 7. THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 7Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual (LGB) Equality challenged the Black community to include the LGBcommunity in the mainstream American civil rights movement. Influenced by White religiousleaders, the Black community was convinced that the LGB community would threaten their fightfor racial equality.High-ranking Black leaders, such as Coretta Scott King, supported the LGB movement,but many conservative-religious leaders refused to consider the connection between the Blackand Queer community and their fight for equality. Boykin (1996) quoted Former Chairman ofthe Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell when he stated, “Skin color is a benign, non-behavioralcharacteristic. Sexual orientation is perhaps the most profound of human behavioralcharacteristics. Comparison of the two is a convenient, but invalid argument” (p. 32). It is easy tounderstand the hesitation of the Black community, who has endured years of organizing againstracial inequality, to be seen as equal to a community who is considered the most disfavored insociety. Showing support for the Queer community would have, in the eyes of the Blackcommunity, ruined everything they had worked so hard to gain. The lack of support andcondemnation from the Black community caused a huge divide between these respective groups.Instead of joining together to fight for equality, the two groups now compete against one another.To avoid discrimination both ethnic communities and the LGB community try to emulatetheir oppressors (Freire, 2006). Boykin (1996) noted that the Black community and the Queercommunity learn to hate themselves and each other. In order to stop the cycle of internal andexternal hatred, both groups must reestablish their own self-images. The debate here is notwhether the two groups are the same, but rather that both communities are fighting for the sameequal rights. Both groups share a common thread of dealing with prejudice from the dominantgroups that oppress and place them against each other.
  8. 8. THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 8Racism in the Queer Community and on CampusDespite the Queer community’s long history of fighting for equality and acceptance,racial discrimination still exists in the community (Battle, Cohen, Warren, Fergerson, & Audam,2000; Savin-Williams, 1996). GL students of color often find themselves not feeling part of thelarger Queer community because they are expected to place their sexual identity at the forefrontof their lives; therefore, their experience as a queer person of color is ignored (Savin-Williams,1996; Boykin, 1996). On college campuses GL students of color may struggle to find aconnection with the LGBTQA Center that lacks programming which supports the intersection oftheir sexual and racial/ethnic identities (Dumas, 1998; Wall & Washington, 1991).Many GL students of color report their racial identity as being their most salient identitydue to the racial discrimination they face and the sense of feeling invisible (Goode-Cross &Tager, 2011; Battle et al., 2000; Adams, Cahill & Ackerlind, 2005). Bridges et al. (2003)mentioned that some GL students of color choose to remain in the closet to avoid losing theirsupport system, which helps them combat the racism from the dominant society. For some, it iseasier to hide their sexual identity and assimilate into the straight ethnic community than it is tobe out and try to navigate a culture that is dominated by Whiteness (Boykin, 1996). As a result,GL students of color also reported feeling like the only one in their classes and other areas ofcampus because other out GL students of color were hard to find (Goode-Cross & Tager, 2011).In other ethnic communities, such as the Asian-American community, scholarship on theissues of sexuality is limited (Manalansan, 1996). Wooden, Kawasaki, and Mayeda’s (1983)study described common stereotypes placed upon Asian men in the queer community as beingpassive and more likely to fit into the role of the housewife in a relationship. Other stereotypesincluded being seen as more feminine or subservient, youthful due to the lack of body hair, and
  9. 9. THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 9having small genitals. Manalansan (1996) noted that White men who desire Asian mencommonly call them “rice queens” and places that cater to Asian men and the White men whodesire them are called “rice bars”. Wooden et al. (1983) noted, “the gay community reflects theprejudices of the White society” (p. 407).According to Johnson (2009), “one of the most insidious and widespread issues for Blackgay men to contend with is racism from the White [queer] community” (p. 158). For example,Queer students of color rarely see images of people who look like them in queer advertisementsand films. The lack of images of queer students of color makes it seem as if they do not exist andtherefore everyone comes to think that the queer community is completely White (Boykin,1996). Ninety percent of all queer advertisements still have only White male models (Johnson,2009). Furthermore, Tat (2008) argued that Black, Hispanic, and Asian American gay men havealways had to work extra hard to live up to the standards of beauty created by the White queercommunity.Homophobia in Ethnic CommunitiesAlthough many GL students of color hold their racial identity as most salient, the racismthey experience within the LGB community is not the sole reason. Homophobia is more visiblewithin the ethnic communities than the White community (Battle et al., 2000; Goode-Cross &Tager, 2011; Parker et al. 2004). According to Savin-Williams (1996), an ethnic communityrarely serves as an escape from homophobia. GL students of color are usually welcomed as longas their sexual orientation remains invisible (Griffin, 2000; Savin-Williams, 1996). The Blackcommunity views homosexuality as a result of the White culture (Boykin, 1996; Savin-Williams,1996). They also see those within their community who are homosexual as heavily influenced by
  10. 10. THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 10White culture. Therefore, some members of the Black community reject anyone who strays awayfrom cultural norms.Since GL students of color must hide their sexuality due to homophobia in their ethniccommunities, it is harder to find a community who can support them as they navigate theintersection of their sexual and racial identity development (Wall & Washington, 1991). Goode-Cross & Tager (2011) found that due to the perceived small number of gay men of color and theinability to access the larger LGB community on campus, gay men of color found it difficult tofind people who shared their identities. Boykin (1996) argued that GL students of color, if out totheir families, often lack the family support that heterosexual students of color have in dealingwith racial prejudice. As a result, some GL students of color, who become fed up with thehomophobia they experience, seek solace within the White gay community (Boykin, 1996;Griffin, 2000).Often the homophobia found within ethnic communities is due to a strong connection toreligion (Boykin, 1996; Johnson, 2009; Savin-Williams, 1996; Wall & Washington, 1991;Harris, 2003). Religious ethnic communities often justify their homophobia by stating that thebible considers homosexuality a sin (Dumas, 1998). Even when the person of color does notconsider himself or herself religious they seem to use that sentiment to make their argument.Boykin (1996) argued that religious ethnic communities, such as the Black community swear bytheir interpretations of the bible. Meanwhile, those are the same interpretations that White peopleused to defend slavery and racism.The underlying issue that some ethnic groups have with homosexuality is that it will stuntthe growth of the community and break apart families (Boykin, 1996). For example, the AsianAmerican and Black community contend that lesbianism threatens the growth of the community
  11. 11. THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 11because lesbians are not seen as child bearers (Boykin, 1996; Bridges et al., 2003). Furthermore,butch lesbians present a threat, because Black men feel they could potentially seduce theirwomen. Perhaps the most disturbing point Boykin (1996) noted is that some Black men do notconsider butch lesbians real women.Intersectionality of IdentitiesSome students, who have more than one marginalized identity, tend to have a muchharder time with their development and are more prone to stress (Harris, 2003; Zamboni &Crawford, 2006;). For example, GL students of color are prone to stress directly caused by theirexperience with discrimination from the mainstream American culture, the mainstream gayculture, and their own families and communities (Adams et al. 2005; Fukuyama & Ferguson,2000). Given their multiple marginalized identities, GL students of color do not enjoy the luxuryof focusing their energy solely on one form of oppression in their lives (Boykin, 1996). Sexualityis only one of the identities that make GL students of color a minority. For White queer peopleand heterosexual people of color, they only have one identity separating them from the dominantculture. Therefore, they only have to focus on one form of discrimination; homophobia andracism.Given the discrimination from various groups that GL students of color face, they have aconsiderably different experience coming out than their White GL peers (Mobley & Levey,1998). Harris (2003) focused on the experiences of GL students of color on campus and arguedthere are four factors which affect their development: (1) campus climate, (2) double-burdenphenomenon, (3) Programmatic issues, and (4) down-low issues. White GL people do cope withdiscrimination based on their sexuality, but they do not have to cope with racial and culturalhostility (Blanco, 1998). White GL people have a layer of protection that GL students of color do
  12. 12. THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 12not have; White privilege. Likewise, heterosexual people of color are considered more sociallyacceptable, because of their privileged identity as a straight person.While having two marginalized identities can be extremely difficult to navigate, lesbianwomen of color must simultaneously deal with the triple oppression of racism, sexism, andheterosexism (Adams et al., 2005; Ferguson & Howard-Hamilton, 2000; Parks, Hughes &Matthews, 2004). They must learn to cope with the oppression coming from all the dominantcultures. Bridges et al. (2003) discussed lesbian women of color’s frequent concern of beingunable to integrate multiple identities. They go on to state that lesbian women of color feel as ifthey must choose one of their identities as their most salient.On campus, GL students of color have to decide whether or not to join an organizationthat affirms their ethnic identity or their sexual identity. Having an option to join a queer studentorganization does not mean that GL students of color will feel comfortable and may even attemptto avoid them (Mobley & Levey, 1998). Mobley & Levey (1998) also mention how GL studentsof color have to think about whether or not the group will meet their needs as ethnic individuals,because of the racism they experience within the LGB community. As mentioned before, thisexperience causes GL students of color to remain in the closet and stay close to multiculturalorganizations on campus.As the literature review illustrates, the experience of GL students of color is not onlyshaped by their interactions with the mainstream queer community. Therefore, a much deeperdialogue must be had about how to make all counterspaces places where people with multiplemarginalized identities can go for holistic support; beginning with LGBTQA centers.
  13. 13. THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 13ImplicationsFor this discussion, it is important to have an understanding of what exactlydefines a counterspace. According to Solórzano, Ceja, and Yosso (2000), counterspaces serve as“sites where deficit notions of people of color can be challenged and where a positive climatecan be established and maintained” (p. 70). Jones (2005) mentions that these spaces arecomprised of individuals with a common narrative and experience dealing with oppression. As aresult, these spaces serve as an escape, for any student with a marginalized identity (e.g. racialand sexual minority individuals, etc), from the tyranny they face from the dominant culture.They also help “promote positive self-concepts among marginalized individuals”, which is morelikely to happen in spaces like these (Case and Hunter, 2012, p. 261).While I am using the term counterspace, it is important to note that these spaces are alsoreferred to as safe spaces and alternative settings (Cherniss and Deegan, 2000), free spaces (Fine,Weis, Weseen, and Wong, 2000), sites of resistance (Hooks, 1990), critical spaces (McCorkel,1998), sites of resilience (Payne, 2008), and empowering community settings (Maton, 2008). Allof these spaces exist to challenge the White, hetero-normative, and male narrative that dominantsour culture (Case and Hunter, 2012). The term affinity space is also commonly used. However,Gee (2005) argues that affinity spaces are different because within these spaces people relate toeach other primarily in terms of common interests and not primarily in terms of race, gender,age, disability or social class. Therefore, affinity spaces would not serve as a place where peoplewith marginalized identities can develop a positive sense of self-worth.If counterspaces such as LGBTQ and cultural centers serve to ensure that the cycle ofoppression that takes place in society is not reproduced in the space, then they have fallen shortof their purpose (Case and Hunter, 2012). Although LGBTQ centers were established to address
  14. 14. THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 14issues around sexual identities (Sanlo, 2000) and cultural centers to address issues around raceand ethnicity (Solórzano et al., 2000), they must work to meet the changing and growing needsof today’s queer students of color. Intentional efforts to understand how multiple identities affectthe holistic development of students must be consistent. Based on the existing literature and theinitial findings of a pilot study I conducted with two queer students of color, I put forth thefollowing areas of improvement.Provide Training for Students and StaffA major step in the right direction is partaking in the self-work needed to become moreculturally sensitive and embrace the various narratives that exist among students. There arenumerous organizations that provide trainings and work with staff to understand their ownprivileged identities and how people of multiple marginalized identities experience that privilege.However, initiatives of this kind can be extremely expensive. To offset the cost, joint trainingsfor multiple departments could be beneficial. Another cost-effective way to begin the self-workis to implement professional development during staff meetings. Read articles and researchstudies on topics, such as intersecting marginalized identities and work to establish concreteplans to utilize the information.This form of development need not stop with the administrators. Staff members in thecenters who advise student organizations can implement similar initiatives during check-ins withthe executive boards or when they meet during fall or spring retreats. Challenging our students tofind ways to make space for other voices within their organizations is beneficial to theirdevelopment as leaders on campus and beyond.
  15. 15. THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 15Collaboration Among CounterspacesOne can never fully understand another group’s experience with their identity. Readingarticles and research studies followed by authentic discussions are great ways to develop basicknowledge of the issues they face, but that is learning in a vacuum. Direct interaction andintentional relationship building with GL students of color can help to provide context andhumanize their issues. Counterspaces, such as cultural and LGBTQ centers should considerdeveloping opportunities to collaborate with each other to bring students together duringdifferent times of the year.One of the major concerns for both participants in my pilot study was the lack ofvisibility of other queer students of color at events. Developing new programming that bringsboth the cultural and LGBTQ centers together can potentially help show GL students of colorthat they are wanted in the spaces. Furthermore, it provides the opportunity for the staff in bothcenters to meet and develop relationships with GL students of color. If the centers are going tocontinue being separate entities then at least they can be more intentional about working togethermore often.Establish Multicultural Centers InsteadAs student affairs professionals we are guilty of compartmentalizing our student services.For example, we make GL students of color choose which center to interact with at a given time.The literature shows that the gross separation of the various communities force students tochoose an identity that is most salient to them (Bridges, Selvidge, and Matthews, 2003; Mobley& Levey, 1998). In actuality, our GL students of color do not experience their lives that way.Their identities are woven together as one piece of fabric (Boykin, 1996). As the intersection of
  16. 16. THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 16identities become more and more prevalent in our work, we should consider organizing ourservices that way as well.I propose we move the various counterspaces that exist on our campuses into onecombined space where students can access all of their services and encourage morecollaboration. To clarify, the new space would need to be intentionally designed to provide somesense of privacy for the cultural center since the LGBTQ center does cater to White queerstudents too. This space could have several floors or various wings for each counterspace;however, the concept is that they are close enough for GL students of color to access withouthaving to trek all around campus. Furthermore, the image of the different counterspaces workingclosely together and in close quarters could have a positive effect on our students with multiplemarginalized identities. hooks (1990) described these spaces as “sites with radical possibility” (p.149). We can live up to the standards Hooks mentioned by no longer letting what happened inthe past hinder our future and come together to do this critical work.Diversify StaffThe students in my pilot study referenced the need to have other people who look likethem or share their experiences in order to feel safe in a space. In order for queer students ofcolor to feel like the various counterspaces exist to support them too, all counterspaces mustdiversify their staff. Combining the counterspaces into close quarters is not sufficient enough;there must be staff members who also identify as queer and a person of color. Queer staffmembers of color will not only be able to support queer students of color as they navigate theoppression they experience from having multiple marginalized identities; they can also help thestaff become more culturally sensitive by advocating for queer students of color.
  17. 17. THE EXPERIENCE OF GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS 17ConclusionGL students of color face discrimination from the mainstream dominant community, themainstream gay community, and their own ethnic community due to their multiple marginalizedidentities. This discussion serves as a call to action for student affairs administrators withincounterspaces to consider a change in the way they provide their services to be more inclusive.The purpose is not to minimize the experience of the White gay community or the Blackcommunity and the discrimination they endure; nor is it meant to be divisive or point fingers.Instead the purpose is to highlight another narrative of inequality that hopefully we can all rallybehind.Lastly, a large amount of energy is spent on changing the hearts and minds of peoplefully immersed in the dominant culture. However, we have not spent the necessary time onstrengthening the innumerable types of people who make up our community and heal the woundsfrom the past. I believe that if we are to win life’s greater battles, then we must do the self-workneeded to make our communities and ourselves strong.
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