Still tough to be queer on campus

Staff Editorial

Even at what is recognized to be one of the most nationally accepting universities for LGBTQA folks, being queer is still hard.

Members of the Cynic staff span the spectrum of genders, sexualities and identities.

When many of us showed up to UVM, we were surprised not to feel as welcome and safe as we’d hoped.

We welcome and enthusiastically affirm all identities without question because so many of us have not found that affirmation elsewhere.

Members of our staff are asexual, lesbian, straight, gay, bisexual, transgender and non-binary. While UVM does a lot institutionally to support members of the queer community, it’s hard.

When textbooks, class discussions and certain professors seems to live only in a world of heterosexual relationships with cis-gendered people, we feel tired.

When roommates and lunchtime pals tell us that we aren’t asexual, just “picky” and that we “haven’t found the right person yet,” we feel tired.

When we are told that we are not bisexual, but “oversexualized” and “attention-seeking,” we feel tired.

When we overhear people on campus saying, “Everyone is transgender now; it’s a UVM thing,” we feel tired and angry and sad.

But we are hopeful. And we are lucky.

Though it is painful, we are lucky to be in a community with people who are not like us.

We are lucky to be living and learning in a community that is trying to do better for its queer members.

We are lucky to have a community that has a place like the LGBTQA Center. We are lucky to have a Center director like Kate Jerman who is humble enough to say the University is not doing enough to meet the needs of queer students of color.

To those of you who are queer on campus, who came to UVM because of its reputation for inclusivity and now feel confused and disappointed, we affirm and support you.

The frustration and exhaustion and sadness that you feel is real. Some of us have felt it, too. Know that you are not alone. If you are seeking a space to feel welcomed and affirmed, the door of the Cynic office is open to you.