I was raised by two women. When my mom and dad divorced, my mom moved in with a good friend of hers who was also getting divorced. What was originally a temporary living situation became my family, and together my moms have raised my sister and me with as much love and support as any kids could want. As a little girl, it never occurred to me that having two mothers was unusual. I had parents just like most other kids, right?
In fact, it wasn’t until my freshman year of high school that I realized just how prevalent homophobia is in our culture. Seeing the hateful ideologies some of my peers had truly disturbed me, and here at Penn State I am making it my goal to promote acceptance and inclusion of all sexualities – love is love, and that’s it.
Our first step in changing our society’s perspective is being well informed. Several of my papers and presentations for RCL137 this semester have examined LGBTQA history, and I have news for you; the world wasn’t always homophobic. In fact, before the rise of Western culture, the entire world was a place that was inclusive of homosexuality and transgenderism.
Regardless of how our culture came to view homosexuality as taboo, we have a responsibility to change it. We have to overcome the stigma our culture has imposed and return the world to a state where love and marriage are not restricted to a man and woman alone. Humanity is so much more diverse than that, and we need to recognize that love is more diverse as well.
Penn State’s LGBTQA Student Resource Center is a great place to start if you are looking for information. The Center offers different workshops and discussion groups as well as a safe place to hang out (They also have free LGBTQA pins, I currently have about ten of them!). The Center works to promote awareness and positive social change in the Penn State community regarding LGBTQA issues. Getting involved in the Center and in other inclusive efforts on campus is the number one way that we as students can actively make a difference.
Happy Valley is a place that promotes diversity and inclusion as one of its core values, but do we really see that being lived out here at University Park? No matter what positive changes we’ve made at Penn State, there is more work to do. We the students must actively fight for a campus that not only accepts and includes different genders and sexualities, but embraces them. Our work is not done until same sex marriage and transgenderism is considered as normal and natural as heterosexuality is viewed today.
WE ARE Penn State, WE ARE all human, and WE ALL have the right to love.