On my way to San Diego to celebrate my girlfriend’s birthday, I was reading the L.A. Times out loud to her and myself while on the drive there.  Reading the section on Gov. Brown’s wise decision to financially support undocumented students, the section also mentioned how he had also approved a measure that “will encourage state university systems to collect data on students’ sexual orientation and encourage the legislative analyst to use it to recommend improvements in the quality of  life for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students- bill AB 620.”

I don’t necessarily know how the “improvements” will look like, but I couldn’t help but smile.

It seems that the queer population is being acknowledged and their concerns addressed in more recent times. From this particular measure to New York’s same sex marriage legalization to the repeal of the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy- queer people are finally starting to get the respect they deserve. It’s been a long time for queer individuals to continue hiding in the shadows and behind silence and it’s about time that we start being recognized for who we are and the issues and obstacles we encounter. We are a strong population but we are also as vulnerable as the next person; we, too, need support.

This Oct. 17-21 is “Ally Week”, which is right around the corner.

“Ally Week is a week for students to organize events that serve to identify, support and celebrate Allies against anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) language, bullying and harassment in America’s schools. Students plan events appropriate to their school community.

Most students will encourage their peers and school staff to sign an Ally Pledge which states:

I believe all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression,
deserve to feel safe and supported. That means I pledge to:

  1. Not use anti-LGBT language and slurs;
  2. Intervene, if I safely can, in situations where other students are being harassed;
  3. Support efforts to end bullying and harassment.

Take the pledge online here.

I thought I would take this week to have fellow allies support the LGBTQIA community and support your hermanos y hermanas in their struggle to stamp out negative LGBTQIA sentiment, rhetoric, and actions.

Paz, Dora la Exploradora

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About ocbarrios

Professor for Cal State Fullerton's Barrio Studies class for Fall 2011 semester

3 responses »

  1. Xitlali says:

    Its important to note that although legislation is acknowledging queer people it is not written for all queer people. We should also take into account that this country is using assimilation tactics in order to make Queer mainstream that only accepts (the white middle class.) The views on Gay marriage are reproducing patriarchy to maintain a traditional social relationship between LGBTQIA in which it becomes only acceptable to see a feminine man/woman with a masculine man/woman. It remains dangerous to challenge the norm for feminine identified men and masculine identified women. As for DADT, it has become increasingly dangerous for men to “come out.” Also, it takes more then signing a pledge to become an ally. We need our heterosexual brothers and sister to be allies in all walks of life, but we also need allies who will not perpetuate assumed thoughts about LGBTQ. Allies also remember, heterosexuality remains under patriarchy remains under the terms that a man has to be masculine to a point and a woman feminine to a point, if you do not identify to the masculinity/femininity society has set then you don’t fit heterosexuality…remember that Queer encompasses all and leaves no one out including allies.

  2. ocbarrios says:

    Xitlali, that was a beautifully written argument and I couldn’t agree with you more. Much of the policies and legislation passed does seem to surround and provide more support to the white LGBTQIA population; it seems like every movement and struggle addressed by a diverse population tackles one oppressed label at a time, in this situation it’s being queer and not necessarily being a person of color and queer. Maybe it is naive of me to assume that addressing issues in the queer community is a step forward, albeit a small one, but I hope that this does contribute to a society that will treat and continue in the right direction to equalize the fair treatment of all individuals. I will strive to address those issues with future topics, thank you for raising all of those critical points, I would hate for others to have missed out on those key issues.

  3. Nomas agregó al Chisme! Especially since I was stuck in a political science class when I wrote that response. It just sometimes I feel that as Queer people we should not take any thing that is being done through legislation as a move forward, it really is a reality check to how difficult society makes it for people who don’t agree with a majority perspective. Eso Creo…
    In order to further connect with your post also heres an invite for a “coming out” event that DeColores Queer OC is putting on tomorrow evening at Sasscer Park en SantAna.
    https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=150681231691000

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