Wednesday, April 04, 2012

First LGBT Resource Center at an HBCU Opens!

The issues of sexual orientation and gender identity among students at Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs) has been a controversial one for quite a long time. These academic institutions are often overwhelming Black or African American and the intersection of race and LGBT identities have caused friction at many of these locations. At many colleges and universities there is some kind of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Student Center to provide support and resources for students who are LGBT. They have become almost commonplace at any academic institution which is serious about ensuring that it wants all of its students to be supported and succeed.

From Wonder Man comes word that for the first time an HBCU has opened an institutionally supported LGBT Student Center. It is Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland.

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education reports:
On April 2, Bowie State University in Maryland will open the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Allies Resource Center on campus. The university says the center is the first of its kind on the campus of a state-operated historically Black college or university. The center’s stated goal is to educate the Bowie State community on issues related to sexual orientation and to provide a supportive, welcoming environment for LGBT students.
“HBCUs usually don’t want to address LGBT issues,” says Adrian Krishnasamy, director of the center and an assistant professor in the department of communications. “It also gives Bowie State’s LGBT community visibility. Now that we’re visible, we can arm people with knowledge and fight ignorance.”
“It troubles me that many students, particularly African-American students, are afraid to discuss their issues with sexual identity and that’s who we want to reach,” Dr. Krishnasamy continued. “We want people to feel comfortable with who they are.”
This is great news. Here's looking at you Morehouse, Howard and Spelman! These are the Top 3 HBCUs in the country but have beaten by Bowie State University to score an historic first. Hopefully this will challenge the "Big 3" to also demonstrate their support for their many LGBT students, faculty and administrators.

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