Thursday, June 11, 2009

Perspective


Source: "Marriage Equality March," The A2 Chronicle, Nov. 15, 2008

The SC and the International Center are collaborating to create a website providing information to LGBTQ international students and to LGBTQ students who are considering studying, working or traveling abroad. In order to understand student perspectives, the following survey was created. Here are my responses:

Describe your experience as an international LGBTQ student at the University.
Excellent. The University has given me the utmost confidence to be out in thought and action. It has provided me with the opportunity to serve the LGBTQ community on campus and learn more about diverse issues affecting us. It has given me the agency to BE the change that I wish to see and bring about.

What do you wish you'd known about US culture and LGBTQ issues before coming to the University?
As an International student, I wished I had been introduced to resources on LGBTQ life and related support on Campus during our month long orientation workshops with the IC and Rackham.

How have you gotten support as an LGBTQ international student? For example, have you accessed resources on-campus or in the surrounding comunity in A2?
Absolutely. I have worked with the SC in different capacities and also contributed to policy level changes at Rackham. In both instances, volunteering my time, participating in discussions and meeting new people was a great way to become increasingly comfortable with my own sexuality.

Did you have trouble adjusting to the US as an LGBTQ international student? Please explain.
None at all. Coming from a country where LGBTQ individuals/issues are still not given due respect, it was fantastic to be embraced without judgment here.

Have you had any issues with your family or home culture and your LGBTQ identity? Please explain.
It is an ongoing battle and a very difficult one at that. I often say, "acts of translation is an ongoing process." Through my volunteering work, I wish to win the support of my family and enlarge their understanding of issues at stake. I am trying and so are they.

Have you had any issues with immigration or other legal issues relating your LGBTQ identity? Please explain.
Not applicable.

What advice do you have for other LGBTQ international students?
U-M is a center of thought, conversation and action. LGBTQ international students - either open about their sexuality, in different phases of coming out or closeted, should make the most of the available resources, people, educational programs and activities on campus. It is a place that will make you comfortable, regardless of your orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression. It is an urban microcosm that will fill you with confidence and provide you with enough motivation and courage to continuously work toward improving the climate for LGBTQ individuals, wherever you go.

Good luck!

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About This Blog

This blog is built around what I refer to as the socio-sexual debate, meaning the simultaneously coexisting conditions of human society and human sexuality in a constant state of inner conflict and pressing debate. To read more, click here.

Opinion Matters

"There is a way of discussing sexuality without using labels" (Mika* in an interview with Shana Naomi Krochmal, OUT, 2008-01-28).

*Mika is a London-based singer-songwriter.

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