275
Chapter 19
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,
Transgender, Queer,
Intersex, and Asexual
Support Systems within
Higher Education
Michael Grewe
Contents
Introduction ...................................................................................................... 276
Nondiscrimination Policies................................................................................279
Institutional Support ........................................................................................ 280
Religiously Aliated Institutions ..................................................................281
Creating Community and Identity Development .........................................283
Working Across the Great Divide................................................................. 284
All-Gender Facilities and Programming ............................................................ 284
On-Campus Housing ...................................................................................285
Restrooms .....................................................................................................287
Athletics .......................................................................................................288
Challenges ....................................................................................................289
276Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Civil Rights
Introduction
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual (LGBTQIA) and allied
students, sta, faculty, and alumni learn, teach, live, and exist on college and
university campuses across the United States. ese individuals make enormous
contributions to the academic curriculum, to campus leadership, and to the gen-
eral culture of every institution of which they are a part. LGBTQIA students,
sta, and faculty members deal with many unique challenges, including whether
to “come out” and to whom they will choose to disclose their gender or sexual
identity; dealing with biphobic, homophobic, and transphobic language and situ-
ations from classmates, professors, coworkers, and administrators; and attempting
to foster a healthy self-image in a heteronormative and gender conformist world
(Sanlo and Espinoza 2012, 477). And the lived realities of LGBTQIA individuals
can vary from campus to campus, depending on the policies, the philosophies,
the politics, and the culture of an institution. ough LGBTQIA people are part
of the fabric of thousands of colleges and universities across the country, many of
these institutions make both conscious and unconscious choices to restrict and
to impede LGBTQIA individuals’ ability to participate fully within classrooms,
residence halls, athletics, cocurricular activities, departments, and other facets of
campus life.
Over the past ten years, higher education has continued to adapt its response
more fully to the needs of LGBTQIA students, resulting in a number of positive
changes. A sign of this progress is seen in the way undergraduate admissions
departments across the country have taken an interest in recruiting gender and
sexual minority students. For example, colleges and universities have noted that
students prioritize their decision on where to apply based on whether a campus
has an LGBTQIA student organization or a queer-friendly atmosphere (Burleson
2003, 12). As a result, institutions have begun to market themselves specically
to incoming LGBTQIA students and their allies: Pictures of LGBTQIA students
and members of LGBTQIA student organizations are featured in promotional
materials, and some have attended college fairs that are geared exclusively for
LGBTQIA students (Cegler 2012, 20–21). Other colleges and universities have
begun to ask applicants to note their “preferred gender identity” on college appli-
cations in addition to the femalemale binary question that currently exists on
the Common Application (Cegler 2012, 20). And in 2012, Iowa State University
announced that it would become the rst public university in the country to
include an optional question asking about prospective students’membership
Education and Training Initiatives .....................................................................289
Campus Climate Change: An Example ......................................................... 291
Conclusion ........................................................................................................ 293
References .........................................................................................................294

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