This week’s topic on the LGBT community has really made me aware of how underrepresented this community is and although our culture and environment is quickly evolving, higher education institutions are not evolving quickly enough for this particular community. Most institutions are going to have an Equity and Inclusion Center but given this week’s chapter reading assignments, it is apparent that these centers are not doing enough to cultivate the diversity within their institutions. This week’s videos also pointed out some minor changes that could be made in an attempt to include this particular community that can make a huge impact.
In order for higher education institutions to promote the acceptance of the LGBT community and become more accommodating they must first require acceptance from the entire campus community to avoid any negative backlash from expanding the diversity within their institutions. Administrators must express the importance of a diverse environment and that any and everyone should feel included regardless of their culture, background, race, sexual orientation, etc. It should be known that discrimination is not and will not be tolerated and that anyone who partakes in any act of discrimination will have sanctions held against them.
I looked into the University of Houston since they are one of the most diverse campuses in the nation to see what kinds of resources and opportunities they provide for the LGBT community and there are quite a lot of options. There are several weekly and monthly workshops held for students that consist of bisexual awareness, LGBTQ awareness, coming out monologues and more. They also have a peer mentor that helps them get acclimated to the university. The LGBTQ Resource Center also includes how transgender students can go about having their student ID card reflect their chosen name rather than their birth name. There is information on gender inclusive housing, locations of single stall restrooms and health information for transgender students. The University of Houston provides a great example of showing initiative and progress towards the LGBTQ community and the intent to be open and welcoming to any student on campus.