Iowa State has Pride

“Iowa State University prohibits discrimination, which can include disparate treatment directed toward an individual or group of individuals based on race, ethnicity, sex, pregnancy, color, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, age (40 and over), marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, status as a U.S Veteran (disabled, Vietnam, or other), or other protected class, that adversely affects their employment or education. For religion or disability, the law allows employees and students to request reasonable accommodations to continue their work or studies.” – Iowa State University’s Discrimination and Harassment Policy Statement (emphasis added) – Office of Equal Opportunity.

Summer is here, which means June is coming to a close. It also means another Pride Month will be in the books. June has been declared Pride Month since 1970 when pride marches were organized across the U.S in response to the Stonewall Riots. Over time Pride Month has dramatically changed, but still holds on to ideals of promoting acceptance of every LGBTQ individual, promoting HIV/AIDS awareness, and other social inequalities in society.

Iowa State University is just like like many other public institutions that respects the responsibility of providing acceptance of everyone, and the understanding that they have a moral obligation to provide an environment where education can occur with people of diverse backgrounds. It doesn’t matter whether those backgrounds are location, social economic class, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and ethnicity.

However, Iowa State is not just another public university.

Iowa State has a full-time professional staff member dedicated to addressing LGBTQ issues on campus, educating faculty and staff, and also providing resources for students who happen to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer. Administered through the Iowa State’s Dean of Students Office, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Student Services provides advocacy, support, visibility, and diversity through its programs and services. These services and programs include the LGBTSS Center located in the Student Services Building, Safe Zone program, Speakers Bureau, and scholarships.

Iowa State was also the first university, with assistance from Drake University, to host MBLGTACC, the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference in 1993. It is the largest student-run college conference in the nation, and includes 13 Midwest states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Iowa State is the only university to host the conference in Iowa and is also the only school to have held the conference three times, the most recent being in 2012.

You see, in college you are never alone no matter who you are, what you believe, and what you want to become. Being LGBTQ doesn’t change that. Everyday I am personally reminded that our sexual orientation is no longer a large barrier and that this university is still at work addressing the hurdles we have yet to jump.

And that’s what makes me beam with pride to be a Cyclone.

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