Transgender 101 Event

On 11/11 at 11:30, shortly after the super wish of the year, TAGSS welcomed the lovely Jeanine Ruhsam, a PhD candidate and an avid activist for transgender rights, to talk about the basics of what being transgender is like and what it means for our society. This Transgender 101 brown bag talk was fascinating and lively as Jeanine talked all about different gender identities, the politics of being transgender in the workplace, what is happening in the fight for equality for transgender and gender non-conforming individuals, and, sadly, how gender identity can impact mental health.

Jeanine is, in essence, a badass. She fought her entire life for the right to express herself however she wishes. Jeanine mentioned knowing her gender identity when she was a mere four years old, when she would insist on not being called a boy or treated like a boy in preschool and early elementary school. However, when confronted with well-meaning people saying they are “so proud of her for finally being her true own self finally” after her transition, Jeanine confidently responds, “I was always my own true self.” Way to be you Jeanine! In fact, Jeanine likes to think of herself as something of a super hero. But that doesn’t exactly mean what you think. Jeanine believes that because of the work that Laverne Cox and Janet Mock (shout out to my earlier post on the amazing Janet Mock from Camp Pride) some transgender people are seen as being a little bit of a hero or a rebel for being out and proud, and even that being transgender is cool. Jeanine explains, “Thinking back on my own life as a teenager and in high school through my whole life, well I guess that’s kind of like being a hero, because shit! I survived! I’m tough, I’m resilient.”

Jeanine should be proud that she survived the extreme adversity that being transgender in an unaccepting climate can be. Jeanine mentioned that being transgender does not exactly come with an instruction manual. It can be confusing, and everyone makes decisions at different times and in different ways. In the same sense that no two snowflakes are alike, no two people, no matter their gender identity, are exactly alike. Only 20% of transgender people actually get physical surgery to transition to the other gender. The concept of physically changing sexes used to be called ‘transsexual,’ a term that has since fallen out of use after its elimination from the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual claiming that changer reassignment sex was the official cure for gender-identity ‘confusion.’ The choice to get surgery, use hormones, or to transition used anything at all is purely a personal choice. “There are no rules for that,” Jeanine explained. It is all just personal preference.

The statistics suggest that 41% of transgender people have attempted suicide at some point compared to 1.6% of average Americans, with 75% of transgender teens attempting suicide. “That is just staggering,” Jeanine commented. She went on to discuss the statistics from a survey from 2011 that she participated in. Jeanine urged everyone to think about these statistics before suggesting that things are getting better, because there is still work to be done. With the suicide rate so high, Jeanine pointed to bullying and discrimination as the cause. She explained, “Bullying is just discrimination under a different name… Everyone should have to go through some sort of education program in the humanities. They can only be good citizens… They can only be decent people if they understand the culture we live in and what we can all do to make it a little better.”

Discrimination in American is a huge topic,especially for those of us working toward equality. Jeanine commented, “Trans people are probably the most discriminated group of people in America today.” She spoke often about how discrimination is impacting the transgender community, saying, “This concept of gender identity is absolutely critical and it’s because of the refusal to accept such a thing as gender identity as being a separate category of analysis from one’s physical sex and sexuality is really at the crux of discrimination against transgender people or just discrimination against any people with gender and gender-based discrimination.” What a quote, Jeanine! She mentioned quite a bit about gender-based discrimination during her talk including another zinger of a quote: “Whether you are born with a penis or a vagina has no impact on my ability to go out into the world and get things done.” Oh, and a personal favorite of mine: “How transgender people are [helping to end oppression based on gender and sex] is by taking down the Berlin wall [of the gender binary.]”

Jeanine, you are the official badass of my day!

 

— Katelyn Gebbia

LGBTQ Jays at Homecoming!

Homecoming is an awesome time to see old friends who graduated, and a time to meet some older grads with often a completely different perception of what our beloved campus is like. For the gathering of queer grads we had a little bit of both along with some current students. The Etown Alumni group for queer grads is interestingly called Rainbow Connection [Editor’s note: Our alumni group is actually called LGBTQ Jays. “Rainbow Connection” was the name assigned to us on the homecoming program. – AKM]. Jason, Sarah, and I had the opportunity to see some old friends, but also to meet some of these older grads, none much older than ourselves, but still managing to have drastically different memories of what it was like being queer at Etown.

We started by talking a little about everyone’s favorite subject, Camp Pride. Then we moved on to talking generally about what campus is/was like. We talked about being out on campus and how accepting others are of the LGBTQ community. The younger students were all mostly in agreement that being out on campus for us is mostly a natural thing, with none of us mentioning ever feeling afraid to be out, or judged for our identities. The recent grads talked about their younger Etown years being more closed-minded, but their later years being similar by being open about identity. The older grads, again these grads are not much older than thirty or so, mentioned that most of them had been afraid to be out on campus, and few of them came out while still at Etown until well into their final year here. One particular grad mentioned coming out early in their first year, while another mentioned they did not come out until just before graduation.

It was a very unique experience to talk to these alumni about their Etown experiences. I think we sometimes get caught up in the here and now, and compared to some other colleges Etown can seem very far behind the times, but compared to a mere ten years ago Etown has come a long way. Some things that have happened in the past ten years: Stonewall Hall the LGBTQ Living and Learning Community started in Founders Residence and currently has six members and a few unofficial members like myself (shout out Stonewall: invite me to finger painting next time,) Queery the discussion group led by the lovely Dr. Milligan and Dr. Dunlap once a month for queer people all over campus to talk about queer topics in a safe place, Spectrum the counseling group for anyone who feels they fall somewhere on the LGBTQ spectrum, and last but certainly not least the TAGSS project itself! Without the tireless work of Dr. Milligan, Dr. Dunlap and countless others we would not have any of these wonderful resources that we often take for granted that we have that our alumni did not have. Looking at the progress we made already brings a smile to my face, and to think about everything else that we might be able to do gives me butterflies. I can’t wait for the best Etown that Etown can be where every queer kid on campus feels safe to step forward, come out, and join a large supportive queer network on campus. Someday and hopefully someday soon.

— Katelyn Gebbia

 

[Editor’s Note: If you are interested in joining the LGBTQ Jay’s alumni group, please reach out to Amy Milligan to be added to the email list!]

Gen Silent Film Screening

Last week, we had a movie screening on campus of the film Gen Silent. Created by Stu Maddux in 2011, Gen Silent interviews a group of LGBTQ-identified older adults from Boston with the intent of showing the issues of a rapidly growing population. Many people associate LGBTQ issues with youth. There are many possible reasons for this. First off, many people are in the mindset that LGBTQ people are a new phenomenon, and that no LGBTQ people existed before the 1980s. Additionally, there is a widely held belief that people stop having sex once they reach a certain age. To that I have two responses: 1) Of course people have sex as older adults, have you seen Hope Springs? and 2) does not having sex take away someone’s sexual identity? If someone has never had sex, does that mean he/she does not have a sexual orientation? Does someone who identifies as bisexual and is in a relationship with a man no longer have the right to identify as something other than straight?

This film was incredible. Over the last few years, I have taken a particular interest in the aging LGBTQ population. It has been predicted that by 2015, less than a year from now, over 50% of LGBTQ people in the United States will be over the age of 50. That is remarkable. This has a lot of implications for people in many professions, particularly those in helping professions such as social work and medicine. Older adults who identify as LGBTQ have specific needs that are currently not being addressed because of the widespread belief that people lose all sexuality after a certain age. There are little to no resources for older adults about safe sex, allowing for a risk of STIs and HIV spreading throughout older adult communities.

Over the next decade or so, there will be an influx of LGBTQ older adults entering assisted living facilities. In the movie, Maddux showed how not only are many assisted living facility employees not trained in how to work with LGBTQ clients, but that many of these employees are “certain” that there are no LGBTQ clients in their facilities at all. This could be extremely dangerous to these clients. Maddux that oftentimes LGBTQ residents in assisted living facilities climb back into the closet, even if they had spent their whole life advocating for equality. The residents are afraid that they will be discriminated against or even abused if their caretakers become aware of their sexual orientation, which is sadly a situation that occurs all too often.

Maddux also addressed how many LGBTQ older adults have very few supports in their lives. One person he interviewed, a transwoman named KrysAnn, had lost all support from her children when she began to express herself as a woman. Even as KrysAnn was dying from lung cancer, most of her family is unwilling to help. Her social worker put together a team of supports for her to help her around the clock as her caretakers, which seemed to really have an effect on KrysAnne. Unfortunately, this is not a resource for many LGBTQ older adults.

This film was incredibly moving to me. I cried more than I care to admit. It made me feel ashamed as a member of a younger generation. How can we be forgetting about the people who did so much for us? These people fought so that we would have a chance to safely come out, to be who we are, yet we are pushing them aside. Why? In our culture, older adults are pushed to the side, seen as a burden, a reminder that we are all getting older and closer to death. Throw in that people are afraid to think about older adults having sex (because “ewwwwwwwwwww”), and LGBTQ older adults are forced back into the closet and locked away. This movie felt like a call of action to me; as LGBTQ youth, we need to step up and advocate for those who have forged the path for us, and who need our help now.

 

— Sarah Fender

Heading Home From Camp Pride

Heading back to Etown was bitter-sweet. It was hard to say good-bye to the amazing friends we had all made at Camp Pride over the week, and getting back into the Prius was a little traumatic in itself, but it was also nice to get to spend the next day and a half debriefing from that action-packed week and look forward to seeing our families again. I’m sure Flandy missed seeing us all week since he spent most of his time in Dr. Milligan’s purse. We left Camp around noon and went to a local fried chicken restaurant, Hattie B’s for some lunch. Hattie’s was delicious! Just what we needed to get us pumped for the ride to our hotel in dreaded Virginia.

 We didn’t play as many car games as we did on the ride to Nashville, instead there was a lot of talking about what we learned, liked, and disliked. There was some napping, and some calling parents to let them know we survived camp, and then some serious talk about what we want to do this coming year to help Etown become the best it can be. But best of all there was Yelp*. Yelp* is an amazing website that allows people to write reviews about their experiences at various restaurants, hotels, and other places. We entertained ourselves for a lot of the drive by looking on Yelp* for the funniest reviews and reading them aloud. Well, Sarah found and read them. This led to some very memorable quotes. It was Yelp* that helped us find where we were having dinner that night.

 

After a long day of driving we stopped at Shoney’s for some dinner. (Oh, Arick.) While the food wasn’t actually that bad at all, there were some pretty funny experiences that made the entire trip laugh worthy for a very long time. The server, Arick, took our drink orders one at a time, instead of waiting for us all to order and bringing them out together. Dr. Milligan was disappointed when they didn’t have the meal she wanted and had to pick something else, and Jason never got his steamed vegetables.

In the car after dinner we occupied ourselves by pretending to write a Yelp* review about our experience in Shoney’s. We picked new names and ages in order to add some more entertainment to an already weird activity and dramatically recounted our times at dinner. If you ever spent any time reading Yelp* reviews, you would understand how entertaining this was especially considering we were more dramatic than any of the reviews we read.

At around ten o’clock, we finally got to our hotel. It was a nice enough hotel, but we were all very tired and just wanted some sleep. Breakfast was a typical hotel breakfast and then it was back on the road. It rained on and off throughout the day, and we occupied our time reading more Yelp* reviews and sharing our various coming out stories. Hats off to Jason with the funniest, but also the most awkward.

Jason is no longer a Dairy Queen Virgin after lunch. We stopped for a questionable hot dog and some warm lettuce on our burgers (Yelp* would not approve) but some classic Blizzard ice creams.

Etown could not have come sooner. We were all tired and ready to go home at this point. Jason’s mom greeted us in the parking lot behind the Young Center and we opened the melted Whoppers to see what they looked like before we each went off into the horizon in our own directions. Dr. Milligan to go home, Sarah to her Etown apartment, Jason to continue his drive another hour into Pennsylvania, and myself to drive another three hours back home to Delaware. We all arrived safely home and I personally promptly took a nap with my dog that missed me dearly before staring at my bag and deciding that unpacking could wait until tomorrow.

If given the chance, would I fly to Nashville next time instead of traveling for two days in each direction in a packed Prius with some people that I barely know? Never. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. The bonding we did on this drive cannot be compared to anything else. There’s nothing like a 16 hour drive in a Prius to bring people closer than ever.

— Katelyn Gebbia

Camp Pride: Touch Exercise

Camp Pride was an incredibly emotionally draining week. We were constantly going, from dawn to way-after-dusk. In all that time, we were working hard networking and sharing our passion for the queer cause. By the last day, I was drained, and while people around me said they were going to cry, I was sure that I was far too exhausted and ready to go home for tears.

I was proven wrong when we began the final exercise of camp. One of the coordinators of camp, Lisa Simmons-Barth, ushered us all outside of the auditorium where we had done many of our announcements and lectures. She had us split into an inner circle and an outer circle, and she stood in the middle of all of us. She selected about 20 people to move out of the circles, and had the rest of us close our eyes. Lisa told the 20 people to touch the shoulder of people who met the criteria she would be reading aloud.

“This person challenges me.”

“This person is someone I admire.”

“This person is someone I trust.”

“This person taught me something this week.”

“This person leads with Pride.”

Within the very first round of this game, I was in tears. By the second round, I was sobbing. The connection I felt with the people who touched my shoulder, even if I couldn’t see them, was just so powerful. This exercise made me realize that, not only had so many people at this camp changed my life, but I had had an effect on others’ lives too.

I am so grateful I was able to go to Camp Pride. The entire experience really recharged my proverbial batteries for advocacy, and I am so ready to make a change at Etown because of it.

— Sarah Fender

Camp Pride: Working with Robyn Ochs

When I find out that I was going to be able to work personally with Robyn Ochs while I was at Camp Pride, I just about lost my mind. I first heard of Robyn back in my baby queer days, when I was trying to figure out who I was, and how I could do work with and for my fellow LGBTQ people. She was the first person to speak publically and openly about bisexuality back in the 1980s. She does workshops and conferences all over the country, and publishes books and anthologies. She is the editor of Bi Women Quarterly, and is the cofounder of Harvard’s LGBT Faculty & Staff group as well as its Trans Task Force.

Yes, she has a lot of amazing credentials. I was starstruck. I was already really nervous about just being here (I was worried that I wasn’t “queer enough” for this camp), and the second she started talking to me I just stuttered and babbled. To say I’m embarrassed of that would be an understatement, especially since I have now gotten the chance to know her. I have now participated in two of her workshops, as well as the Bi/Pan/Fluid caucus that she is the facilitator of each evening.

The first workshop I attended of Robyn’s was her “Beyond Binaries” lecture. While this was originally supposed to be a keynote lecture, it ended up being more of a workshop on the different scales and graphs of sexuality created by sexology legends such as Alfred Kinsey and Fritz Klein. Showing us these different ways to map sexuality, Robyn also explained why these models can be problematic. While the Kinsey Scale is pretty common knowledge for people that study Women and Gender Studies, I had never heard of Klein’s model.

Additionally, we conducted an anonymous, unofficial research study to examine the sexualities of the conference attendees. In this study, we each were handed another person’s completed survey, then Robyn read each question out loud. We had to stand under the designated number hanging up in the room, so we could see how we fell into each category as a group. It was truly amazing to see the variety in a group so often lumped together as one “queer community.”

I attended another workshop later in the week with Robyn called “Bi 101.” I did not expect to learn a whole lot; it was more of an opportunity to see how Robyn educated others about what it means to be bi. I was very wrong, however. It was in this workshop that I learned of the bi* concept. Similar to trans*, where the asterisk indicates that it is an umbrella term, bi* is an umbrella term created by Robyn for members of the multisexuality community. This was incredible and life-changing for several of us. I had never felt that I fit into any particular category, so I had just settled for pansexual. Settling in this area created so much dysphoria about my sexual orientation, but I felt like I didn’t have another choice. Having this term made me feel so much more comfortable with myself, and I know that I am not the only one.

Robyn also ran our Bi/Pan/Fluid caucus in the evenings. She guided us effortlessly through discussions about what it means to be a member of the bi* community, the discrimination we face from both the hetero- and homosexual communities, and what we can do to be advocates for ourselves. Having such a star in the bi* community to be our leader, our “bi mama” as she dubbed herself, was truly inspiring. I was, and am, so grateful to have her as a mentor.

— Sarah Fender

Take the Survey!

What is the Elizabethtown College campus environment like for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning community members?  Share your opinion and your advice by taking the TAGSS LGBTQ Campus Climate Survey.

Who should take it?  LGBTQA Elizabethtown College Community Members.  We define community as anyone with a meaningful connection, past or present, to the college (e.g. students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees) who also identifies as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, or as an Ally.

Why should you take it?  We want to know what you think!  And you could win a $50 Amazon gift card!

How can you take it?  Click here to start:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GS3ZPDD

Also, help us get the word out by passing this note along to anyone you think might want to take the survey.  Got a creative way to get the word out?  Let us know about it!

TAGSS Brown Bag

On September 10, 2014 we had a Brown Bag Talk about going to Camp Pride. For those of you who don’t know what a Brown Bag Talk is, it is basically a “food for thought” type event where you have an intimate space usually around a table and the speaker gives a short presentation followed by some sort of interaction like a casual Q&A or activity. It was basically a trip down memory lane in front of an audience for us. There was a purpose to it though. Sarah, Jason, and I each talked about one thing that really stuck out to us from Camp and what we got out of the experience.

It all started the morning of the talk when we all met to discuss a few final things before that afternoon. Jason mentioned he made notecards for his speech, so Sarah took the opportunity to read the first elaborate card about how Jason should introduce himself. There were corrections all over the card including everything from whether to say his full name or just his first name to whether to say Elizabethtown or just Etown. It was quite entertaining for the few moments that relieved us from the thoughts of this looming presentation. Jason also brought up the topic of dress for this fun occasion. We decided that queer was better. Dr. Milligan wore her trademark rainbow Birkenstocks (Editor’s Note: They were not Birkenstocks! They were my rainbow clogs! – akm) and I decided to go all out. Oh yes, if Jason was going to wear a tie (and the fashion police should have cited him for not wearing a belt with a tucked in shirt!!), then I was going to wear a tie. However, I was informed by a good friend of mine that I couldn’t wear a tie with flannel, so how was I supposed to be full on lesbian if I couldn’t wear flannel?

That sparked an extensive trip to Kmart where we had fun picking out and trying on various clothes. We ended up choosing a plain black shirt, and a freaking awesome black and red tie. Rather plain, but boy did I rock it with some khaki pants, dinosaur-print belt, and my vans with bright-colored laces.

Once we actually arrived to the Tower Room for the Brown Bag Talk we realized we had run out of chairs, the best problem to have at a small function like this! We had not been expecting the kind of turnout that we received. We hijacked a couple of chairs from the Office of Diversity and then we got to work. Well first we paused for some photos in bad lighting, but then we got back to work.

Jason went first and he talked about the lovely Brielle Harrison, whom he wrote a blog post about that was posted on August 6th. Jason has this reverence about Brielle that is unparalleled. Jason is also a crowd pleaser. His speech felt more like dinner-time talk than a presentation. I won’t say too much about Brielle because you could easily do a bit of scrolling and find the post where Jason tells you all about her and how she is a self-taught computer software developer who came out as a trans woman not long ago. Brielle is an amazing person who works for Facebook and helped develop the customizable gender selection that we all got to experience a little while ago. Jason did a phenomenal job and really interacted with the audience to the maximum. Like I said, a real crowd pleaser.

After Jason spoke, it was my turn. Boy was I nervous!! I had my speech all laid out for me on my notecards. As Sarah put it, you could tell which one of us is the English Major. I talked about the lovely Sharon Lettman-Hicks. You can read what I wrote about her that was posted to the blog on August 19th. I spoke about how Mrs. Lettman-Hicks is the most accomplished civil rights actvists for Black and LGBTQ people. Again I won’t say much about her, but she is really badass. My speech was more like a call to action, or recounting the call to action that Sharon included in her key-note speech at Camp to all of us. I talked mostly about how everyone has multiple identities and they interact to form a whole person. In order to make Etown truly equal, we need to work to make sure that all people have equality not just the LGBTQ people, but the racial identities and gender identities, and people with handicaps. Everyone, not just the gay and queer people, needs to be equal before we can truly say that Etown has equality for all. All in all, the first two presentations went off without a hitch.

Then came Sarah’s turn. Saving the best for last. Sarah talked all about her idol the one and only Robyn Ochs. Sarah loves Robyn and attended every possible session with Robyn that she could. Sarah spoke about all of the things that Robyn taught her, mostly about accepting her own identity as not always fitting any of the existing labels, and that it is okay to leave your identity undefined for the time being. Labels are not the end all be all. I can tell why Sarah loved Robyn so much. Robyn is a real inspiration to everyone that identifies as bisexual or any variation outside of the sexuality binary. Robyn is a confident bisexual woman who goes around the country talking about identity and helping people to accept their own identity as being bisexual or outside of the homosexual and heterosexual binary. Sarah could have gone on and on about how Robyn Ochs changes lives, (Sarah’s included), and she sort of did talk a lot about how fantastic Robyn is, but she really is a phenomenal person.

After Sarah’s presentation we had a few questions and someone’s question brought up the Queer Bathroom Stories. If you are curious about those you can find that post on August 19th. All in all though, things went very smoothly and everyone came out of there a little more knowledgeable about the world around them and we walked out of that room feeling like we are already giving back to the campus community by sharing our experience. Things can only get better from here!

 

— Katelyn Gebbia

Advice for New LGBTQ Blue Jays!

As we go through the year, we’ll have a series of guest bloggers posting their experiences and advice. Etown alum, Kathryn K., has written the following beautiful advice for incoming LGBTQ students at Etown. Welcome to the flock, Blue Jays! – Amy Milligan

I really can’t add much to the beautifully written blog by Lexy V., who so eloquently wrote about enjoying the journey that is self-discovery.  What I can do, perhaps, is offer some concrete advice to make your first year at Etown a little easier.

 

1. Breathe.

This is an exciting time in your life and it will fly by, so enjoy every moment of this time.  Pay attention in class, do your homework, study, be spontaneous, don’t procrastinate (though I know you will), and definitely make time for friends and fun.

2. Be You (or whatever version of You you want to be).

College essentially provides you with an opportunity to start over.  No one knows who you were in high school, so you have the chance to create a new image for yourself.  You will find more people you really connect with if you are honest about who you are.  I don’t mean that in a “come out, come out, wherever you are” kind of way, I just mean if you do things you feel passionate about, you will meet others who share those passions.

3. Remember you are not alone.

You are not the only LGBTQ person on campus.  You are surrounded by allies and queer students, faculty, and staff.  They are everywhere, even if they aren’t obvious.  They’re lurking in Nicarry…and in the bushes…(just kidding, but only about the bushes part).  No matter what you may be struggling with, or may face in the future, you are not alone in your experience.

 4. Join Allies! (And other clubs).

Seriously, join Allies and make friends!  Even if you don’t want to attend meetings, sign up for the email list and stay up to date with events and what’s going on with the club.  Join other clubs that sound interesting!  You will meet people who have similar interests and increase your chances of expanding your network of friends.

 5. Be conscious of “convenience friends.”

While this is not a technical term, it is something I came across quite a bit in the early years of college.  Convenience friends are those friends who are, well, convenient.  They might include the first person you met in your FYS, your neighbor who is always around, or friends of friends you just happen to go to dinner with every night.  After a while, they become the main friends you see and confide in on a day-to-day basis.  Convenience friends are not bad friends; they may turn out to be your absolute best friends.  On the other hand, your convenience friends may not be the best fit for you and you may find more satisfaction once you break away from the monotony and make new friends; friends you really connect with and who share your interests and passions.

6. Incorporate your passions into coursework.

If you have to write a research paper, why not choose a topic that relates to your interests?  If you are interested in LGBTQ history, research Bayard Rustin or the Stonewall Riots.  Seriously, you can incorporate pretty much anything into a paper, so take advantage of the opportunities.

7. Be respectful of others.

At some point in your time at Etown, you may be the recipient of extremely personal information.  Honor others’ right to confidentiality.  Be aware of what you are saying and who you are saying it to and be mindful not to out others on campus.

8. Utilize on-campus resources.

Know the resources that are available to you.  Etown has many resources, though some may be hard to find.  Use the school website, the Allies website, professors, staff, and other students to help you find what you need.

9. Utilize off-campus resources.

Take advantage of the resources around Etown.  Just to name a few:

  • The LGBT Center in Harrisburg hosts events and discussion groups for LGBT youth and adults.
  • Alder Health provides mental health services, free walk-in HIV and STD testing, and safe-sex education.
  • Planned Parenthood offers a variety of educational sessions, STD testing, birth control, health services, and abortion services.
  • TransCentral PA hosts monthly meetings, organizes events, hosts the Keystone Conference each year, and offers public education.

10. Create Change.

There is potential for change and improvement on campus.  Those who came before you created change and we hope you continue to work to make Etown an accepting place for LGBTQ students, faculty, and staff.  If you have an idea, network with other students, garner faculty and staff support, and make something happen.  While creating change may not make your life easier, it will definitely make it more exciting and it will make the lives of those who come after you much easier.

— Kathryn K.