E-portfolio Introduction

Mini Ethnography (GLBTSU)

My name is Ashley Elizabeth Royster. I am a Junior at ECU’s School of Social Work. Because I am a social work major, fieldwork is immensely important to my craft. Fieldwork entails stepping outside of your world, and entering a world that is unfamiliar and new. The art of fieldwork is special because it allows you to experience first hand, the lives of others. You get to experience things with people that you may not normally have gotten the opportunity to. Once you experience the lives of others, you can then reflect on and asses your findings, which is what I did for Ms. West-Puckett’s mini ethnography project. My mini ethnography focuses on the GLBTSU and explores the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans gender students on campus. My mini ethnography illustrates ways that ECU embraces diversity here on campus. It also illustrates the different ways the GLBTSU embodies diversity. Diversity is an essential part of life as no two people are alike, we are all different and yet similar at the same time. It is important to realize that we are all alike in our differences. Once people realize this, there will be less “isms”, racism, sexism, classism, etc.

Black Schools Project (Sadie Saulter)

The Back Schools Project, focuses on the history and the current closing of Sadie Saulter Elementary. This project explores the in depth history and controversy surrounding integration in North Carolina public schools. The project is very important to me because as a student majoring in social work, it is essential that I be informed on issues surrounding the community. Further, once these issues surface, it is important that I advocate for the rights of the people who have no voice. In doing my research, I discovered several issues facing the Black community that need to be addressed. The first issue is that racism still exists throughout our schools and government policies. The second issue is that segregation also still exists in our neighborhoods, schools and in government policies. These policies do not express blatant racism (as that would be a violation of the constitution), but latent racism with subtle micro aggressions towards the Black American community.  My research on the Black schools project illustrates how far we have progressed racially, and how much further we still have to go.

Discovery Writings

There are three different tags under my blog; Discovery writings, mini ethnography and the black schools project. Each post is tagged into its corresponding category so that my readers can know what they are reading. Discovery writings are posts that helped me write better, understand what I am writing and focus my thoughts. They have helped me to reflect upon my findings and guided me into forming my final drafts of the two major research projects.  Many of my posts are rough copies and rough drafts, meaning they are not the finished product. It is important for readers to see even the rough drafts so that they get a sense of all the work and materials it took to make the final product. The discovery writings are like blueprints to the two final drafts.

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Sadie Saulter (Final Draft)

“The history of Sadie Saulter School has not ended; rather, a new chapter is being opened in its evolving story as it continues to serve the students in Pitt County Schools and the community where it has long been such an important part.”

                                                –The Office of Public Information, Pitt County Schools, 2011

“Intro”

Although de jure segregation no longer exists, de facto segregation still remains an issue amongst public schools; especially at Sadie Saulter Elementary. Most fail to realize that segregation is still an issue amongst schools, neighborhoods, and communities. Segregation has not only been swept under the rug for a long time, but remains a taboo issue that most would rather not talk about. Sadie Saulter’s sudden closing; along with the closing of several other integrated schools in predominantly Black neighborhoods, raises the questions, Are schools really integrated?

“De Jure vs. De Facto”

De jure segregation refers to the separation of races based on judicial law. This type of segregation has not existed since the 1960’s. De Jure segregation, as it proves, is a violation of the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments, which guarantee everyone, equal protection under the law. Three major turn of events occurred in North Carolina that changed the legal basis of de jure segregation for Black Americans; the Freedmen’s Bureau, the Civil Rights Movement, and Brown vs. The Board of Education. Policies such as these made certain Black Americans were not only freed from slavery, but were treated equally, and given the right to an equal education (Holcombe, 1985, pg.21). However, when De Jure integration occurred, many parents refused to send their Caucasian children to Black schools (Carter, 2011). As a result, Black schools such as Sadie Saulter Elementary have very little integration. For example, Sadie Saulter’s current demographics show that out of the 216 students in attendance during the 2010-2011 school year, 90.3% were Black American and less than 10% were of other races.

On the other hand, the term De facto segregation derives from the Latin phrase “as a matter of fact”, and still prevails in schools today. De facto segregation often exists based on housing patterns or demographic distributions (Holcomb, 1985, pg.10). Communities in Greenville and Pitt County have racially separated neighborhoods. The reason behind this separation can be attributed to racism, classism, elitism, limited opportunity, economic disadvantage, political disadvantage, social disadvantage, and/or the effects of historic discrimination. Therefore, schools inevitably, have become racially divided, as children typically attend schools in relative proximity to their neighborhoods. Although segregation is no longer a written law amongst public schools, it is a fact, that Black American students and White American students are undeniably separated. Unfortunately, it seems that while total desegregation is possible, total integration may not be attainable.

Integration

The North Carolina Public schools system dates back all the way from 1776 when Section XLI of the Constitution provided for a public school system, but there was no allocation of funds for education. Often, funds for education where provided by elite members of the community and by religious services (Holcombe, 1985, pg.17). For over two centuries education was deemed the right of the rich, White, and privileged. In 1835 North Carolina passed a legislation that provided funds to establish 1,250 school districts; the first common school opened in 1840, and in 1846 there was a school in every county of the state, which was available to every white citizen (Holcombe, 1985, pg.19). Funding for Black schools was an issue because the government was reluctant to tax in order to support schools for both races. For the most part, communities were responsible for funding the education of Black American students. The Peabody Education Fund, the Julius Rosenwald Fund, the Slater Fund, the General Education Board, and the Jeanes Fund made direct contributions to Black schools.

The land Sadie Saulter was built on

Jean carter went to Sadie Saulter in 1948 when it was still Fleming Street School, she attended four years until she reached fourth grade. Ms. Carter recalls that it was strictly black and the only school in Greenville at the time for Black children aside from a small school in Meadow Brook. Although she received a good education at the time, it was evident that it wasn’t as good as the White schools. She recalls using used textbooks handed down from other schools, and not having a library;

Fleming Street School did not have a library. Ms. Saulter was principal at the time and had a book shelf in her office and I can recall her bringing out the books and us picking out what books we wanted.”

Although many radical changes had taken place, it seemed as though Black schools were almost always inferior to the schools for whites.

The Civil Rights Act, along with The Brown vs. The Board of Education decision, brought about desegregation compliance and integration to North Carolina (Holcombe, 1985, pg.1). “Integration is the removal of barriers imposing segregation upon individuals or groups of various racial backgrounds so that they may function as a unit in a more or less stable or harmonious pattern (Holcombe, 1985, pg.11).” North Carolina was reluctant to follow through with integration policies, as integration threatened traditional norms customs and mores.  However, as the need for money and federal financial support grew, the winds of change blew through the South, as it destroyed the legal basis of segregation, swept away the last vestiges of de jure racial segregation, and forever changed a way of life for North Carolina public schools (Holcomb, 1985, pg. 28).

“Sadie Saulter: The Woman”

Picture of Sadie Saulter


Sadie Saulter School was named the Fleming Street School until it was renamed after Ms. Saulter on September 17, 1967. Sadie Irene Saulter was a positive figure in the community who returned to Greenville in 1924 to begin her career as a third grade teacher. In 1962 she became principal of the Fleming Street School and held that position for twenty years. She was known as a leader in education to her students and administrative peers who looked up to her. Many students, one in particular, remembers Ms. Saulter making a scrapbook of world travels. Although most students had never even been out of Pitt County before, they were able to set their sights high and imagine traveling and visiting different places around the world (Hill, 2010). What stood out about Sadie Saulter was that she was interested in the children and she would teach them songs that are prominent in Black American culture such as Lift Every Voice and Sing, and she educated students on Black history (Jean Carter, 2011).

“Sadie Saulter: The School”

Sadie Sualter now

Sadie Saulter Elementary School houses the memories of many Black Americans in the Greenville community. Ms. Carter describes her experience at Sadie Saulter as, “a turning point in my life.” Sadie Saulter provided a sense of unity, growth, and community strength in the lives of the many Black Americans. Sadie Saulter is important to Ms. Carter because her children started school at Sadie Saulter in 1971, and her grandchildren are currently in attendance now in 2011. Sadie Saulter is important to Ms. Carter as she recalls the closeness and togetherness atmosphere that existed at the school, “Teachers at Sadie Saulter were extended family members, and they took a special interest in us”.

“Sadie Saulter Closing”

Unfortunately, In February 2010, Sadie Saulter, a historically Black Elementary School, began plans for closing the school and turning it into a pre-K center with special programs. The facilities committee approved a plan that would close the school in 2011 and expand the parking lot (Humphries, 2010). The reason behind the schools closing is that, “It is no longer cost-effective to maintain the facility as a school.”(The Daily Reflector, 2010). Last year the Board of Education approved new maps for 11 elementary schools and three middle schools to accommodate population growth. Sadie Saulter will be converted from a K-5 elementary school to a pre-K and special program center while Third Street school right down the street will be closing and converted into something else too. Two special elementary programs at Sadie Saulter, Suzuki violin and Spanish, will be cut or moved. Spanish will become a middle school program and moved to C.M. Eppes and E.B. Aycock middle schools. Resolving the programs at Sadie will be the hardest part (Daily Reflector, Feb 4, 2011)

Edward Carter seved on the city school board for eight in a half years before he becomming the Mayor of Greenville, and spending fourteen years in elected office. According to Mr. Carter, the school board realized there would be a population growth back in the 1970’s. They had projected that Black students would exceed the number of Whites in the school system, and schools such as Sadie Saulter would have to endure major physical changes. Sadie Saulter Elementary has to be so many acres of land for each student population based on its size. Instead of acting upon these projections and making such provisions, the school board has not been efficient in making preparations for the black population expanding. The result is Sadie Saulter’s closing.

Sadie Saulter, Third Street Elementary and South Greenville Elementary are the only schools in the Black community, which were built before integration and two of the three are closing.  Mr. Carter expresses his concerns;

“The brut of integration has been put on the backs of Black children. Children living in lower income housing projects, such as Moywood, have been split four ways where the children each will be bussed to four different schools…sending kids to different schools in order to get the numbers to come out right. Black members of the board are not advocating keeping buildings such a Sadie Saulter. It makes no sense to take Sadie Saulter and put the same students in a school in another neighborhood and we’re going to lose a functioning full service school in the black community.”

Next year, the students that would have attended Sadie Saulter are expected to be bussed to Lake Forest Elementary, Eastern Greenville Elementary and South Greenville Elementary. The new school, Lake Forest is further from the black community and the children have to be bussed to the school.

Currently, the demographics of Sadie Salter Elementary show that over 90% of the students attending are Black, less than 10% of students are White. South Greenville Elementary, on the other hand, is 66% Black American and 25% White. Eastern Greenville, the second of the three schools replacing Sadie Saulter is 63% Black American and 24% White. Lastly, although Lake Forest is a brand new school, it is projected to be predominantly Black as well (Pitt County Schools Ethnic Breakdown, 2011). Current demographics show that the new school plans might not improve the issue of integration at all. Ms. Carter explains;

“Sadie Saulter is mostly black because the whites refused to send their children there. Parents refused to send their children there because of the neighborhood it was in. The programs they have now are so good and they have enrichment programs, good teacher involvement and is community oriented. This school is culturally important to a lot of people. The fact that it is closing, it is like a landmark closing and heritage being put to side. Time moves on and things change…but I think that we are losing a lot. Because people are refusing to send their children there they had to do something with that school. They are closing up Sadie Saulter and turning it into a center. They are starting another one in Lake Forest, but it might be the same thing because it is still on the fringes of black neighbor hoods.”

Conclusion

Historically integration meant the closing of Black schools and “bussing” black students to integrated schools or what were once all white schools, years later, not much has changed. Transportation remains an issue, especially for Sadie Saulter because elementary school students, who would ordinarily attend the local “neighborhood school” down the street, are now being forced to assimilate and be transported to another district to receive their education. However, decision makers would rather spend money transporting these students to another facility, than invest money into the facility that currently exists.

The closing of Sadie Saulter and other Black schools are not examples of blatant racism, but latent racism, which continues to be a problem in North Carolina. It is a micro aggression of our society to close a historically Black school like Sadie Saulter, and bus students to another area. It is forcing students to disregard their own heritage and culture, and assimilate to a completely different culture all together. This transition is lacking in cultural sensitivity, because it is as if saying one neighborhoods culture and history is less important than the next. Instead of just closing Black schools due to “budget restraints” there needs to be a more heterogeneous approach to integrating schools and dealing with the issues. It seems as though policy makers have just taken the easy way out, and simply not taken into account how acculturation affects children’s perception and thought process. What impact will this have on their self-esteem? What impact will this have on their education?  How will they be received? What support systems are in place to help students with such changes?

In conclusion, it is important to preserve our history not just as Black Americans, but as Americans. The progress we as Americans have made with education does not need to go unrealized or unappreciated. However, it needs to serve as a stepping stool for the distance we have yet to cover. It is important for us to be accepting of one another, to integrate our bodies, opinions, cultures, traditions and minds in a way that is conducive towards the betterment of society. It is important that we not just assimilate one tradition or culture because it is viewed as superior. We can all learn from one another, and as students and future leaders of this country, it is important that we not only shed light upon this learning process, but to also share our findings with whomever will listen. Lastly, there is a dire need for individuals to advocate for the rights of those who have no voice.

Links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6s8QNKZberQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLLNzLJ_xgA&feature=related

Citations

Holcombe, RE. (1985). A desegregation study of public schools in North Carolina. Johnston City, TN: University Microfilms International.

The office of Public Information, Pitt County Schools. (2011, January 04). The continuing evolution of Sadie Saulter school…a tribute. retrieved from http://www.pitt.k12.nc.us/198710423145257170/cwp/view.asp?A=3&Q=293681&C=55809

Whitman, Mike. Pitt Community Schools Ethnic Breakdown Spreadsheet. 2010

Schools release plan for transition. (2011, February 4). Daily Reflector,

Little Willie Center eyes school facility. (2011, February 22). Daily Reflector,

Batchelor, T.S. (2003, March 4). Honoring sadie saulter. The Daily Reflector, p. B1.

Sadie Saulter expansion on agendas for county school board, city council. (2004, December 6). The Daily Reflector, p. B1.

White, S. (1994, October 16). Space needs keep growing at Saulter. The Daily Reflector, p. A-1.

Hill, S.A. (Ed.). (2010). Behind the names. Fountain, NC: RA Fountain Publisher.

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Sadie Saulter

Sadie Saulter School was named the Fleming Street School until it was renamed after Ms. Saulter on September 17, 1967. Sadie Irene Saulter came to Greenville in 1924. She began as a third grade teacher and in 1962 she became principal of the Fleming STreet School and held that position for twenty years. She was a leader in education and her students and administrative peers looked up to her. Many students, one in particular, remembers Ms. Saulter making a scrapbook of world travels. ALthough most students had never even been out of Pitt County before, they were able to set their sights high and imagine traveling and visiting different places around the world.

The author is unbiased, although it does not say much about the author. This excerpt form a book is conducive to my research as it sheds light on what made Sadie Saulter such an asset to the school and the community. Her innovative ways of teaching were extraordinary.

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GLBTSU (mini ethnography: final draft)

“The Rainbow Movement”: Embracing Diversity at ECU

 

[Diversity] means everyone. Diversity is a sense of everyone from all walks of life together.”

-GLBTSU member

 

“Introduction”

Student diversity is an important element on campuses across the nation. ECU embraces diversity by actively providing an outlet for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender students to fellowship and embrace each others similarities and differences. The GLBTSU is an acronym for The Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans gender Student Union. ECU’s GLBTSU is similar to the six color rainbow flag, which represents a symbol of pride across the world. Like the flag, the GLBTSU is a colorful array of different genders, races, sexual orientations and back rounds. Each color on the rainbow flag stands for every color and culture around the world, joined together as one.

Wednesday afternoons at 5pm, The Mendham Hall Social Room, hosts the weekly GLBTSU meetings. Meetings alternate from social gatherings to a formal meeting every other week. Upon my arrival, my expectations for the gathering were high. Of all the clubs I contacted at ECU, The GLBTSU was the only club (aside from the Native American Club) that responded positively to my request.

I chose the GLBTSU because I have many friends and family members who are part of this subgroup. In my past experiences with GLBT friends and family, they often pride themselves in being unique and not particularly concerned about what one person thinks or feels about them. Individuality is important in a “melting pot” society such as America, where most are concerned in conformity, fitting in, and blending. This subgroup, on the other hand, seemingly values individuality and eccentricity.

“Ice Breakers”

When I first stepped into the meeting room, everyone was laughing, talking, smiling and carrying on. I would have ordinarily felt like an outsider or a stranger because I was new to this setting and didn’t know anyone. However, I was greeted by several members with smiles and open arms. It was as if there was an unspoken respect, love and loyalty for everyone in the room. There was an underlying, yet overwhelming certainty that we were all there for one cause, which was to promote unity, love and companionship on ECU’s campus.

There were around 30 to 40 people attending the group meeting. As I walked around, I noticed a few long tables assorted into one large circle with chairs around them. The room was very large and spacious. Amidst the smiling, laughing and talking with one another, I noticed there was a mixture of Black American, Caucasian and Spanish women and men. There were some women who were dressed in baggy clothes and short hair. There were some men dressed in button downs, t-shirts and sweaters.

There was a male member of the GLBTSU putting together a display of brochures, pamphlets, stickers, pins and other information onto a large table. He had on a tie-dye shirt, a long Mohawk and funky colored fingernails. He assured me I could help myself to any of the information on the table. The information on the pamphlets were regarding issues such as school bullying, becoming a straight ally, equalitync.org, coming out, and religion and homosexuality.

I sat down in the circle shaped tables next to my fellow classmate Ciarra. There was a president as well as five other members, two girls and three guys, which held leadership positions and frequently addressed the entire group. The president of GLBTSU, Katy Ann Ross, began to speak and the group quieted down. I had already been spotted as an outsider as I was recognized by one of the members as not having signed up for the “buddy group”. He informed me that I would need to be in a group for the upcoming activity. Following a brief discussion, I discovered a “buddy group” consisted of everyone putting a name in a hat, and names would be selected randomly out of the hat. Each person was assigned a group leader according to which of the six leaders picked their name.

Following the assortment of group designations, we did an icebreaker activity which involved one of the group leaders taping famous people’s names on each of our backs. Everyone else can see who we are except for the person wearing the name on their back. The object was to ask one question per person a yes or no question, in attempt to figure out whose name is on our backs. After going around asking everyone yes or no questions I discovered my name was Kanye West, a famous rap artist. The ice breaker was one of the funniest activities I have ever done. It was a good way to break the ice and talk to people who I ordinarily would not have got the chance to interact with.

“Buddy Groups”’

The purpose of the buddy group was for people to tell their “coming out” stories. My group consisted of three girls and three guys. We arranged our chairs into a tightly formed circle. “Coming out” refers to revealing to those close to you that you are not heterosexual. The first person in my group to tell his “coming out” story was a Black American, outspoken gay male, and one of the GLBTSU leaders. He excitedly began his story of “coming out” with an enormous smile on his face. He stated that his family already knew he was gay and even joked about the obscurity of it all. On the other hand, the other male was Caucasian and mild spoken. He began his story about how he was reluctant to tell his parents he was gay until a drunken phone call led him to revealing his sexual orientation. He admitted that his parents, in particular, dealt with the fact they had a gay son by ignoring it and not talking about it at all.

The third male was bisexual and confessed he was reluctant to tell his parents about his sexual orientation as well, and has yet to “come out” to them. Other members of the group asked him if he thought it was selfish to want both girls and guys. He replied “No”, because he couldn’t help being attracted to both girls and guys. Everyone laughed it off and continued to the next person. It seemed as though the idea of being a bisexual man was somewhat taboo or negative within the group. I am not certain if it was negativity I felt, or mere curiosity. Regardless, there was a certain undertone within the group when he revealed his sexuality that was not present when the others revealed theirs.

The two Black American lesbians in the group were dressed similar in baggy clothes and sweat shirts. They told their stories of finding out they were attracted to other women and what it was like “coming out” to their parents. One of the girls actually lives with her partner and her parents were reluctant to accept her sexual orientation and chose to ignore it. The other girl admitted that she had not told her parents about her sexual orientation as she felt that it was not any of their business.

Lastly, a Caucasian female dressed in a skirt and blouse revealed she was a “straight ally” and told a story of what it was like when her parents found out she was sexually active with her boyfriend. A “strait ally” is a heterosexual person who advocates for the rights of this subgroup. Her story made me feel very comfortable because I realized I was not the only “straight ally” in the group. It was my turn to talk and I told them that I agreed with their lifestyle and that people should be free to choose to love whoever they want to love. I wanted to make sure that I verbally let everyone in the group know that I respected them and their choices. We continued to joke and laugh and before we knew it two hours had past and the meeting came to a close.

“Meetings at the Mall”

I arrived at the Social Room, as I would normally do, but no one was there. I noticed a sign on the door that said event from 5 to 7. Next to the notice was a number for Katy, the president. I called Katy and she informed me that the meeting was being held at the “Mall”, which she explained was a huge grassy lawn behind the campus’s library. Upon arriving at the Mall, there was a small group of about four or five people standing around. I recognized them from previous meetings and walked up to them and began talking. Eventually the modest group grew to about 20 people, both male and female students, black and white, all different races and genders.

We set up a picnic blanket, and relaxed on a hammock, and some fold out chairs while the other half of the group played Frisbee and Tag. Those of us sitting on the hammock and picnic blanket began to discuss things like classes, summer plans and life stories. I told them how I was a single mom and have been a student for seven years. They were surprised to find this out about me, and seemingly appreciative of the fact that I am a student and a single mom. Each of us shared things like what is our favorite TV shows, and what type of classes are easy and difficult for us. After an hour and a half, everyone packed up and began leaving.

“Controversial Issues”

What disturbed me was that fact that this subculture even has to “come out” to anyone. As I sat down and listened to the stories told during our “coming out” groups, I began to ponder the obsession our society has with individual’s sexual orientation. Why is it necessary to have to “come out”? As a straight woman, is it in turn necessary for me to “come out” and tell my parents and everyone that I love that I am sexually attracted to men? Why does the gender of the person we choose to love create such controversy for most of us? Ideally, love should be an intimate event shared between you and your partner, and no one else. If you love someone and you are proud to say that you love them, why then must you be classified or termed as gay or straight? Why can’t people feel free to love whoever they want to love without being categorized, labeled and stigmatized?

“Coming out”, in my opinion, remains an issue because people are biased, and tend to display hatred towards things that they don’t understand. Regarding this subject matter, research shows that heterosexual men are most biased against other gay men, and that rural sections of the country are more anti-gay than others, particularly in the south and Midwest (Chodonody, Siebert, Rutledge, 2009). On college campuses, Fraternities and Christian based religious groups are the main groups displaying adversity to the GLBT subculture. Lack of positive contact with gays or lesbians has been proven to be a key factor in heterosexism. Heterosexism is having a discriminate attitude for those that are not heterosexual. According to research, giving college students positive exposure to gays and lesbians can influence heterosexual students’ attitudes toward gays and lesbians. This is a good study in reference to the GLBTSU on campus, as it suggests that exposure to this subculture will help alleviate bias, and therefore help embrace diversity.

On the other hand, Jayakumar, a PhD at the National Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan, investigates the impact of heterosexism on gay, lesbian and bisexual students on college campus. Findings on the subject include that perhaps sexual prejudices are becoming less socially acceptable. Jayakumar introduces an optimistic spin on GLBT students as he uses statistical facts to illustrate the seriousness of this culturally oppressed group on campuses, and what can be done to change it. Jayakumar points out the heavy influence institutions of higher education have on our society by the experiences they facilitate. Therefore, it is important that ECU promotes a diverse atmosphere that is accepting of this subculture, as it affects student’s attitudes later in life. It is even more important that leaders do all they can to help facilitate educational institutions greater levels of acceptance towards this subculture (Jayakumar, 2009).

One administrator dedicated to improving the lives of the GLBT on ECU’s campus is the Director of the GLBT Resource Department. Summer Wisdom is an ECU alumni dedicated to promoting this brand new department which opened in January 2011. Because of her advocating to the Dean, Administrators, and campus classrooms all over ECU, she is now able to reach out to GLBT students across campus. In the process of her trying to reach out to students, anyone is free to visit her office located in B-03 inside the Brewster building. The department is for students who have any issue at all regarding their sexual orientation. An example of an issue students might face, she explained, is that their parents may kick them out of the house for being GLBT, and therefore they cannot get financial aid. She knows someone who can help solve that issue. Another example she used is when a transgender student wants to join a sport, she can help them with issues regarding joining a male or a female team.

Her main challenge is to make her services known amongst the 27,000 students at ECU. She is responsible for the Drag Show and for the Transgender speaker who came to campus a few weeks prior. The most interesting fact she pointed out is that this subculture is different than most because unlike other diversity clubs on campus, GLBT members cannot be distinguished based on appearances alone. For example, you cannot tell if someone is a straight ally, a lesbian, a bisexual, or gay just by looking at them. Therefore, it is increasingly harder to find others to identify with.

GLBTSU "Drag Show"

Talking to GLBTSU”

In doing my fieldwork, I began to wonder what the campus atmosphere was like for students of this particular subculture, and whether or not ECU provides a negative or positive experience for GLBT students here on campus. Rankin, a Senior Diversity Planning Analyst in the Office of the Vice Provost and Assistant Professor in Higher Education at the Pennsylvania State University, poses the question, “Are schools doing all they can to ensure a positive learning environment for LGBTQA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, queer and ally) students on campus?” Furthermore, in her article, Rankin addresses the issue that LGBTQA students are seldom studied in regard to their college experiences in non-discriminatory campus environments. Rankin also shows evidence of the negative ways culturally diverse students such as LGBTQA can be academically hindered due to lack of understanding and acceptance from their teachers and peers on campus. This issue made me pose the question, “Does discrimination really exist at ECU with this subculture, and has it affected this subcultures academic progress?” A female informant of the GLBTSU gave her opinion on the matter…

“I honestly have never really seen any teachers directly insult the GLBT community in front of me. I know that some of them are probably not comfortable with it, but they keep it to themselves… I know and have heard of students being mean to GLBT students… I think for the most part we are pretty good in our diversity [at ECU]. I say that because you can look at some other colleges that reject students’ right to even start a GLBT group at their university. I think it could be so much worse. We aren’t that bad I think. We have just started a GLBT resource center on campus, and we reach full capacity in Hendrix Theater every semester for our drag shows. I think this campus is pretty okay with the GLBT community…”

Positive attitudes towards the GLBT students on campus are essential to each individual’s social and academic development (Rankin, 2006). Rankin’s article shows that a positive learning environment for students belonging to this subculture is an important topic facing colleges worldwide. Fortunately, it seems as though ECU has done an exceptional job thus far in embracing diversity and the GLBT students on campus.

 “Formal Meetings”

Unlike the social gatherings I attended the week prior, the next week’s meeting was more formal and business oriented. There were around 15 to 20 people, a slim number compared to last week’s 40 or 50. “Where is everybody” someone pointed out. I couldn’t help but feel the same way, where was everybody? We began the meeting by sitting at a table that was strategically placed in a semi-circle. Many people were working on their lap tops and conversing amongst each other.

The President of the GLBTSU began to speak. Katy stated that this was not an ordinary meeting, but nominations for the positions for next year would be taking place. Nominations were being held, and voting would proceed to take place after Spring Break. Katy began by asking members to nominate anyone, even if they are not currently present, someone could even nominate themselves. In turn, the person nominated can either accept the nomination or decline the nomination with or without reason. Positions for Treasurer, Secretary, Media recorder, President, Vice President and event organizer were nominated. This is when I began to feel like an outsider because I knew I was not going to be nominating myself, and did not have enough information to nominate anyone else Also, I knew I wasn’t going to be in attendance the following year, so the proceeds made me feel somewhat out of place. Ordinarily, I would not have felt so out of place.

Afterwards, we quickly discussed the Unity Conference at Chapel Hill that will take place April 1st-3rd. It is $25 registration and anyone who wants to go can ride along with one of the leaders.  The Unity Conference is an all day long workshop with keynote speakers, acts and comedy. The purpose is to promote community organization, leadership and unity amongst the GLBT community throughout the state of North Carolina.

Upon doing more research I found that nationwide, there are programs and events for college students. For example, Equality Riders which takes place in New York City, is similar to the North Carolina’s Unity Conference. The Equality Riders event is hosted for students who have been victims of hate crimes and expelled from Christian Colleges due to their sexual orientation (Fairyington, 2006). Equality Riders is important because it is an event for students to challenge campus homophobia, similar to the Unity Conference. Events such as these allow GLBT students to unite and to possibly create a difference. These events are centered on six main purposes which are to; support closeted students who suffer from prejudice policies of college institutions; to create a forum where GLBT issues can be discussed without fear or embarrassment; to open dialogue with college administrators regarding oppressive policies; to raise public awareness; highlight moral equality; and renew the spirit of GLBT students.

“Conclusion”

I was intrigued by the bravery that these few individuals displayed as they allowed me, an outsider, to explore aspects of their lives and emotions that were personal and revealing I could just imagine the emotional turmoil they have had to endure to get to this point in their lives where they are proud enough to talk about their most intimate aspects of their lives with a complete stranger. Therefore, I hold nothing but the utmost respect for GLBT members, and the administrators who have made this club possible.

During my fieldwork, I received a six color beaded pin, which represents each color of the six stripe flag. I placed this pin on my book bag and I displayed it proudly everywhere I went. It is important because the pin not only represents pride and freedom, but it also represents diversity at ECU and all over the world. This object shows that this subculture is accepting of all different people from all different walks of life. It shows that no matter your race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status or religious belief we are all alike in our differences and when you put us together, we are like one beautiful rainbow.

WORK CITED PAGE

Jayakumar, U.M. (2009). The invisible rainbow in diversity: factors influencing sexual prejudice among college students. Journal of Homosexuality, 56, 675-700.

Rankin, S.R. (2006). LGBTQA students on campus: is higher education making the grade? Journal of Gay & Lesbian Issues in Education, 3, 111-116.

Fairyington, S. (2006, July/August). Equality riders challenge campus homophobia. The Gay &  Lesbian Review, 5-6.

Chodonody, J.M., Siebert, D.C., & Rutledge, S.E. (2009). College students’ attitudes toward gays and lesbians. Journal of Social Work Education, 45(3), 499-510.

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Meetings at “The Mall” #5

The meeting began at 5pm on WednesdayWe all met outside at the “Mall” on campus.

Seated on a blanket and fold out chairs I began an in depth conversation with the director of LGBT resources.

Immediately she was very friendly and introduced herself as Summer.

She began explaining how she was the director of the GLBT resource department.

This she explained was a brand new department that just began in January.

Her office is located at B-03 Brewster building Office B

The department is for students who have any issue at all regarding their sexual orientation

For example. She explained to me that sometimes a student’s parents may kick them out of the house for being GLBT, and therefore thay cannot get financial aid. She knows someone who can help them with that issue

Another example she used id that if a transgender student was to join a sport she can help them with issues regarding joining a male or a female team.

I asked her, how do students know who to go to, or where to go whenever they have an issue.

She said that she did a lot of advocating to get their own department in the first place. Now, her challenge is to make herself known amongst the 27,00 students at ECU

She is responsible for the Drag Show, the Transgender speaker that cam to campus a while ago, and she also does class presentations and goes around speaking for GLBTSI

 I felt really lucky to meet her because prior to meeting to her I had no idea that a director of GLBT resources even existed on campus.

I had no idea that a department like this existed for students

It appeared to me like she was basically a campus social worker for GLBT students.

I found her very sweet and interesting. Especially because she basically started this department on her own by advocating to the Dean and the Chairmen for a need of this type of department,

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Meetings at “The Mall” #4

We met at 5pm on WednesdayI arrived at the social room, but no one was there, there was a sign on the door that said EVENT from 5 to 7. Next to the notice was a number for Katy, the president/I called Katy and she informed me that the meeting was being held at the “Mall”, She explained to ,e that the mall was a huge grassy lawn behind the campus’s library.

Upon arriving at the Mall, there was a small group standing around. Perhaps around four people. I recognized them from previous meetings and walked up to them and began talking

Eventually the modest group grew to about 20 people, both male and female students, black and white, all different races and genders.

We set up a picnic blanket, a hammock, and half of the group played Frisbee and tag, while the other half of us rested on the picnic blanket and cooled out on the hammock.

Those of us sitting on the hammock and picnic blanket began to discuss things like classes, summer plans and life stories

I told them how I was a single mom and have been a student for seven years.

They were surprised to find this out about me, and seemingly appreciative of  the fact that I am a student and a single mom.

Each of us shared things like what our favorite TV shows are and what type of classes are easy and difficult for us.

After around an hour an a half, everyone packed up and began leaving.

I said see you later and we departed

I was hesitant upon arriving because the last couple of times I showed up, no one was there. Often times they would wind up switching meeting places and I was NOT aware of the change.I was confused because in all seven years of going to EC U, I never even knew that the lawn area was called the “mall”I could tell the small group were GLBT students because they were dressed in an eccentric manner, different colors, hairstyles etc. They stood out.

I was relieved once the group became bigger. It is always nice to have a large turnout

I felt so comfortable around everyone, because they made me feel welcome from the beginning. It was very comfortable to for me to share personal things about myself with the group.

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Ethnography (rough draft)

“The Rainbow Movement”: Embracing Diversity at ECU

GLBTSU is an acronym for Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans gender Student Union. The GLBTSU provides a group in which ECU students who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender to further these issues on campus and in the surrounding community. The GLBTSU here at ECU is like the rainbow flag which is widely renowned as a symbol of pride. Like the flag, the GLBTSU is a colourful array of different genders, races, sexual orientations and back rounds. Each colour on the rainbow flag stands for every colour and culture around the world, and here at ECU.
Rankin, a Senior Diversity Planning Analyst in the Office of the Vice Provost and Assistant Professor in Higher Education at the Pennsylvania State University, poses the question, “Are schools doing all they can to ensure a positive learning environment for LGBTQA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, queer and ally) students on campus?” Furthermore, in her article, Rankin addresses the issue that LGBTQA students are seldom studied in regard to their college experiences in non-discriminatory campus environments. Rankin also shows evidence of the negative ways culturally diverse students such as LGBTQA can be academically hindered due to lack of understanding and acceptance from their teachers and peers on campus. A lesbian member of ECU’s GLBTSU reveals her experiences on campus
“I honestly have never really seen any teachers directly insult the GLBT community in front of me. I know that some of them are probably not comfortable with it, but they keep it to themselves. But that’s just from what I have seen. I know and have heard of students being mean to GLBT students. Like I said I have not seen this myself too much. I think for the most part we are pretty good in our diversity [at ECU]. I say that because you can look at some other colleges that reject students’ right to even start a GLBT group at their university. I think it could be so much worse. We aren’t that bad I think. We have just started a GLBT resource center on campus, and we reach full capacity in Hendrix Theatre every semester for our drag shows. I think this campus is pretty okay with the GLBT community. Also recently there was a man that wrote a Letter to the Editor saying how disgusted he was that our drag show got front page news. How we were pushing our agenda on everyone. The only thing the news story covered was about the show and nothing else. Within a matter of minutes we had lots of students commenting on this man’s letter to the editor. Just saying how horrible he was for saying such crude things to the GLBTSU. It was really nice to see so many people backing us up.”
Positive attitudes towards the GLBT students on campus are not only essential to their social development, but to their academic development as well. Rankin’s article shows that a positive learning environment for students belonging to this subculture is an important topic facing colleges worldwide. Fortunately, it seems as though ECU has done an exceptional job thus far in embracing diversity and the GLBT students on campus. Although negative attitudes do not seem to be a huge issue at ECU, maintaining a positive learning environment for this subculture needs to be a focal point particularly amongst policy makers, teachers, researchers or educational modifiers to develop strategic plans regarding social justice issues.
Jayakumar is a PhD at the National Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan. He investigates the impact of heterosexism on gay, lesbian and bisexual students on college campus. However, he surprisingly takes his study a step further and explores whether or not exposure to this subculture through the college experience will positively or negatively change certain prejudices that may exist amongst heterosexual students. Findings on the subject include that perhaps sexual prejudices are becoming less socially acceptable. This article is important to my research project because it introduces an optimistic spin on my topic. It also explains unfamiliar terms such as sexual prejudice, heterosexism, as well as the correlation between race and sexuality. Jayakumar uses statistical facts in order to illustrate the seriousness of this culturally oppressed group on campus as well as what can be done to change it. I like how the author puts a twist on the subject matter by recognizing that the views of college students reflect the sexual prejudices of the societal culture at large, but that they also have the capacity to resist or even transform these prejudices. Jayakumar points out the heavy influence institutions of higher education have on our society by the experiences they facilitate. He also poses the question, what can researchers and campus leaders do to help higher education institutions facilitate greater levels of acceptance. He states that Christians, Catholics and Fraternities are among the few subgroups that are more unaccepting of the GLBT subculture. He does so not by stating his opinion, but through citing other literary sources and studies. This article is intended fot anyone promoting educational equality.
Fairyington is a journalist illustrating her experience at the Equality Ride event taking place in New York City which challenges campus homophobia. This is a magazine article and it is significant to my mini ethnography because Equality Riders is similar to an event that the GLBTSU at ECU participates in called The Unity Conference. The Equality Riders event is hosted for students who have been victims of hate crimes and expelled from Christian Colleges due to their sexual orientation. This event is sponsored by Soulforce, an organization that seeks to stop spiritual violence against GLBT people. This article gives the perspective of a gay man who came out the closet and how unfairly he was treated at a Christian College. This event is important to my research study as it shows how religious colleges can have oppressive policies towards the GLBT community that differ from ECU’s policy. The author illustrates an important point that although there is oppression still going on in colleges, there are events such as this to allow GLBT people to unite and to possibly create a difference. This event is centered around six main purposes which are to; support closeted students who suffer from prejudice policies of college institutions; to create a forum where GLBT issues can be discussed without fear or embarrassment; to open dialogue with college administrators regarding oppressive policies; to raise public awareness; highlight moral equality; and renew the spirit of the Equality Riders themselves. This article is somewhat biased as she gives her subjective opinion on the likelihood of them achieving their goals. The author says the hope of GLBT community achieving equality in religious schools is as farfetched as it was forty years ago.
The authors of this article explore the percentage of gays, lesbians and bisexuals living in the United States, married, divorced, and have children. Findings on the subject show that heterosexuals are more biased against gay men, that gender is a predictor of antigay biases, and that rural sections of the country are more anti-gay than others, particularly in the south and Midwest.  Lack of positive contact with gays or lesbians had been proven to be a key factor in heterosexism. This article is important to my research project as it reports statistics effecting this subculture as well as attitudes held by outsiders of this subculture. The authors also give examples of pedagogical interventions which state that homophobia can be confronted in at least three ways; exploring one’s history, learning the facts, and getting to know lesbians and gay men. This form of exposure is called information plus-exposure model. The authors conducted a study to determine whether giving college students positive exposure to gays and lesbians would influence heterosexual students’ attitudes toward gays and lesbians. This is a good study in reference to my topic because it suggests that exposure to this subculture will help alleviate bias. The authors are not bias and they are very informative. The authors conducting the study are from Temple University and Rutgers University.
Interview Information
Diversity is a sense of everyone from all walks of life together
Members of GLBTSU are so open to everyone. They accept you for who you are with open arms. I have made so many great friends from there.
The GLBTSU embodies diversity because they let everyone in no matter where you stand on the spectrum of sexuality. Also, All gays are different. They come from every race and place all over the world. Our rainbow flag stands for every color and culture around the world.
We are also in close connection with the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center. We have attended many functions that they have made; where they bring in all different types of groups from campus. I also experience it at every GLBTSU meeting I attend. I see all different types of people at our meetings. I have really actually got to meet many different types of people from being in the GLBTSU.
We were all joking and laughing and minding our own business. When one of friends that was sitting close to them came over and told us what they had been saying. You know the usual, “f*ing fags”, “You haven’t gotten laid because you are not with man”, “f*ing filthy fags”, etc.
My first visit to the GLBTSU lasted two hours.  They meet every Wednesday at the Mendham Hall Social Room at 5:00 pm  Out of all the groups I contacted via e-mail, Katy Ross was the only person who sent me a timely positive response. She assured me that any and everyone is welcome to attend the meetings  When I first entered the room I noticed a few long tables assorted into one circle with chairs around them. The room was very large and spacious  Everyone was smiling, laughing and talking with one another.  There was a mixture of women, men, Black American, Caucasian and Spanish.  There were some women who were dressed in baggy clothes and short hair.  There were some men dressed in button downs, t-shirts and sweaters.  There was a Caucasian male student in the corner putting together a display of brochures, pamphlets, stickers, pins and other information out on a large table.  He had on a tie-dye shirt a long Mohawk and colored fingernails.  He assured me I could help myself to any of the information on the table  The information on the pamphlets was regarding issues such as school bullying, becoming a straight ally, equalitync.org, coming out, living openly, religion and homosexuality.  I sat down in the circle shaped tables next to my fellow classmate Ciarra  The president of GLBTSU Katy Ann Ross began to speak and the group quieted down.  There was a president as well as five other members, two girls and three guys, held Positions and frequently addressed the entire group  There were around 30 to 40 people attending the group meeting.  The President Katy Ann Ross was dressed in a vest and khaki pants with a short haircut and circular earrings with holes in them.  They discussed things such as a “buddy group” which consisted of everyone putting a name in a hat and Katy along with the five group leaders picking the random names out of the hat. Each person was assigned a group leader according to which of the six leaders picked their name  I told one of the leaders I was just visiting and did not need a group, he assured me that I would need to be in a group for the upcoming activity.  After we were assigned into our “buddy groups” we discussed the Unity Conference at Chapel Hill that will take place April 1st-3rd. It is $25 registration and anyone who wants to go can ride along with one of the leaders.  The Unity Conference is an all day long workshop with keynote speakers, acts and comedy. The purpose is to promote community organization, leadership and unity amongst the GLBT community throughout the state  The second event discussed was the Drag Show which will take place March 21st; anyone can attend or audition to be in the show  We did an icebreaker activity which involved one of the group leaders taping famous people’s names on each one of our backs. Everyone else can see who we are except for us.  We can ask eachother only yes or no questions and only one question per person, in attempt to figure out whose name is on your back. After going around asking everyone yes or no questions I discovered my name was Kanye West, a famous rap artist.  .  . . . Due to the positive feedback I received via e-mail from the group’s president Katy, I was excited to attend the meeting.  . I felt the assortment of the tables and chairs in a circle was symbolic for unity and promoted an atmosphere conducive to equality and warmth.  I enjoyed the smiles and the laughter, I felt very welcomed and the atmosphere was very calming, open and friendly.  . . . . . . His style of dress was very eccentric and inviting. I am partial to “free spirits” and those who “go against the grain” and do not necessarily conform to others.  . I was very pleased that this information was available as it was not only informative, but very helpful for gathering information for my mini ethnography.  . . . . . . There was a large turnout, more people than I expected  Katy seemed very sweet and friendly; she definitely knew what she was doing and took control of the group.  . . . . . I had no idea what I was getting myself into, I even felt a bit uncomfortable because I had no idea what the “buddy group” was and was unsure if it applied to me.  . . . . . Both events sounded very interesting and like something I would want to go be a part of. I am unable to attend the Unity Conference, but plan on attending the Annual Drag Show, it sounds like a lot of fun.  . . . The ice breaker was one of the funniest activities I have ever done. It was a good way to break the ice and talk to people that I ordinarily would not have got the chance to interact with.  . . . . . . .
I later found out the purpose of the “buddy groups” was to separate into our groups and talk about everyone’s “coming out” stories.  My group consisted of three girls and three guys. We arranged our chairs into a tightly formed circle.  The first person in my group to tell his “coming out” story was a Black American gay male and one of the GLBTSU leaders. He excitedly began his story of “coming out” to his parents and friends with a humorous smile on his face. He stated that they already knew he was gay and joked about it.  The other male was Caucasian and mild spoken. He began his story about how he was not as willing to tell his parents he was gay and confessed he was drunk before telling them, they also already knew of his sexual orientation before telling them. He admitted that their way of “dealing” with the fact they they had a gay son was by ignoring it and not talking about it to often.  The third male was bisexual and confessed he was reluctant to tell his parents about his sexual orientation, and has yet to “come out the closet” to them. Other members of the group asked him if he thought it was selfish to want both girls and guys. He replied no because he couldn’t help being attracted to both girls and guys. Everyone laughed it off and continued to the next person.  Both girls were Black American and were dressed similar in baggy clothes and sweatshirts. They told their stories of finding out they were attracted to other women and what it was like coming out to their parents. One of the girls actually lives with her partner and her parents were reluctant to accept her sexual orientation and chose to ignore it. The other girl admitted that she had not told her parents about her sexual orientation as she felt that it was not any of their business.  The third girl was Caucasian and dressed in a skirt and blouse. She is a straight ally and told a story of what it was like when her parents found out she was sexually active with her boyfriend.  It was my turn to talk and I told them that I agreed with their lifestyle and that people should be free to choose to love whoever they want to love.  We continued to joke and laugh and before we knew it two hours had past and the meeting came to a close.  .  .  .  .Once again the formation of the chairs in a circle made me immediately feel close and bonded with these people who I barely knew.  .  I thought he was so alluring, funny and drew my attention right away. His joking demeanor made me feel immediately comfortable  .  .  I appreciated and respected his willingness to share such personal stories with a stranger such as myself.  .  .  .  .  It seemed as though the idea of being a bisexual man was somewhat taboo or negative within the group. I am not sure if it is negativity that I feel, but there is a certain undertone within the group once he said he was bisexual and they started questioning him.  .  .  I later found out that one of the girls is a psychology major and is in one of my psych classes. We say hi to each other every day and she can perhaps become one of my informants.  .  .  .  Her story made me feel very comfortable because I realized I was not the only straight ally in the group.  .  .  I wanted to make sure that I verbally let everyone in the group know that I respected them and their stories as well and their lifestyles.  When the meeting was over I couldn’t wait to attend another
Field Notes
have always been intrigued and felt comfortable around eccentric and unique individuals. I often consider myself a rebel and tend to go against the grain and do what other people least expect from me. These characteristics are commonly found amongst the GLBT community. In my past experiences with GLBT friends and family, they often pride themselves in being unique and  not particularly concerned in particular about what one person thinks or feels about them. In a “melting pot” society such as America, most are concerned in conformity, fitting in and blending. Individuality is something I have come to not only appreciate, but value above all else. However, upon entering the GLBTSU meeting I was confronted with another unique reality that occurred to me for the first time regarding this subgroup, unity.   What surprised me? When I first stepped into the meeting everyone was laughing, talking, smiling and carrying on. I would have ordinarily felt like an outsider or a stranger because I was new to this setting and didn’t know anyone. However, I was greeted by at least one guy and two girls with smiles and open arms. It was as if there was an unspoken respect, love and loyalty for everyone in the room. There was an underlying certainty that we were all there for one cause which was to promote unity, love and companionship which is a trait of this subgroup that I knew existed but was surprised as to how overwhelming its presence was in the meeting.    What intrigued me? I was intrigued by the bravery that these few individuals displayed as they sat around the circle and explored aspects of their lives and emotions with a complete stranger such as myself. I could just imaging the emotional turmoil they have had to endure to get to this point in their lives. The ammount of courage and self disclosure was encouraging to a straight ally such as myself, and at the same time I could respect their plights as GLBT.  What disturbed me? Upon formulating  our “coming out” groups, I sat and listened to everyone tell their stories of how they revealed their sexual orientation to their loved ones. I began to think about why is necessary to have to “come out”. As a strait woman, is it in turn necessary for me to “come out” and tell my parents and everyone that I love that I am sexually attracted to men, or even further black men with nice hair and brown eyes? It is somewhat disturbing to me why our society places so much emphasis on who a person choses to love, as love should be an intimate event shared between you and your partner, and no one else. If you love someone and you are proud to say that you love them, why then must you be classified or termed as gay or strait?Why can’t people feel free to love whoever they want to love without being catigorized, labeled and stigmatized?
Queer is an umbrella term for sexual minorities that are not heterosexual  Trans is a Latin noun or prefix, meaning “across”, “beyond” or “on the opposite side”. Trans gender  referring to an individual(s) who are crossing gender lines  Trans sexual person(s) who identify themselves or have the desire to be a member of the opposite sex  Bi sexual having sexual orientation towards both men and women  Gay can mean happy but in this subculture means homosexuality  Lesbian a woman who is sexually oriented towards other women  Fem a feminine woman in a lesbian relationship  Butch A masculine woman in a lesbian relationship  Dyke a derogatory term for a lesbian  Butch Queen a masculine gay male  Aggressive Term for a woman (usually) who is the aggressor in a lesbian relationship  Top or Bottom terms referring to the dominant (top) male and a feminine (bottom) male in a gay relationship  Fag derogatory name for a gay male  strait heterosexual  Ally strait advocate for the GLBT subculture
GLBTSU meets every Wednesday at 5pm in Mendahm Hall, they represent the minority ECU student population that is either gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or “straight alliances”, a “straight alliance” is someone such as myself who is neither gay, bisexual, transgender or lesbian but advocates for the rights of this subculture and is accepting towards their lifestyle and beliefs, the club in run by Katy Anne Ross, the club is open to any and everyone, the atmosphere is free and inviting, they have fun activities such as ice breakers and socials, there is a member of the club that is in my psychology class.  do know a couple friends, classmates and neighbors that are either gay, bisexual or lesbian. 3) It is very easy to enter the subculture as an insider and outsider. Upon contacting the clubs president Katy, I got an immediate reponce with a list of dates times and events that were open to the public. Katy assured me that ANY and EVERY one is welcome to attend meetings.
There are around 15 to 20 people  “Where is everybody” someone pointed out  We began by sitting at a table that was strategically placed in a semi-circle.  Many people working on their lap tops  The President of the GLBTSU began to speak.  Katy stated that this was not an ordinary meeting, but nominations for the positions for next year would be taking place.  She stated that anyone can nominate anyone, even if they are not currently present, someone could even nominate themselves. In turn, the person nominated can either accept the nomination or decline the nomination with or without reason, it is optional.  Nominations were being held, and voting would proceed to take place after Spring Break  Positions for Treasurer, Secretary, Media recorder, President, Vice President and event organizer were nominated.  End of meeting    I couldn’t help but feel the same way, where was everybody?  This is when I began to feel like an outsider because I knew I was not going to be nominating myself or anyone else.   I knew I wasn’t going to be in attendance the following year so the proceeds made me feel somewhat out of place.  Ordinarily I would not have felt so out of place.
Context
Artifact: Six Colored Pin
The cultural artifact I chose representative of the GLBTSU is a pin with six colored beads on it, symbolic of the six stripe flag. The pin has six beads; red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. The colors are in the order they would be in if they were on a natural rainbow.  This artifact was out on display at the GLBTSU meeting for everyone to take home with them or to pin onto their clothing or book bag. This pin is not just a pretty accessory to go with your outfit, but it represents GLBT pride and its colors reflect diversity. The six color flag originated in California by an artist from San Fransisco named Gilbert Baker in 1978. There were originally seven colors but indigo was removed after it was decided that it was not a true color. The six color pattern has become an international symbol of GLBT pride throughout the world.  If you see someone displaying this pattern it means that they are openly accepting of GLBT unions. The pin can be made by buying a regular safety pin and some multi-colored beads. I chose this object because it represents not only my subgroup but the overall theme of diversity as well.  This object shows that this subculture is accepting of all different people from all different walks of life. It shows that no matter your race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status or religious belief we are all alike in our differences and when you put us together, we are like one beautiful rainbow.
WORK CITED PAGE
Jayakumar, U.M. (2009). The invisible rainbow in diversity: factors influencing sexual prejudice among college students. Journal of Homosexuality, 56, 675-700.
Rankin, S.R. (2006). LGBTQA students on campus: is higher education making the grade? Journal of Gay & Lesbian Issues in Education, 3, 111-116.
Fairyington, S. (2006, July/August). Equality riders challenge campus homophobia. The Gay &  Lesbian Review, 5-6.
Chodonody, J.M., Siebert, D.C., & Rutledge, S.E. (2009). College students’ attitudes toward gays and lesbians. Journal of Social Work Education, 45(3), 499-510.

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