Last week The Whitworthian sent out an opinion poll about openly LGBTQ professors. Even though the responses were overwhelmingly supportive, the question bothers me. I find the available answers to be indicative of the culture of discrimination this campus has allowed to thrive; it seems to say that you can’t support what you find uncomfortable. There are students on campus facing discrimination every day because they make someone uncomfortable. That doesn’t make the discrimination right. Personally, I think it is about time this university stood up and told its student body (and Trustees) that they can take their discrimination and discomfort and shove it… shove it aside to make room for acceptance and inclusion; face facts, some Christians are gay.
This should have been a question about continuing a policy of discrimination against fellow Christians. We already know that there are people who are uncomfortable with the LGBTQ on campus. Professors find it acceptable to use the term “bull dyke” in front of students, students feel they have the right to call their classmates “fags.” Which makes the very conversation uncomfortable for both sides, but we have to keep talking.
I never encountered such overt and open discrimination until I became a student here at Whitworth. I had such hope when the wording was changed in the student handbook, and I was proud when Dr. Stronks gave her presentation. Segregation and employment discrimination weren’t right before and they aren’t right now. One core value of this institution includes respect for differences, maybe we should start acting like it.