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Academic First Year Experiences

Being an Ally: Providing a More Inclusive Campus Environment for LGBTIQQ Students

In February 2011, CSUN faculty member Gina Masequesmay (Asian American Studies Department) presented this workshop offering ways for faculty and staff to support students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersexual, queer, and/or questioning. She provided participants with an introduction the CSUN Ally Project; an exercise that addressed relevant terminology (most people already knew "in the closet" but far fewer had heard of "two spirited" and "sticky rice"); video clips; and a discussion of the ways in which "a complex system of accomplices" may magnify the risk of depression and suicide among this already-fragile population of young adults. The workshop concluded with additional definitions describing the ways in which various forms of prejudice (racism, sexism, ablism, agism, and so on) compund and are complicated by heteronormativity. Participants also were offered "Suggestions for being an Ally," as well as strategies for addressing homophobia and related challenges in CSUN classrooms.

For current information, please visit the CSUN Ally Project web page.