Lariat Letters: Include LGBT in diversity conversations

By Dune Dawson | Guest Contributor

I want to issue an observation that Baylor is blatantly ignoring one of the most important inclusions that this campus needs, which is that of the LGBT students who attend this school. In the diversity assignment that all students and faculty have to complete, LGBT was not mentioned in any way, shape or form even once. This school does not care about us, and it constantly proves that. Something needs to change because I am done with Christian bigotry. “Love thy neighbor” — but apparently only if they’re Christian and have Christian values.

It says that it cares about all of its students, LGBT included, but it doesn’t charter our organizations, it ignores our requests for inclusion, it tells us to go to the Counseling Center and the Office of Spiritual Life to “avail ourselves” of our “struggles with these issues” of homosexuality, and don’t even get me started on Baylor’s Human Sexuality clause. It is an absolute abomination and utterly disrespectful. I don’t know how anyone can read it and be like, “Yes. This is OK. This is right.”

Baylor needs to do better for its students. We are asking for the bare minimum, and Baylor can’t even give us that. I myself am not Christian, but I know a lot of LGBT individuals who also identify as Christian and regularly attend church, pray and do everything else. Christianity and its beliefs are not law. Your faith does not give you reason to discriminate against me. Homosexuality wasn’t even mentioned in the Bible before 1946 because of a mistranslation that actually translates to pedophilia and incest.

I know I am not the only person bothered by Baylor’s loving Christian hate. I have had many conversations with a number of people since this year’s diversity training came out, and we are all upset over Baylor completely gleaming over us and our existence. And this doesn’t just apply to the diversity training. It applies in general. A large portion of the student population, and also of the faculty and staff, identify as members of the LGBT community, and we deserve representation. We deserve equality and inclusion, and we deserve to be loved for who we are. A lot of Christians will say, “love the sinner, but not the sin.” That is so wrong in regard to the LGBT community. Sure, that applies for murder and sexual assault, among other things, but to say, even indirectly, that we are just as bad as murderers for loving and being attracted to people of the same sex, or to people who have non-conforming gender identities, is really messed up.

I will quote a few things Baylor states in this year’s diversity training. To start, “as a caring community, we should all sit in that discomfort as we move toward a more inclusive tomorrow.” OK, where are you moving toward inclusivity, because I don’t see it. In regard to microaggressions, when clicking on sex/gender, I expected LGBT to be brought up, but instead the statement was, “using sexist language ‘boys don’t cry.’” Another statement that Baylor makes that it does not in fact adhere to itself is, “be willing to listen to the perspectives of others and learn why the words or actions were offensive.” This entire diversity training is a way for Baylor to make itself feel like it is inclusive and loving and like it is teaching students to be inclusive and loving, when in reality it is not. Baylor’s actions, and lack of action, are what really matter. As it is always said, don’t listen to a person’s words; look at their actions, because that will tell you who they really are.

I will say it again, and I will continue to say it. Your faith does not give you reason to discriminate against me. Baylor, do better.