Gay Rights on Campus, circa 2011
Academe Volume 97, Number 5, ISSN 0190-2946
The environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students, staff, and faculty on college campuses has certainly improved over the last generation, but recent dramatic episodes confirm the continuing need for vigilance and reform. Students remain the constituency most vulnerable to the effects of entrenched bigotry: the harassment of first-year Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi last fall and his subsequent suicide highlighted this danger for a national audience. Here, the cyberbullying took on an especially vicious and homophobic edge, even on a relatively open and cosmopolitan campus close to America's largest city. While many of the cases involve students, LGBT faculty and staff members are not immune to persistent threats to their hard-won inclusion and acceptance. A national survey from 2010 bears this out: despite inclusive policies and institutional commitments, the fear or experience of customary and irrational prejudice remains a common problem for LGBT students and members of the faculty and staff. These fears and experiences are most common in the South and Midwest, where anti-LGBT sentiments tend to be reinforced by religious teachings and state laws.
Cramer, E.P. & Ford, C.H. (2011). Gay Rights on Campus, circa 2011. Academe, 97(5), 38-41.