‘LGBT and Beyond’ course seeks to explore gender and sexuality from global perspective

Amanda Gonzalez/Contributing Writer

“LGBT and Beyond: Non-Normative Sexualities from a Global Perspective” is a course offered in the spring that explores the inequalities faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer-identified individuals and also highlights the expanding activism for the community.

“The course explores the ways in which gender and sexuality are impacted and embedded in the media, politics, globalization, the government, and more. In addition, students learn about systemic inequalities faced by gender and sexual minority populations,” said Victoria Burns, associate professor at the Women’s Studies Department, who holds a doctorate in counseling psychology. “However, they also learn about the growing activism that is occurring all over the world to ensure freedom and equality for all sexual and gender identities.”

Director of Student Health Services, Oscar Loynaz, said that when he teaches the class, he likes to spend time defining certain terms relevant to the LGBT community, such as outing. He also focuses on the coming out process, coupling and the inherent challenges linked to those experiences. Gender identity and expression are also highlighted, as well as a historical perspective on these issues.

“Students of all sexual and gender identities are welcome in this class,” said Burns, with Loynaz adding that usually about three-fourths of the class are students who identify as heterosexual and who express a curiosity and desire to be an ally.

While the two most common majors seem to be psychology and history, there’s someone from virtually every field enrolled in the course.

Students in the course are introduced to a myriad of community service organizations, in an effort to both recognize the resources available and also provide students with institutions aligned with their beliefs and interests. Among the participating organizations are Save Dade, Equality Florida and Yes Institute.

“I hope that what I bring to the class … will at least give people something to think about or [prompt them to] look at things in a different way,” said Loynaz. “… We are where we are today as a result of the hard work and sacrifice of many people before us, [and] where we are in the future will depend on the work we do today.”

All three sections of the class are currently open, with Loynaz teaching the in-person class at the Modesto Maidique Campus on Wednesdays from 5 p.m. to 7:40 p.m., Burns teaching the online course and Gisela Vega teaching the in-person class at The Biscayne Bay Campus on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.


Image retrieved from Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/taedc/17113823229/

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