Student Takes Initiative in LGBTQ Community

Courtesy of Flickr.

Christopher Downs/Contributing Writer

Adam Ropizar is a sophomore studying biomedical science who is takes on a multifaceted role within the LGBTQ initiatives on campus. As an LGBTQ Ambassador, President of GSA and State-chair of Florida Collegiate Pride Coalition, he offers a wide range of resources and incentives while being a designated voice for students within the community.

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, Ropizar struggled with being ‘outed’ as a gay individual in high school, expressing that it shaped him into the role he’s in now.

“One of the biggest things with being gay that you can be afraid of, is being ‘outed’. I was exposed in front of over 2,000 people through a video,” said Ropizar.

In terms of being an openly gay man, Ropizar said that he based this misfortune on how his interactions and perception from those around him have shaped him into the role he is in now.

“I saw the injustice that happened to me personally, so I wanted to make sure that it didn’t happen to anybody else,” Ropizar said.

Learning at a young age that he was gay, Ropizar emphasized that he’s learned to live freely with being gay, using what he’s been through to draw strength. Ropizar also gave advice for individuals struggling with their identity, emphasizing that it’s important to know yourself.

“Before anything, understand yourself because if you come out under peer pressure or because you were forced to and you’re not ready, then you’ll just resent yourself,” said Ropizar. “Take time to find who you want to be.  That way, you’ll be completely ready.”

Creating a platform for those within the community, National Coming Out Day has become a national event for individuals to feel proud, loved and supported of who they are. Ropizar voiced this when asked what message he was sending to students on campus.

“For National Coming Out [day], we have posters set up on one of the murals where committee members write why coming out is important to them,” Ropizar said. “This shows that there are people out there to support you.”

While coming to terms with your sexual identity, it also comes along with dealing with discrimination against others. Ropizar said that he hasn’t witnessed any discrimination in the LGBTQ community here at FIU.

“From what I’ve seen it’s been pretty open-minded,” Ropizar said. “There’s always a person here and there that turns the other cheek, but I’ve never seen any discrimination.”

When asked about general issues in the LGBTQ community, he wants more coverage of rape culture.

LGBTQ people face higher rates of poverty and marginalization, which puts many at greater risk of sexual assault. Thirty-six percent of gay men experience rape and/or physical violence by an intimate partner, compared to 29 percent of heterosexual men, according to the CDC.

“I feel like the stigma of rape in the gay community is overlooked and a lot of people push it aside, so I feel that it’s an issue that should be addressed,” Ropizar said.

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