Imogen Francis/Staff Writer
Bullying and discrimination within the LGBTQ community is an issue that many people have to deal with, in particular, those who identify as bisexual, transgender or gender nonconformity.
Jazmin Flores, a transgender woman who is a campaigner for the Human Rights Campaign, has been on the receiving end of bullying within the community.
“I get bullied within the LGBTQ community from homosexuals because they consider us mentally ill,” Flores said. “They still believe in cisgender normality.”
Cisgender is the term used for people who identify with the gender and sex they were assigned at birth.
Jacqui Foskey, a sophomore double majoring in women and gender studies and psychology, also sees the bullying first hand towards her non-gender conforming partner.
Foskey, who identifies as lesbian, said her partner’s preferred pronouns are “them” and “they,” but people within the community do not respect this. People go out of their way to misuse her partner’s pronouns, according to the sophomore.
“Some people don’t think that it is right, they don’t understand, they don’t want to understand and they don’t try to understand,” said Foskey.
Bi erasure is also an issue within the community. Bi-erasure is when the legitimacy of bisexuality is questioned or denied. Within the LGBTQ community bisexuals are often seen as confused, so people are quick to dismiss or ignore them, said Foskey.
Those who identify as transgender, Foskey believes, bear the brunt of bullying within the community.
“Even though people are part of the LGBTQ community, there is still a lot of people who conform to societal norms, so if someone does not fit into that model of a boy or a girl they’re outcasts,” said Foskey.
Richard Moreno, a second-year masters student who works in the Multicultural Program and LGBTQA Initiatives, attributes the bullying within the community to misinformation and miscommunication.
Simone Warner, the co-chair of Safe Zone Training at the University, is trying to combat the miscommunications within and outside of the community with the Safe Zone Training Program. This program aims to develop staff and faculties awareness, skills and knowledge of the LGBTQ community and how to apply those skills to university life.
“If you are aware and know what is going on and know what resources are available for them, you know where to send them,” said Warner.
Though bullying is an issue within the LGBTQ community Foskey foresees a more inclusive community in the future.
“I feel like now, more and more people are being accepted its 2018; people are people,” she said.
Feature Image retrieved from Flickr.