Students Protest In The Most Creative Way Against College President’s Anti-LGBT Stance

Protest Against Anti-LGBT Policy, forced conversion therapy, ungender language, gender minorities, US Supreme Court LGBTQ Rights
Students at Seattle Pacific University recently handed over pride flags to the university’s interim president at their graduation ceremony. This was done as a protest against the college’s anti-LGBT policies, The ceremony took place on Sunday in which nearly 50students gave rainbow flags, notes, and other pride items to President Pete Menjares. Now a video from the students’ graduation ceremony is going viral on social media and for all the right reasons.

As per reports, the university has a discriminatory employment policy that requires employees to refrain from same-sex sexual activity, extramarital sex and cohabitating before marriage, thus preventing the employment of LGBTQ staff members. Students have been holding a sit-in outside Menjares’ office for almost 19 days in protest of the policy. However, those who were graduating saw the ceremony as their last chance to make their stand on the issue clear and register their rejection of the college president’s opinion that belonging to the LGBTQ+ spectrum is a lifestyle choice.

The video from the ceremony that has gone viral now says, “POV: The president of your university thinks being LGBTQ+ is a “lifestyle choice” and a “morality issue so you decide to give him a gift at graduation.”

Protest against anti-LGBT policy: Why it matters

Being LGBTQ+ is not a lifestyle choice. This argument is problematic in so many ways. While homosexuality is seen as a lifestyle choice, how come there is no such concept as a ‘heterosexual lifestyle’? It’s not like people are choosing to be LGBTQ+ but just accepting themselves as they are. Lifestyle is a way of styling your life and choices are related to stuff that goes in everyday life. Which college to go to? What to eat? Which house to buy? What type of clothes to wear? These are all choices we make. But how can someone purposely decide to be queer?

Suggested Reading: This Pride Month, Here Are Five LGBTQ-Centric Films To Watch On OTT 

Thinking from another perspective, people from the LGTBQ+ spectrum are discriminated against, provided with fewer opportunities, humiliated and ridiculed for no reason, and have to live in constant fear. Why would people ‘choose’ to go through all this? Does it make any sense? Those who wear their gender and sexual identity on their sleeves are very courageous, because the world doesn’t make it easy for them.

These students at Seattle Pacific deserve a round of applause and all of our love and support for standing up to the institution against what is inaccurate, wrong and offensive. The fact that these young people tackled such regressive views with cheer and pride and not agitation is a cause worth applauding on its own. They have proved that love and support will always find a way to make itself seen and heard in an atmosphere of hate and discrimination. Also, the are graduating students, the issue wasn’t a direct priority for them, as they were on their way out from the university and yet they cared. They cared about the future, they cared about opportunities being denied out of bias. It is little acts like these that fill one’s heart with hope. We can bring in a change and we can do it with a smile on our faces too.

Views expressed are the author’s own.