Catholic Colleges Advance on Trans* Inclusion, Including Restrooms
As frequent readers of our “Campus Chronicles” series know, Catholic higher education frequently leads the wider church when it comes to LGBT inclusion. Lately, more and more colleges are acting for trans* inclusion along with existing welcomes of LGB community members.
Below, Bondings 2.0 provides details on some steps made for trans* inclusion, alongside other campus happenings this fall. You can read more using the provided links.
Fordham University Introduces All Gender Restrooms
Prompted by student demands, Fordham University has introduced new transgender inclusive restrooms on its Lincoln Center campus, reported student newspaper The Observer.
Though not labelled “All Gender Restroom,” as requested by student advocates with the organization The Positive, there are no gender markers on the new signage. Dean of Students Keith Eldredge said other restroom changes at Fordham’s campuses would be considered when requested by students.
Fordham’s Pride group also had a vigil for the Transgender Day of Remembrance last month, reported campus newspaper The Ram, as part of the group’s “proactive and conscious effort” to promote gender inclusion.
Marquette University Begins LGBT Masses
Fr. Bryan Massingale celebrated the first of Marquette University’s monthly Masses for LGBTQ community members. Massingale, who teaches theology, told those gathered:
” ‘Many of the LGBTQ community members have heard stories that they are not welcome in the church. . .It is important to have a Mass where they feel welcome and that God does love them and no one is excluded.’ “
The Masses emerged from ongoing evening prayer and small group discussion opportunities offered by Campus Ministry. The next celebration is December 10, reported The Marquette Wire.
Laverne Cox Speaks at SLU
Transgender actor and advocate Laverne Cox spoke at Saint Louis University in early November, describing her personal journey and understandings of womanhood.
Georgetown University Hosts Several Events
Georgetown University launched a new bi-weekly forum for LGBT athletes, its latest peer-led discussion group facilitated by the LGBTQ Resource Center reported The Georgetown Voice.
Sophomore Lauren Gros of the Women’s Golf Team, who had trouble finding an openly LGBT student-athlete to consult with before her own coming out, will lead the group. She described it as a
“safe place for student-athletes to discuss their experiences and what it means to be gay and a student-athlete at Georgetown, what challenges we might face, what experiences we’ve had. . .”
Georgetown students also gathered earlier this month for an event marking Transgender Day of Remembrance, consisting of a memorial service and dialogue according to The Georgetown Voice.
A news story in The Georgetown Voice reflected on tensions over LGBT inclusion at the school. The story noted conflicts in the 1980s which led to progress and today, a transgender student currently said Georgetown actually saved her.
“Dear Queer” Letter Highlights Young Catholics Welcome
“I think that we, as Christians, need you; I need you, because I feel lost in my own faith. The perseverance and acceptance that I’ve seen thus far brings nothing but joy to my heart, and I cannot wait for you to experience all of the wonderful things that marriage promises us. Today is certainly a Sunday to celebrate, because in the eyes of the Lord, and finally the eyes of the law, we are all equal.”
This post is part of our “Campus Chronicles” series on Catholic higher education. You can read more stories by clicking “Campus Chronicles” in the Categories section to the right or by clicking here. For the latest updates on Catholic LGBT issues, subscribe to our blog in the upper right hand corner of this page.
–Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry
A step in the right direction!