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This GREAT Letter To The Editor was just published in the Washinton Blade with the title "‘Gay’ is not an inclusive term and alienates some readers":

To the Editors: Re: “Budding activists visit Washington, Maryland for Campus Pride events” (news, July 25)

I recently attended Campus Pride’s 2008 Leadership Camp, which was covered in the Blade. Camp was a life-changing experience, and I’m so grateful to the donors who funded the event.

Meeting with leaders of national LGBT organizations inspired me to be more involved in the LGBT movement and gave me the skills to do so effectively.

I was pleased when I returned home to discover the Blade had covered the event. I hope more people will discover Campus Pride and its excellent Leadership Camp through the Blade’s coverage.

However, I felt the article, which referred to all attendees as “gay,” did not truly convey the diversity of Campus Pride’s LGBT & Ally Leadership Camp.

Many of the students who attended identified as transgender and heterosexual, transgender and bisexual, gender-normative and bisexual or gender-normative and heterosexual.

As a bisexual camper, I felt alienated by the Blade’s coverage and felt that defining all of the campers as gay excluded me.

We spent a lot of time at Campus Pride’s camp focusing on the diversity of the movement, and especially discussing the special needs of transgender and bisexual identified persons who can feel invisible within the movement. Using the term “gay” to refer to all LGBT and allied people is one way in which this invisibility continues.

This invisibility has created confusion and pain within my own life. I have struggled to find my place within the LGBT and allied community when in heterosexual relationships, fearing that I wasn’t queer enough to find acceptance within the community I love so dearly.

We must have both bisexual and transgender acceptance and visibility within our own communities. I hope in future coverage, the Blade will not use “gay” as an umbrella term, but rather LGBT & Ally.

Marlboro, Vt.

Kudos to Ms. Fielding for her thoughtful, articulate and all together spot-on letter; to Campus Pride for obviously doing such a great job in helping to train our future leaders to look after the entire community; to the Blade for owning up and publishing the letter especially with the bold headline THEY chose and to Bi-identified LGBT Activist Loraine Hutchins for bringing it to everyone's attention.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
14th Aug, 2008 15:07 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing this out!

Also, I love your icon. May I steal it?
14th Aug, 2008 19:17 (UTC)
Of Course.

All the groups icons are "free to good home". All we ask is that they be credited as marked.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )