LGBTQ Issues: Homophobia and Heterosexism

For years gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, transsexual, two-spirited, intersex, and queer persons were ignored by the University. This was a time of benign neglect and silent toleration at best. At worst, it was explicit homophobia (the fear and hatred of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people) and heterosexism (systemic bias in favour of heterosexuality) in departments, in the administration, in residences and on campus at large.

In the late 1990s, the few offices promoting equity came under attack, with drastic cuts to the Status of Women Office and the Ombudsperson’s Office (among others) – cuts since reversed. A more positive step toward enhancing diversity was the creation of the Office of the Co-ordinator of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-gendered, Queer Resources and Programs. The Coordinator, Jude Tate, provides research, program development, training and outreach on issues related to the LGBTQ population at U of T.  Her number is 946-5624 or e-mail:lgbtq.resources@utoronto.ca.

The GSU is an active partner in the campus “Positive Space” Campaign, a student/staff/admin coalition which advocates for the LGBTQ community on campus.  “Positive Space” also provides stickers for your office door, to indicate you are supportive and students/peers need not be worried about their sexual orientation.  You can get stickers and information from GSU! The GSU Office is a designated Positive Space.  You can also volunteer for the organizing committee of Positive Space by contacting Jude Tate as above.

LGBTOUT is an officially recognized group at the U of T for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, transsexual, queer students and others who are marginalized on the basis of their sexual orientations and/or gender identifications. LGBTOUT offers spaces to explore our diverse identities both socially and politically, where people can develop a wide range of skills and learn more about our communities.

The Graduate Chapter of LBGTOUT provides a forum for Graduate, Professional and Post-Professional Students, University Staff and Faculty to meet and interact. We meet every second Thursday at the GSU Pub and Café for a drink and some great conversation. Please do drop by…

For more information: grads@lgbtout.com | www.lgbtout.com