After reading Duc T. Dam’s “Prospective college students’ sexual orientation questioned” article in the Jan. 26, 2012 issue of the Etownian, I would like to present a few thoughts. Overall, I found the article to be supportive of the LGBT community. However, there are three points of which readers should be aware.
- Elmhurst College asked students to voluntarily identify themselves as LGBT on admissions applications. They did not ask if students were affiliated with any LGBT clubs, such as Allies or other organizations that support the LGBT community.
- It is important to understand the rhetorical difference that not all of the LGBT community is gay. The two words are not synonymous with each other. Sexual preference and gender identity are not one in the same.
- I struggle with the article’s argument that Elmhurst College is using the inclusion of this admissions question as part of their media promotion. Moreover, while I understand that some may agree that prospective students might deceive application readers through identifying as LGBT in order to receive diversity scholarships, I find this type of argument to be in line with the same ideas that continue to marginalize the LGBT community.
I appreciate the comments regarding the acceptance of difference and the pursuit of greater understanding. I believe that the intent of this article is to be supportive and affirming of the LGBT community, and it is my hope that Elizabethtown College faculty and students will continue to dialog with one another to help foster a sense of equality that includes acceptance of gender identity and sexuality.