LGBTQ+ students on college and university campuses around the world continue to experience discrimination and violence.1 A nationally representative study shows that a majority of all LGBTQ+ people have experienced slurs, harassment, and violence based on their sexual identity. Queer-spectrum and transgender students are significantly more likely to experience depression, self harm, and suicidal intentions than their heterosexual and cisgender peers. Despite this, a vast majority of US institutions of higher education fail to cover sexual orientation and/or gender identity and expression in their nondiscrimination policies.2 Colleges and universities should provide resource centers for members of the LGBTQ+ community on campus to promote solidarity and safety. However, fewer than 10% of US colleges currently provide these necessary student services.
The inclusion of minoritized communities in institutions of higher education has been a core value and mission of ACPA since our founding, and continues to inform our vision for the future. As an association built upon the values of equity, accessibility, and advocacy, ACPA stands with communities from every background to advance the knowledge, training, and perspective required for the improvement of college campuses around the world.
It is our job as college student educators and student affairs professionals to advocate for the inclusion and equity of students, faculty, and staff from every sexuality and gender identity.
Some specific actions taken by our association to ensure the inclusion and comfortability of LGBTQ+ members include investing in research on LGBTQ+ student success through our programming. The Coalition for Sexuality and Gender Identities (CSGI) is one of the Entity Groups within ACPA charged to increase awareness, eliminate oppression, and provide support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community in higher education, for faculty, students, and staff. The Coalition strives to further professional competencies related to topics as campus climate, equity, identity development, research & scholarship, and program development for the LGBTQ+ community. Our goal to promote the inclusion, safety, and advancement of the LGBTQ+ community continues inspire our efforts to disseminate knowledge to the community of college educators. We will continue to stand with students and advocates to further understand the unique needs of the LGBTQ+ community and to achieve protection on every college campus.
1. Evans, Rosalind, Julie L. Nagoshi, Craig Nagoshi, Jeffrey Wheeler, and Jeremiah Henderson. "Voices from the Stories Untold: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Queer College Students Experiences with Campus Climate." Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services 29, no. 4 (2017): 426-44. doi:10.1080/10538720.2018.1378144.
2. Sanlo, Ronni. "Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual College Students: Risk, Resiliency, and Retention." Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice 6, no. 1 (2004): 97-110. doi:10.2190/fh61-ve7v-hhcx-0pur.
Additional resources on this issue:
- ACPA Coalition for Sexuality and Gender Identities
- Human Rights Campaign Resources
- GLAAD Resources
- National LGBTQ Task Force
- The Trevor Project
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