Issues Related to LGTBQF Students

Introduction

There are several LGBTQ groups on campus (see the Queer Student Cultural Center) and a Gender and Sexuality Center. The center provides services for individuals, trainings, online resources, and schedules special events. They run a listserv and can provide contacts and referrals to various community and campus organizations and services.

Consider the following reflections:

  • Do I allow my classmate to speak about things that may be uncomfortable for me to hear?
  • Does it make me feel uncomfortable to hang around classmates with different orientations?
  • Do I worry that others will avoid me if they know I am LGBTQF?
  • Do I know how to speak up for others? for myself?
  • Do I want to add pronouns to my email signature? nametag?

If you are unsure about your responses to these considerations, you may want to think about this:

  • Often during college and post-graduate years, students reflect upon their sexuality. For some, this process may result in the discovery or questioning that they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
  • Some individuals make big decisions about sexual identity in college and vet school. Be there for them; ask them how you can be an ally.  Be a sounding board, not a critic.
  • People who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender have the same rights as others to learn, grow and discover themselves. Their feeling and needs are the same as heterosexuals. So, everyone should be treated the same way.
  • Remember that those in the veterinary profession (including vet students) may be more hesitant to share their feelings, beliefs or sexual identities for fear that they may receive less referrals as a practicing veterinarian.
  • Treat one another as you would have them treat you.
  • Speak up for yourself – if you prefer different pronouns, spread the word!
  • Assume positive intent. People make assumptions and mistakes. Use it as a  coaching moment.

People I Can Talk To

  • Office for equity and diversity https://diversity.umn.edu/
  • Gender and sexuality center for queer and trans life https://gsc.umn.edu/
  • Student counseling services: (612) 624-3323
  • Boynton Mental health clinic: (612) 624-1444
  • Athena Diesch-Chham, 612-625-4168, diesc009@umn.edu
  • Dr. Erin Malone, 612-625-4762, malon001@umn.edu
  • Other faculty mentors- faculty come in all shapes, sizes and orientations too
  • Your physician
  • Your parents, family members and classmates
  • Anyone in Academic and Student Affairs

Final Thoughts

All people are valued at UMN CVM regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race or political affiliation! Please trust each other with your true self and respect others’ true selves.

Try to use more gender neutral language when talking to clients. For example, say “Fido’s owners” instead of “Fido’s mom and dad” because you never know how someone identifies.”

UMN CVM Student, Class of 2020

License

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Well-being Handbook by Erin Malone is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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