Why do we need a “Queer Ally Program” at UC Merced?
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual (LGBTQ+) communities are often the victims of unjustified discrimination and inequities. A “Queer Ally Program” (QAP) works to diminish such discrimination by establishing a place that is free of stereotypical barriers and promotes appreciation and respect for individuals of all sexuality and gender identities.
Additionally, relevant statistics validate the need for a “Queer Ally Program.” For instance, according to The Campus Climate Assessment conducted in 2013-2014:
- 28% of respondents (n = 511) believed that they had personally experienced exclusionary, intimidating, offensive or hostile conduct; 11% of respondents (n = 198) indicated that the conduct interfered with their ability to work or learn at UCM.
- Differences emerged based on various demographic characteristics including position status, ethnic identity, racial identity, and discipline of study. For example,
- A higher percentage of genderqueer respondents and women reported experiencing this conduct as compared to men.
- A higher percentage of LGBQ respondents than heterosexual respondents reported experiencing this conduct.
- Genderqueer respondents were less comfortable with the overall climate yet more comfortable in their in department/work unit/ academic unit/college/school/clinical settings than were men and women.
- LGBQ respondents were less comfortable with the overall climate and less comfortable with the climate in their departments/work units than heterosexual respondents. LGBQ respondents were less comfortable in their classes in comparison to heterosexual respondents.
These statistics help to substantiate the need for a “Queer Ally Program.” Additionally, these alarming statistics help to emphasize the lack of education—in the general public— surrounding LGBTQ+ issues.
From the UC Merced Final Climate Survey Report 2013-2014