There is no road map to living a happy, fulfilling life as a queer person.
Many people who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community must forge their own path, with or without the support of their families and loved ones. The stories of many queer people have yet to be heard at LMU, which inspired me to create this interview series, Queer Lions. The stories of the people interviewed cover topics such as coming to terms with religion while not compromising one’s sexuality to coming out in general. Their stories can serve as references for queer people as well as straight allies who want to know how other queer people have dealt with these issues. I hope their stories will help build a bridge between the younger and older generations in the LGBTQ+ community at LMU and, in turn, forge a stronger and more present queer community on campus.
This feature was created by senior Opinion writer Alex Myers in January of 2019 and is accompanied by his commentary.
Arturo Jacobo is no stranger to battling injustices within a heteronormative and racist society. His viewpoint on racism within the gay community and the homophobia that is present in mainstream culture forced him to stand up for everyone in the communities that he represents. I sat down wit…
Larry Daves strives to use his intersecting identities to educate others on racism and homophobia. As the Program Coordinator of Sorority & Fraternity life at LMU, he takes pride in helping his students learn more about issues outside their inner circles while showing to the world that G…
As a white male, it is not my place to speak about racism within the LGBTQ+ community. It is essential to let queer people of color speak for themselves about their experiences with racism within the gay community. Racism has been so prevalent in the gay dating scene that the gay dating app Grindr started a campaign called Kindr which advocates for people to be less racist on the dating app. Many acts of racism that are covered as “preference” are prevalent in the community and can have a deep effect on queer people of colors' mental health. The stories concerning racism in Queer Lions share a common focus that intersectionality is not brought up enough in the gay community and that there needs to be more advocacy for an all-inclusive gay community.
Alex Lee has grown up learning how to embrace his intersecting identities as a gay Korean-American male. The lively and bubbly senior marketing major discussed his life with me and how he tries to stay true to himself.
Sam Cassidy lives her life as an openly trans woman who advocates for those like her. The junior film production and psychology double major fought to stay true to herself and believes that there is a need for bridges to be built between marginalized groups.
Many LGBTQ+ people have struggled finding acceptance within their families and the effects on their health and well-being are immense. According to a study done by the Family Acceptance Project, LGBT youth were “more than eight times as likely to have attempted suicide, nearly six times as likely to report high levels of depression and more than three times as likely to use illegal drugs” if they were not accepted by their families. These challenges growing up in an anti-LGBT household as a queer youth have been shown to be extremely detrimental to many queer people; however, the stories in Queer Lions exemplify how queer people have risen above their circumstances.
Lauren Moreno serves as the director of LGBT Student Services at LMU. They have been brave in coming out in the face of opposition, especially when it came to reconciling their faith with their sexuality. Moreno recently came out with their gender-neutral pronouns and stands with their stude…
Professor Martina G. Ramirez is the Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence and professor of biology at LMU, as well as an LMU alumna (Biology, 1981). Ramirez has fought her whole life to be true to herself and I sat down with her to talk about her life story as an openly transgender woman.
Anthony Bodlovic is an art therapist and director of Marital and Family Therapy at LMU. The art therapist uses his work to express his queerness and he has also helped empathize with his patients that are dealing with queer issues such as coming out. Being raised by Croatian immigrants, Bodl…
Celine Alvarado is an empowered lesbian who has a deep understanding of her own queerness. The senior communication studies major who is the president of LMU’s Gender-Sexuality Alliance took time to tell me how she understands herself in relation to a heteronormative world.
People who are apart of the gay community have been wrongly told that their faith and sexuality could not coincide. Religion has been taught by many to be exclusive to only those who were fortunate enough to identify as heterosexual. With all these misconceptions embedded in traditional religions, queer people of faith have learned to pave their own way and find a refined and unique understanding of what it means to be loved by a higher power.
Professor Jeffrey Wilson experienced many difficulties growing up gay in the deep South and his life story highlights the drastic differences in coming out back in the 1970s compared to today.
Anya Michele owns her queerness in a unique way. Growing up Catholic in New Orleans, the freshman psychology and women's and gender studies double major desires to make sense of her intersecting identities to help other young queer women who share the same experiences as her.