Sunday, August 8, 2010

going gay

My medical school went gay last week.

Okay, fine, let me try rephrasing that. After a lot of work, meetings, and jumping through hoops, we finally got an LGBT and allies student group approved at the medical school. While not as hard as I feared it would be (and with a lot less backlash) this was still a rather difficult task as we had to defeat the overwhelming amount of stress induced apathy. But advocacy and grassroots organizing paid off. We are now a guaranteed student group with all the rights and privileges such a status bestows... all $300 or so a year to put on events with, events we were already putting on. The money wasn't the point of creating a student group though; rather it was to create a visible and inclusive community fully supported by the administration.

To celebrate we had a gay happy hour outing Friday afternoon. There was an excellent turn out and people seemed to enjoy themselves. Meeting some of the first years was lovely. The surprise of the night? Learning there are nearly 15 openly (out) identified (L/G/Q/insert proper identity term) students in the first year class. That is as many as the other 3 years combined! While it still represents less than 10% of their class population, it is a HUGE number for a medical school class, especially medical schools in the South. I'm taking it as a positive sign for the ability to change the system and encouragement to keep fighting for LGBTQ visibility. I'm also really interested to see if this increase in population will have any effect on perceived community dynamics. Or for that matter, on my personal life (so doubtful)....

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