Friday, November 18, 2011

Final Analysis

Through researching and interviewing both LGBT and straight students on campus, we conclude that being LGBT at the University of Texas is not only relatively easy, but very supportive and open as well.

The university has shown a progressive stance on LGBT issue, exemplified by the presence of the GSC, which not only supports individual students but organizations and events as well. The university also has shown a understanding of LGBT issue, namely transgender issues, shown by the proactive step to create more gender neutral restrooms on campus. All this is probably a result of the LGBT Activism that has fought for the various issues facing students at the university since the 1970s.

What is more interesting is the general openness of UT students towards their LGBT peers. None would mind having a LGBT roommate and they are pretty accepting towards others.They mentioned that Austin itself more accepting then the places or high schools they came from.

Also to be noted is the lack of extensive homophobia on campus to LGBT. In the interviews minor issues where brought up but nothing serious.

Finally the relive ease of being LGBT at the University of Texas is shown by  the three LGBT interview who all said that being LGBT isn't a big deal at UT and that they feel it no longer becomes a defining characteristic. They feel like a average student dealing with school, work, and grades instead of homophobia, bashing, or any other issues facing the LGBT community at large.

Other LGBT Orginizations on Campus

Queer Student Alliance (QSA)
Queer Students Alliance, an agency of Student Government, exists to foster leadership within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) communities at the University. The alliance also acts an umbrela group for all LGBTQ organizations at UT. QSA sponsors community-wide events such as the Welcome Picnic (each September), Queer Leadership Institute (September/October), Pride Week (October) and Awareness Week (April). One of QSA's primary purposes is to advocate for the needs of our communities at UT, both in Student Government and to UT administrators and decision-makers. QSA was known as the GLBT/Ally Affairs Agency until May 2006. QSA maintains and QSA events and announcements are posted on the home page.

Delta Lambda Phi
The foremost principle and ultimate goal of Delta Lambda Phi National Fraternity is to nurture a spirit of Brotherhood among gay, bisexual, questioning, or otherwise progressive men; and thereby enhance their lives through dignified and purposeful, social, service and recreational activities.

Entity is for LGBT students and allies whose purpose is to transform the relationship between students and t business community. The group hopes to establish a business partnership program with corporations to further the educational and career objectives of its members and partners.

A social organization for GLBT graduate students. Their goal as an organization is not just to gather for drinks once a month, but to build up a community of GLBT graduate students.

[H]ang Out
[H]ang Out is a social organization that allows queer and non-queer individuals to get together, be themselves, and make friends in a queer-accepting environment. We accomplish this by gathering weekly in local meeting places and socializing or attending special events together like movies, lazer tag, or dance club nights.

Harvey Milk Society
The Harvey Milk Society is the GLBT and allies organization of the LBJ School of Public Affairs.Ê Our mission is to provide support, education, and advocacy to and for the GLBT community within the LBJ School, at the University of Texas, and within the greater community at large.

MBA OutSource
MBA OutSource is a social and career networking group for UT MBAs who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning or just a friend or supporter of the GLBT community.

OUTlaw is a social and political organization designed to raise awareness of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender issues. Through a number of activities, including panel discussions and guest lectures, OUTlaw examines the intersection of sexual orientation, gender and the law and provides a forum within the law school to discuss matters of importance to GLBT law students and their friends.

queer Journal
queer is the only undergraduate literary and cultural journal related to queerness. queer is an international publication with, at this point, editors at colleges and universities across the U.S. Its distribution covers about twenty schools and its entire content is posted on the Internet at

Queer People of Color (Q-POC)
Q-POC is an alliance for queer people of color and their allies. The group holds educational and political forums as well as social events.

ReachOut ShoutOut
ReachOut ShoutOut, an organization in the School of Social Work, has a two-fold mission: reach out to any University community member interested in learning more about the GLBT community, and to advocate for greater social justice within the School of Social Work, UT and the community as a whole.

Safe Space
Safe Space is a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and ally organization within the residence halls of the University of Texas at Austin. Safe Space is dedicated to promoting awareness and understanding of sexuality and of gender issues by providing a "safe space" to explore and speak openly.

She Says
A social organization for lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning and queer women.

A student organization at the University of Texas that has committed itself to promoting awareness of issues that face the queer community. It is hoped that by raising awareness of these issues, the inequities will be acknowledged and corrected.

Students for Equity and Diversity (SED)
SED, an agency of the Multicultural Information Center, promotes the awareness of diversity issues prevalent within our society through interactive workshops, peer-facilitated dialogue, programs and outreach efforts. SED's vision is to encourage, nurture and build our commitment to honoring our diverse communities.

Teaching for Social Justice
Teaching for Social Justice exists to inspire future educators to be role models in the classroom and promote social change. We will encourage teachers to think critically about their actions, behavior, and language in order to help them address equity and social justice. As a result, teachers will be better prepared to meet the needs of future students in real world situations. Past events have included workshops on meeting the needs of LGBT students and dialogues on privilege, power and oppression.

Transgender Texas
Transgender Texas exists to educate and inspire UT-Austin and the surrounding community on issues of gender identity, gender expression, and trans identities. Trans and trans allies are welcome.

A progressive coalition of queer and straight students, faculty and staff of pan-Asian heritage who are committed to ending racism and gender-based prejudice (sexism, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia) on campus with a focus on our diverse Asian-origin communities here.

Women's Resource Center (WRC)
The WRC is an agency of Student Government. The WRC was founded in 1997 as a centralized, easily accessible place for women at UT to find resources to solve their problems, address their needs, and achieve their goals. The mission of the WRC is to create a safe place that addresses the needs of women of all backgrounds, races, classes, ages, sexual orientations, political ideologies, religious beliefs, and physical abilities.

The list shows a large number of LGBT organizations. They are also very diverse, giving students a plethora of  options to be involved on the campus LGBT community.

Gender Neutral Bathroom Locations

  • Bernard and Audre Rapoport Building (BRB) 4.106, floor 4. Located on Speedway between 24th and 21st street. 
  • Gregory Gymnasium (GRE) 4.106, floor 4. Located on Speedway near 21st street.
  • Gregory Gymnasium (GRE) 4.108, floor 4. Located on Speedway near 21st street.
  • Jackson Geological Sciences Building (JGB) 4.16, floor 4. Located on Speedway near 24th street.
  • Mary E. Gearing Hall (GEA) 102A. Located on University and 24th street.
  • McCombs School of Business (CBA) 2.256, floor 2. Located on Speedway and 21st street.
  • Measurement and Evaluation Center 2616 Wichita (BWY) 103A, floor 1. Located on Wichita between W. Dean Keaton and 27th street.
  • Mezes Hall (MEZ) 1.208A, floor 1 (map says #1.302) Building is new and room numbers on signs may change to reflect the numbers on the map. Located between 21st and 22nd street.
  • Mezes Hall (MEZ) 1.302, floor 1. Located between 21st and 22nd street.
  • Norman Hackerman Building (NHB) 1.322, floor 1. Located on Speedway and 24th street.
  • Norman Hackerman Building (NHB) 2.520, floor 2. Located on Speedway and 24th street.
  • Norman Hackerman Building (NHB) 2.624, floor 2. Located on Speedway and 24th street.
  • Peter T. Flawn Academic Center (FAC) 18. Located on Inner Campus Dr near Guadalupe and 24th street.
  • Pharmacy Building (PHR) 3.114E, floor 3. Located on University near 24th street.
  • Pharmacy Building (PHR) 6.208, floor 6. Located on University near 24th street.
  • Recreational Sports Center (RSC) 1.146, floor 1. Located on San Jacinto and E. 20th street.
  • Robert Lee Moore Hall (RLM) 2.104, floor 2. Located on Speedway and W. Dean Keaton.
  • Robert A. Welch Hall (WEL) 2.414, floor 2. Located on Speedway and 24th street.
  • Robert A. Welch Hall (WEL) 4.412, floor 4. Located on Speedway and 24th street.
  • Robert A. Welch Hall (WEL) 5.412, floor 5. Located on Speedway and 24th street.
  • Student Activity Center (SAC) 2.116, floor 2. Located across the hall from the Gender and Sexuality Center, on Speedway between 24th and 21st street.
  • Walter Webb Hall (WWH) 309. Located on W. Dean Keaton, Guadalupe, San Antonio, and 25th street.
  • West Mall Office Building (WMB) 1.106, floor 1. Located near Guadalupe on 22nd street.
  • W.R. Woolrich Laboratories (WRW) 222B. Located on Speedway and 24th street. 
(source; GSC)


The map and locations show the number of restrooms provided that are gender neutral and  are helpful for transgenders who often have a difficult time with public restroom, again showing the the provocativeness at the university for LGBT students.

    Timeline of LGBT Activism at UT

     · April 28: Daily Texan announces first public meeting of gays & lesbians in Austin history
     · Spring: 'The Common Struggle' begins organizing at UT, forming the Gay Liberation Front (GLF)
     · May 7: GLF attempts to register as an official UT organization
     · May 12: UT Assistant Dean of Students Edward Price rejects GLF as a UT organization
     · Fall: Price rejects GLF again. Cites the prevailing psychological view that homosexuality is an illness. GLF appeals to the Student Appeals Committee
     · December 4: UT Student Appeals Committee grants GLF official organizational status
     · December 5: less than 24 hours later, UT President Ad-Interim Bryce Jordan rescinds the 
    group's status

     · June: women from GLF form Gay Women's Liberation in a friendly split from GLF
     · December 2: GLF files suit charging the University with discrimination, demands official 
    recognization as a campus organization

     · February 23: Student Government votes to sponsor a fundraising dance to help cover court costsfor GLF's suit. UT administration quickly vetoes the plan, but SG and GLF hold the dance anyway.The police arrive and rough up and arrest several individuals 

     · June 25: The Rag declares GLF dead

     · January: Gay People of Austin (GPA) holds first meeting. Founded by former GLF members, 
    registers as a formal UT organization without incident
     · March 26: UT recognizes Gay Liberation Front as a campus organization in an out-of-court 
     · June: GPA sponsors a Gay Pride Picnic and Cultural Celebration for GPA's victory in registering as a UT organization

     · October: Homophilic League, a lesbian and gay organization at UT, starts up but fails to thrive almost immediately

     · May: University Lesbian/Gay Alliance forms in response to a bill proposed by Rep. Clay 
    Smothers, D-Dallas that would make it a criminal act to register gay groups at public Universities.The bill is defeated

     · Fall: the new Lesbian and Gay Students Alliance is granted UT campus recognition

     · June 4: Samshasha, first known gay activist of Asian descent at the University visits the White House as part of a multicultural gay delegation, 10 years after the Stonewall riots. He, along with a delegation of gay rights activists meets with a secretary of Jimmy Carter and discusses the difficulties gay people have with immigration to the United States

     · November 19: GLSA, now LBGSA, is first registered

     · the Gay and Lesbian Student Association's (now LBGSA) float was pummeled with beer bottles,
    cans, and trash thrown from dormitory balconies
     · the GLSA proclaims Valentine's Day as Gay and Lesbian Blue Jeans Day and "urges all people
    who support equal rights for homosexuals to wear jeans." Many rush home to change clothes

     · University Student Senate refuses to fund a gay awareness week

     · gay awareness culminates in a "Lavender Menace" rally where GLSA members laugh at heterosexual's fears that homosexuals destroy the Family and threaten to destroy the human race

     · GLSA lobbies for a UT non-discrimination policy inclusive of sexual orientation
     · October: GLSA holds the first annual National Coming Out Day on campus

     · student members of the Young Conservatives of Texas meet the annual gay rally with signs that say "Stop AIDS, Stomp Out Homosexuality," and "Hooray for the Earthquake," in reference to the earthquake that devastated San Francisco the Tuesday before

     · Spring: University Lesbians helps Toni Luckett, black lesbian, win UT Student Assembly 
    presidency (now Student Government)
     · Summer: GLSA successfully rallies for the passing of the Nondiscrimination Policy inclusive of sexual orientation
     · August 29: Queers United in Envisioning an Egalitarian Restructuring of Society holds week long demonstrations, including a kiss-in on the West Mall that exposed homophobia and queer bashing at the University
     · Parents of gay and lesbian students are anonymously mailed clippings from the Texan that include their child's name and report on gay and lesbian student activism. Attached notes said, "This is what I'm doing with my education, Mom and Dad. Aren't you proud of me?"

     · September 3: GLSA changes its name to LBGSA to include bisexuals

     · Valentine's Day: LBGSA gathers on the West Mall to hold a kiss-in and claim queer public 
    space at the University
     · October: Young Conservatives of Texas protests at the LBGSA Nat'l Coming Out Day Rally

     · February 4: The University Alliance is founded by Nick Will as a GLBT issues discussion group

     · The Big Split: LBGSA, the largest and oldest GLBT group, grows too large and too divided
     · March 31: OUTLaw, the LGB Law School Alliance, registers
     · October 9: Trikone-Tejas, the pan-Asian alliance, is registered
     · November 19: Safe Space, the gay/straight alliance, is registered
     · October: LBGSA holds the 10th anniversary National Coming Out Day Rally

     · Summer: the GLBT groups organize the summer orienation GLBT meeting for the first time, 
    establishing the Mentor Program
     · August: the GLBT groups organize the first Welcome Picnic for GLBT students

     · March 7: UT GLBT groups hold a Gay Day Rally and protest university policies
     · March 29: Rainbow Summit, organized in 1999, registers as an official UT organization replacing the failed Rainbow Alliance
     · September 26: Student Government creates the GLBTAlly Affairs Agency
     · November 18: LBGSA, the oldest surviving UT GLBT group, turns 20 years old

     · January 29: GLGBN, the Gay & Lesbian Graduate Business Network, first registers
     · April: the Rainbow Summit first participates in Day of Silence
     · Spring: Revolution, a new group for black GLBT students, is formed by Andre Lancaster
     · Summer: Texas 360, for GLBT swimmers, is formed
     · October 1: Revolution dissolves and QPOC, Queer People of Color, is formed
     · October 3: the first ever UT queer web is launched: queerUT
     · October 8: UT holds its first ever Pride Week around NCOD



    LGBT activism has a long history at the university, stretching back to the early 1970s. The LGBT community hence has greatly benefited from the hard work of many people. In a sense the progressive changes that have shaped how LGBT students live at the university can be traced back to that activism. The long hisorty of activism can also explain the relative ease of being open at the university, and the general accepteding nature of regular students towards LGBTs

    Lesbian Interview

    Q: How is being LGBT at the University of Texas?
    A: It's actually pretty nice here. I've been to Baylor before, Baylor University. I spent a year there and that was awful, so by comparison this lace is heaven on Earth. I mean it's not perfect, your still going to run into issues here and there, but I would say for a Texas school it is really being here.

    Q: What supporting resources do you know of at the University for the LGBT students?
    A: The main thing that we have here is the Gender and Sexuality center on the second floor of the SAC building. that acts as kind of a safe space for all queer identified individuals as well as women on campus. It's open to everybody. There's a lot of programs that are hosted there that teach you about the community and in addition to that we have student groups on campus such as; Queer People Of Color and Allies that cater to certain individuals, Texas Standout which is the activism group on campus, and UT Gaymers which is kind of a social gaming forum for queer individuals.

    Q: Have you encountered any homophobia at the University? If so, how have you dealt with it?
    A: I personally haven't actually dealt with a whole lot, but I've herd from a lot of friends who have gone through things here. I've had homophobic slurs hurled at some of my friends by strangers they didn't even know from vehicles and what have you. I've herd of a couple incidents of that this year, so that's really not ok. Institutionally, there are some issues I have, such as lack of gender neutral housing on campus or like gender neutral bathrooms, things like that. It's not really direct homophobia, but it is kind of ignoring a minority and so it kind of comes across that way. There are people on campus who will come and protest any queer events that we put on and that's a show of homophobia as well.

    Q: Is there anything that you would want to add about being LGBT at the University of Texas?
    A: Again if you go to the Gender and Sexuality center, there's a lot more that can be learned about the culture and the struggles of the community, so I would advise pretty much to anyone on campus visiting the GSC at least once. Come see some peers for pride performances cause that's another forum where your going to hear more issues and we are trying to get a lot of stuff passed here at the University, better climate for queer students, so if you hear about any of those such as the gender neutral housing issue, the gender neutral bathrooms, getting domestic partner benefits for the professors. If you hear about those events or want to get involve, come to the GSC and ask how you can, because we can use a lot of help with that.

    Gender Neutral Bathrooms Article in the Daily Texan

    Gender-neutral restrooms to be phased in to broader use on campus | The Daily Texan

    The choice between using a men’s or women’s restroom isn’t conscious for most, but an effort to provide gender-neutral, one-stall bathrooms in all campus buildings will help meet the needs of people with disabilities, parents and people with non-normative gender identities, a UT official said.

    Linda Millstone, the associate vice president for the Office of Institutional Equity and Workforce Diversity, is leading the effort to ensure each campus building has at least one gender-neutral restroom for every five floors. Millstone said she went to the Building Advisory Committee with the idea to include gender-neutral restrooms in the blueprints of all new campus buildings, and they agreed. She said Pat Clubb, vice president for University Operations, agreed to fund the installation of gender-neutral restrooms in all existing campus buildings as well.

    “Most buildings already have one or two single-stall restrooms, so it has been as easy as taking down the male or female sign and installing a lock on the door,” Millstone said.

    Millstone said gender-neutral restrooms benefit a number of different people, including GLBT-identified persons, people with disabilities and people with medical conditions such as diabetes who need a private place to administer medication.

    “If I am a woman in a wheelchair and my attendant is a male, where am I supposed to go?” Millstone said. “I identified this problem and immediately several committee individuals were willing to help with the project.”

    Gender and Sexuality Center Director Ixchel Rosal said Millstone asked members of the center to locate all existing gender-neutral campus bathrooms. She said the list of restrooms is posted on their home page.

    “It’s actually out-of-date,” Rosal said. “We went to every single building on campus and looked at every single public-access restroom. The plan is to update the list by the end of this summer.”

    Rosal said the restrooms offer privacy to students who identify their gender in ways that may make using a men’s or women’s restroom uncomfortable or dangerous.

    “If someone goes into a restroom and is not perceived as belonging to that restroom, they may be negatively impacted,” Rosal said. “These are issues of safety.”

    Computer science senior Aria Bellows, who identifies as a trans woman, said she believes the enforcement of building gender-neutral restrooms is a breakthrough for the GLBT-identified community.

    “I don’t typically use them myself,” Bellows said. “But for the life of transgender students on campus, they are very important. Some days you can be worried about how people will see you in either [restroom].”

    Bellows said she normally uses women’s bathrooms, but the gender-neutral ones are helpful in situations that all students might face.

    “They’re great if you need to change,” Bellows said. “It’s so much more convenient for people, and there are so many different reasons why you would like to have them around.”

    Steven A. Kraal, senior associate vice president for the Office of Campus Planning and Facilities Management, said some buildings are not appropriate for the incorporation of gender-neutral restrooms. However, Kraal said he is committed to meeting the facility needs of as many people as possible.

    Natural Sciences senior Chelsea Shipp said she really appreciates when women choose to take their young sons into the gender-neutral restrooms instead of the public women’s restrooms.

    “I’ve seen women take 8-year-old boys into the women’s restroom, and it starts to feel very uncomfortable,” Shipp said.

    Printed on 07/25/2001 as: Campus to offer gender-neutral toilets


    "The Gender and Sexuality Center provides safe spaces for all members of the UT Austin community to explore, organize, and promote learning around issues of gender and sexuality. The center also facilitates a greater responsiveness to the needs of women and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and ally (LGBTQA) communities through education, outreach and advocacy." - The GSC home page

    The GSC is a place that LGBT students can hang out, participate in LGBT programs and Orginizations, and to interact with the larger LGBT community at the university. As a physical space, the GSC includes a sitting area, a large table, and individual study cubicles. These spaces allow for interaction and a study area. The physcial space also includes a large collection of literature with topics ranging from coming out literature to LGBT themed films. The GSC as a entity is headed by Shane and Ixchel, who organize events and organizations presented by the GSC.


    The GSC is not only a physical representation of the LGBT community on campus, but it is also the most prominent example of how the university addresses the LGBT student's needs. It is a proactive step to address the various issues that could arise and provide support LGBT students. Also to be noted, the GSC is known by many LGBT students at the universtiy, it is a resource that many know of wether they go to the center or not. Not only that by there seems to be some straight individuals that know of the center as well. In effect the GSC is a well know resources on campus.