Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

How rough is being gay at UTSA?

The latest gay teen suicides because of bullying at school and online has sparked concern from the gay community.

For some, living a gay life is not easy – they are constantly bullied, harassed, mocked and even sometimes threatened.

“I was constantly bullied and harassed in middle and high school because I looked homosexual, but luckily I was never in a fight or gay bashed,” Jonathan Bernal said, junior psychology/chemistry major and member of Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Questioning (GLBTQ).

 Some, on the other hand, were more fortunate.

“I have been fortunate to grow up in an accepting environment, so I did not have to experience any of that,” Charles Miles, president of the GLBTQ organization at UTSA said.

According to the most recent Gallup poll, American’s support for the moral acceptability of gay and lesbian relations crossed the symbolic 50 percent threshold in 2010.

“It is absolutely alarming! These killings and suicides should not be happening. It is everyone’s fault, there are so many things people could have done to prevent it,” Miles said.

Unfortunately, it is news and events like this that encourage gays and lesbians in schools to hide themselves from others and not become targets of potential bullying and threats.

“I try to surround myself with gay friends, because we can relate better, be on the same level and just feel more comfortable,” Bernal said.

GLBTQ at UTSA emphasizes on awareness of the gay community on campus. A “gay table” is set up every Wednesday in front of the Humanities and Social Sciences Building as an effort to spread awareness, gain acceptance and answer any questions that students, faculty and staff may have of the organization or GLBTQ in general.

“Putting yourself out there certainly takes a lot of courage. But the more of us who speak out, the better people can understand, learn and accept,” Miles said.

October is Gay Pride Month and the GLBTQ organization will be hosting a number of events during the month of Oct. 11 marked National Coming Out Day which GLBTQ hosted a booth in the UC Paseo.

“Coming out is probably one of the most hardest things a gay person can do,” Miles said. “But I’ve never been ‘in’ to come out. So it’s a big day and a big deal for all closeted gays to finally come out and embrace who they are.”

Some of GLBTQ’s upcoming events also include: Ally Mixer on Oct. 13, Fagbug (guest speaker and documentary) on Oct. 19 at the Downtown Campus and 20th Main Campus and the Annual Halloween Gayla/Dragshow on the Oct. 27.

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