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BGTLSA Should Not Avoid Issues of Racism and Sexism



To the editors:

In "A Splintering Community" (Opinion, March 2), David Campbell puts forth the mistaken idea that the Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and Supporters Alliance (BGLTSA) should be singularly obsessed with what he claims to be the sole commonality of its members: "homoerotic desire."

While this is undoubtedly one reason for members of the group to come together, Campbell seriously oversimplifies the issue--most glaringly in his failure to include transgendered people, who do not necessarily have any relationship to homoerotic desire, in the group's membership.

Contrary to Campbell's claim, the BGLTSA serves as a place to build community for a diverse group of people facing similar kinds of discrimination. Campbell seems to think it is enough for the BGLTSA to address only homophobia and heterosexism. This is faulty on two levels.

First, racism and sexism are often closely tied to the way people experience homophobia. By focusing only on one part of a person's identity, the BGLTSA would not serve the part of its membership which is not white and male.

Second, it is a mistake to pretend that racism and sexism exist only outside the queer community. By failing to address these issues, the organization would be prepetuating within its own sphere the discrimination found in society at large.

As an organization which strives to represent the entire queer community on campus, the BGLTSA can and should facilitate dialogue between its diverse membership. Only by recognizing the backgrounds of all of its members can the BGLTSA even begin to approach Campbell's goal of achieving acceptance for all queer people. NICOLE L. DEBLOSI '99   RACHEL E. KRAMER '99   March 3, 1998

The writers are the co-chairs of Girlspot. Rachel E. Kramer '99 is a Crimson executive.

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