A Strong Queer Movement in the UPRM

By: Cristina Soto Padua

This is the logo of the "Colectivo Queer Sin Nombre"

For a long time, queer people have been discriminated by the society that we are living. It’s been a constant fight around the world. This happens all around the world including churches, schools, work places and closer to us, but in this case the University.

Homophobia in the University of Mayaguez is trying to be eliminated, but what are we doing to help our fellow colleagues? Do we know what homosexuality means and the damage that we do if we discriminate against them?

Homosexuals are people who are sexually attracted by other persons of the same sex. Heterosexual people refer to them in various ways such as gay, gays or lesbians if they are women.

It has also been demonstrated that gay people have always been bullied, harassed and discriminated as if they were something else. They have had a difficult acceptance thru out the years so they been constantly victims of violence and harassment in our own society on the base of their sexual orientation.

“In individual cases, homosexuals are often harassed, insulted, kicked, punched, and thrown at by fellow classmates, coworkers, and even family members just for being gay. Society lives with a stereotyped thought that gay people are like disease or something like that” said Minh Nguyen.

On the other hand, gays defend themselves by arguing that homosexuality is a characteristic with which they are attached in the early childhood or even with birth. “Gays do not have a choice over their homosexuality as heterosexuals do not have a choice over their heterosexuality”, said Minh T. Nguyen

Homosexual relationships and acts have been admired, but they have also been criticized depending on the cultural, religious or political views.

“The term LGBT is intended to emphasize a diversity of sexuality and gender identity is sometimes used to refer to anyone who is not stray instead of exclusively to people who are homosexuals, bisexual, or transgender.”

But what if this problem is closer to us than we think? In the University Of Puerto Rico Mayaguez exists an LGBT (Lesbian, gays, bisexuals, transgender) community.  This is the “ Colectivo Queer Sin Nombre” it is specialized on helping the LGBT people.

The “Colectivo Queer Sin Nombre” it doesn’t work alone it uses the help and collaboration of other movements such as: “ Comite de Accion de Mujeres (CAM)”, “Ujs- Mst Mayaguez”, “Fupi Mayaguez”.

El “ Colectivo Queer Sin Nombre” is a recent committee created by a group of homosexual and heterosexual people with the purpose of making an easier environment for the LGBT community within of the university.

The committee of the “Colectivo Queer Sin Nombre” holds a variety of activities with the intention of creating an environment a safe place that heterosexuals and homosexuals are equally treated.

Some of the activities held by the “Colectivo Queer Sin Nombre” are open microphones in which they debate themes; also they have an informational station called “ClosetQ.”

“ClosetQ”, searchs for the alternative of debating and discussing the events that concerns the LGBT community based on social, cultural and general interest. But always maintaining a respectful environment where both homosexuals and heterosexual can express their opinions.

“Colectivo Queer Sin Nombre” has five standards which they defend: genre, sex, identity or sexuality, political views and last but not least a movement that doesn’t only includes the University but includes all of the country.

Like mention this movement defends and protests in various standards. One is the political views. An activist of this movement how prefers to remain anonymous tells “homosexuals feel persecuted in a society where homosexuality remains illegal, and where politicians still try to score votes by starting rumors that their rivals are gay”

Damian Cabrera, the one who is in charge of all the activities of the “Colectivo” told me, “For me it’s a great emotion that people get involved in our movement”. For Damian is a great emotion to see that what he has worked, his sacrifices and all his hard work is going to pay off. And students we can’t just stand and watch what is happening.

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