"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin

A Lavender Graduation?

>> Thursday, May 18, 2006

I heard about this today on Glenn Beck. I don't get it.

Ah, but what is a "Lavender Graduation"? you ask. Good question.

I can't really describe it so I will take the exact words from this website:

While working as the director of the LGBT Campus Resource Center at the University of Michigan, I realized that LGBT students needed and, in fact, deserved to be recognized not only for their achievements but for surviving their college years. As commencement activities were being planned for the Spring of 1995, I saw an opportunity to include LGBT students in the celebration process. I noticed that many of the ethnic groups were hosting their own ceremonies, so why not something for LGBT students? I had heard from too many LGBT students that they simply didn't feel connected to the institution nor to their various ethnic groups to want to participate in any of the commencement ceremonies. Their journeys through college as out LGBT women and men had been painful enough, they said; they just wanted to quietly leave. I happen to be a Jewish lesbian. I love rituals and celebrations. I was not invited to my own biological children's graduation celebrations because of my sexual orientation so I felt a pain similar to that of my students, and I wanted to ease it however possible. With the encouragement of the Dean of Students at Michigan, I designed the first Lavender Graduation celebration in 1995 just for LGBT students and called it Lavender Graduation. (Lavender is important to LGBT history. It is a combination of the pink triangle that gay men were forced to wear in concentration camps and the black triangle designating lesbians as political prisoners in Nazi Germany. The LGBT civil rights movement took these symbols of hatred and combined them to make symbols and color of pride and community.)

Ummm...ok. I still don't quite get it.

After reading the above referenced site I still don't understand if this is a second ceremony or of it is their main ceremony.

I'm wondering- if it is the main ceremony- doesn't that remove the students even further from the student body that they are already so "disconnected" from?

I'm just confused by all the "political correctness" and "all inclusiveness" we are told that we must have now. Don't misunderstand me, I'm not homophobic, racist or bigoted. I treat everyone I meet the same until I am given reason not to. People are people are people. Period.

But it is getting more difficult to see where the equality that so many groups say they are striving for is when so many special rules are made- to the exclusion of others.

I tried to find a list of student groups at Iowa State University. I couldn't. I did find one for the University of Idaho. There are student groups for: African Students, Latin Students, Chinese Students, Indian Students,LGBT Club, Muslim Students Assn., Latter Day Saints club, NAACP, Society of Black Engineers, Native Americans United, and Nepalese Students Org.

Now, this is only a fraction of the complete list. And there are plenty of clubs. But I guess what bothers me is that these clubs exist with the idea of supporting the people that they have a focus on- to the exclusion of others.

Let me just use the Society of Black Engineers as an example. Now, there is no Society of Caucasian Engineers (although there is a Society of Women Engineers). No, that would be racist. But I am sure that the American Society of Civil Engineers lets in blacks, women, Asians, Indians... You get my point.

I just wonder if all these places of "support and acceptance" are really helping. Or if they possibly do more to hinder the one thing they claim to be "fighting" for- the inclusion of everyone, equally, in our society.

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