LGBT students at Atlanta's Oglethorpe University plan to protest Monday during a lecture by Matthew J. Franck, a leader of a conservative group that opposes gay marriage.
“I was just getting so infuriated that he was coming to our school,” Oglethorpe junior Brittany Weiner told Project Q Atlanta. “Nothing is more personal to me than saying I can’t marry the person I love. Oglethorpe is such an accepting community that I couldn’t believe it."
Weiner is planning the protest with her partner, Jess Graner, and OUTlet, the campus LGBT group. Details are posted on a Facebook page with the slogan "Marriage is a Human Right, Not a Heterosexual Privilege."
When Kye Allums became the first transgender man to play women’s NCAA Division I basketball this November, the selection spotlighted the controversy surrounding transgender athletes. George Washington University’s official statement about Kye led to multiple news stories and raised questions about existing policies for transgender student-athletes. Currently, most high school and collegiate athletic programs are unprepared regarding appropriate pronouns, locker room etiquette and hormone treatments; the Transgender Law and Policy Institute found that only approximately 300 of 4,000 universities include gender status in their anti-bullying rules. Although NCAA policies prohibit keeping statistics about the amount of transgender student-athletes, the issue is not uncommon.
“[This] is not a new issue, but it’s an issue that’s becoming more and more comfortable to bring up. Even just coming out as trans is easier than it was 10 years ago,” says Merric, who began her career at Smith College as a woman but after coming out as a man spring semester of freshmen year, changed his name from Meredith.
Originally organized as a student event on the campus of Valdosta State University, South Georgia Pride is gearing up for its first year as a stand-alone festival. Organizers are working on securing official non-profit status for the group, and have announced the date and location for this year’s festival: Sept. 18 at Valdosta’s Saunders Park.