LGBTQIA Students of Color Share Ideas Toward Progress

Being a college student whose sexual orientation is something other than straight can be trying. Similarly, matriculation as one whose gender does not comport with traditional, superficial norms may also present challenges. And persons of color know well the hurdles that come with university life in America.

Imagine then the collegiate experience of one who happens to be both queer and brown in the U.S. system of higher education.

Addressing this reality was the topic of a recent focus group at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). Convened by Tiffany Williams, director of Multicultural Student Affairs, and Luke Gorham, interim coordinator of LGBTQIA Programs, the forum dealt with identity, oppression, role models and success.

When a person of color is LGBTQI, societal forces often push for making one of these identities primary. Your family might consider you to be Latino or African American first and queer second. Conversely, your gay friends might label you as trans or lesbian first and Asian second. In reality, people exist as integrated beings, encompassing all innate qualities at once. Still, it is difficult not to reflect the ideals of those communities to which you belong. When you�re at home, you�re the studious Desi daughter. When you are at the club, you�re gender-queer.

No matter the level of self-integration, outsiders to your communities will perceive you as different. For a queer person of color, this can potentially result in double oppression. You�re not just black, you�re transgender. Not only are you a bisexual, you�re also aboriginal or Semitic. Whatever the combination, it�s a two-fold whammy.

The Jan. 21 UMKC focus group, attended by a small group of students, was the first in what could be a series of forums for students and community members to discuss challenges of double identity, the myths and facts about queer persons of color and ways to persevere, overcoming the barriers set down by individuals and institutions. Williams and Gorham hope that this early meeting will mark the beginning of initiatives for further conversation at UMKC, other local college campuses and the larger community.

On campus, students might encounter difficulties with fellow students, faculty members or staff. Safety can also be an issue in education; when one feels unsafe, his/her/hir learning suffers. Future focus groups may deal with specific prevention goals, peer education, dating, intervention and role modeling for college and secondary students.

If you are interested in participating in future focus groups for LGBTQIA persons of color or if you have any questions, concerns or positive ideas for the group�s facilitators, contact them at their campus locations or via their offices� Facebook groups.

Luke Gorham
interim coordinator of LGBTQIA Programs
Tiffany Williams
director of Multicultural Student Affairs
LGBTQIA: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex and allies
For More Information
Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) has written a new report about how middle school and high school students deal with this issue. The report, called �Shared Differences,� is available at

WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less