Educational institutions play a vital role in shaping the future of younger generation. LGBTQIA+ and gender-nonconforming students are more vulnerable to bullying and harassment than other young people. You can make your institution inclusive and safe, and ensure that everyone learns without fear.
Here are some ways in which campuses can make themselves LGBTQIA+ inclusive:
- Ensure that sexual harassment, anti-bullying and other human resource policies are aware of and responsive to the concerns of LGBTQIA+ students, faculty and staff.
- Allow students to form campus LGBTQIA+ groups (like these) and support them with space for meetings, holding film-screenings, etc.
- Ensure that campus counsellors and health-care providers have been sensitized on LGBT issues. if there are counseling hotlines or suicide hotlines on campus or in the town/city, ensure those are sensitive too.
- Institute transgender-inclusive or unisex restrooms.
- Develop an LGBTQIA+ resource center, or augment your existing libraries with books and audio–visual materials on sexuality and gender issues.
- Enable campus groups to organize LGBTQIA+ sessions as part of orientation for incoming batches of students, and hold periodic sensitization events (at least once a semester) on campus.
You are welcome to contact us, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions. If you would like to share your experiences of discrimination or bullying on campuses, or of ways in which you have helped create safe spaces, we’d like to hear from you. If you are a Chennai-based educational institution we would be happy to organize a campus event to sensitize your students and faculty/staff.
Relevant posts from Our Voices – The Orinam Blog
- Experiences of Queer Students During their School Life in India (4/8/2017) - Based on a qualitative study of school experiences of young queer people in Delhi, Surabhi Shukla has developed a website with online resources and a model 'Sexual Rights and Anti- Discrimination Policy' for schools in India.
- Queering the Red: Asmita Sarkar, Jadavpur University (1/16/2017) - Asmita Sarkar represents LGBTIQ+ issues as a candidate for student elections at Jadavpur University, Kolkata, West Bengal.
- LGBT-inclusion in the National Education Policy, 2016 (8/6/2016) - SIgn on to these recommendations for making India's National Education Policy LGBT+-inclusive.
- “To the person who wrote the note”: Bengaluru student responds to a homophobic extortion attempt (11/12/2015) - A recent homophobic extortion attempt on the IISc Bengaluru campus offers lessons on courage, allyship and the urgent need for administrative action.
- BioHazard: Abhishek Clifford brings ‘Moral Values’ to a Campus near you (10/17/2015) - There's a new hazard to Indian college students on the horizon, and it's particularly toxic for LGBT youth and women of all sexualities. It takes the form of Abhishek Clifford, the CEO of an NGO named Rescue.
- A teacher’s rewards (9/5/2015) - My law students’ group work turned out to be a reward in the otherwise daunting journey of my attempts to sensitise the campus community on LGBT issues.
- Kashish Forward: reaching out through queer cinema at IIT-Bombay (9/20/2014) - Aaditya Joshi reports on 'Kashish Forward', a campus event of IIT-Bombay group Saathi on Sept 17 2014, that reached out to LGBTQ people and straight allies through cinema.
- Orientation with a difference: Saathi reaches out to incoming students at IIT Bombay (7/30/2014) - Saathi, the LGBTQ group at IIT Bombay, organised a structured orientation for incoming students. Report by Aaditya Joshi, with links to resource materials.
- First Love: a video by IIT-B students (7/28/2014) - In this heart-warming video, students of IIT-Bombay speak about their first love, including the kind that dares speak its name and break the silence around it.
- Breaking Barriers: India’s first high school LGBTQI initiative (3/3/2014) - Profile of Tagore International School, New Delhi, whose group 'Breaking Barriers' works to promote LGBTQI equality on campus and beyond.
- IITs against 377 (2/17/2014) - Full text of the petition sent in by 1157 members of the Indian Institutes of Technology against the Supreme Court verdict recriminalising homosexuality.
- Dharun Ravi Apologizes for His Actions. Your Thoughts? (5/30/2012) - On Tuesday May 29, for the first time, Dharun Ravi issued an apology for his actions related to the Rutgers webcam incident. What do you think?
- Statement from Tyler Clementi’s Brother (5/23/2012) - James Clementi, brother of Tyler Clementi, who is also gay, read an impact statement at the courthouse right before Dharun Ravi's sentencing
- Dharun Ravi Sentenced (5/21/2012) - Dharun Ravi, an Indian citizen living in New Jersey was sentenced by the Middlesex county courthouse today in the NJ vs Dharun Ravi case.
- Dharun and Ravi: Two Different Worlds (3/12/2012) - Dharun Ravi and his father Ravi Pazhani are from two different worlds. Is Dharun's alleged homophobia a result of cultural conflict between these two worlds?
- Tyler Clementi and Dharun Ravi (3/12/2012) - Ian Parker, writing for the New Yorker, has an absolutely must read story that goes in depth into the tragic story of Tyler Clementi and Dharun Ravi. People may remember this story from about a year and a half back. Tyler Clementi was a freshman student […]
- From Academia to America (10/18/2007) - Despite the existence of desi queer collectives and communities here in DC, the responses and reactions of many Americans (both white and black people) to the visible presence of a queer person coming from India (me, in this case) have been a wee bit strange for me.