By Denver Donchez
For years, Texas State has been trying to grow and diversify its student body, and as the average person walking though the Quad can attest, it has done a pretty good job. Roughly 50 percent of Texas State students identify as racial or ethnic minorities, and in 2011, the University was officially recognized as a Hispanic Serving Institution.
Today, about 35 percent of Texas State’s student body is Hispanic. But diversity is not just something that is measured along ethnic lines. Culture, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity are other important aspects to consider when looking at the diversity of the student population. These are some of the issues that Texas State’s Bobcats De Colores Queer LatinX Dialogue Sessions seeks to address.
These monthly interactive sessions bring together students and faculty from intersecting minority groups to discuss the ways in which cultural heritage impacts their sexual and gender identities. The dialogue sessions also provide resources and support to individuals trying to navigate cross-cultural obstacles.
Gerardo Altamirano, Assistant Director in the Office of Disability Services, facilitates these discussions by analyzing the ways in which Hispanic culture impacts queer identity.
“The purpose of these sessions is to create a space for reconciliation. Most of the spaces that are LGBTQIA, and even those portrayed in the media, are white spaces. So it’s really important to create a space where students, faculty and staff can all come together and share their personal narrative,” he said.
The Bobcats De Colores Queer LatinX Dialogue Sessions is hosted through Texas State’s Hispanic Policy Network and takes place the first Tuesday of every month.
“Through sharing, and through support and through cathartic experience, we begin to reconcile those parts of ourselves and integrate our identities, so we can become happy, fully-functioning individuals,” Altarmirano said.
Featured image by Denver Donchez.