I was impressed and touched by Grey Mangam’s recent column (“We are top 25 – in hate,” Sept. 11, 2018).

As a gay alumnus who graduated exactly 30 years ago, I would have hoped – even expected – LGBTQ+ diversity and acceptance on campus would be much further along now. The fact that the safety of a member of my beloved UTK community could be compromised simply because of the way that person identifies is unacceptable.

If ill-informed or backward members of the state legislature or other organizations want to deride LGBTQ+ Vols, shame on them. But our Vol Nation is better than that, so I challenge you to be actively inclusive on and off our campus. Not “tolerant;” inclusive.

You’ll feel better about yourself when you are the bigger person, reaching out to those who are disenfranchised or perceived as different. You may even be saving a life.

It will take our individual and collective efforts to ensure UTK makes lists for great things – not for sidelining or endangering members of our own community. For now, I’ve made a donation to the UT Pride Center in Grey’s honor, and I encourage you to do the same.

#VolMeansAll, y’all; get with the program.

B. Andrew “Drew” Plant can be reached at drew@plantcommunications.com

Letters of The Daily Beacon are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Beacon or the Beacon's editorial staff. Letters to the Editor can be submitted here.

UT Sponsored Content