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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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