At USFSM, we pride ourselves in creating an inclusive environment for all students, staff, faculty and members of the community to feel safe and invited on our campus. This October, we celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month as allies to this community.
We are proud to have STAND (Students Together and Naturally Diverse) on our campus, a Gay-Straight Alliance created to support LGBTQ students with the help of allies to create a safe and welcoming place for students and promote diversity at USF Sarasota-Manatee.
A letter from Dr. Perry, associate professor of history at USFSM and advisor of STAND:
Only two years ago, I and the members of my generation experienced something that we never thought would happen in our lifetimes: a bold and ringing statement from the Supreme Court that our relationships are equal to those of others. President Obama rightly attributed that stunning degree of progress not only to skillful legal maneuvering, but also to “countless acts of courage” by millions of Americans over the course of time. By coming out and admitting the truth about themselves, those people, often at a very high cost both personally and professionally, laid the groundwork for marriage equality. I came out relatively late—at 27 years old—because I knew what that decision could entail. I had to deal with my own strong religious commitments, the disapproval and resistance of my family, and hostility among my peers. While I have paid a high price for my decision to live authentically, I do not regret it at all. Even today, the costs can still be high.
However, you students will have more courage and experience more joy in your lives than we were able to, and the tide of progress will continue to make you increasingly accepted by your society, your colleagues and your families. Be—and love—who you are: history teaches that truth is always worth the cost.