05 October 2010

Quick post on Gender Identity and Expression

Sorry I have not posted this earlier and won't have the lengthy post that will do this justice, but I want to post something. I also want to add that on this Wednesday, October 6th at 7:00pm in KRAN G18 Purdue Student Government will be voting a second time on a resolution urging Purdue to add Gender Identity, Gender Expression, and Genetic Information to Purdue's Nondiscrimination Policy. Your attendance would be greatly appreciated (I also have the honor of proxying this meeting and thus voting yes on this resolution).

Last night West Lafayette made a historic move forward, becoming the third jurisdiction in Indiana to include Gender Identity and Expression in its Human Relations Ordinance. After nine speakers (myself included) and the large attendance at the meeting, I think it was clear why this was important and needed to pass (which it did, 5-2). The resolution was bipartisan, with the Republican mayor and Democratic city council president being the resolution co-sponsors. I feel this especially highlights how diversity and inclusion are issues affecting everybody, regardless of political affiliation.

If you want to watch a local media report, it was on the local television station (including a clip from my speech).

I will leave you with the text of my speech for now, until I have more time to discuss this topic.

"Thank you for letting me speak to you today. I am Nicholas Goldsmith, a junior in the college of Agriculture and the president of Purdue's Queer Student Union. Before attending Purdue I grew up just a hop-skip away in Frankfort, Indiana. I remember coming to West Lafayette for many different programs throughout school. I remember how much more open and inclusive it was than Frankfort. This was confirmed when I moved here and learned that sexual orientation was included in West Lafayette's human rights ordinance. Just crossing the county borders from Clinton to Tippecanoe makes me feel safer. I know this county cares about its people and wants them to be included regardless of sexual orientation.

You yet again have a chance to make the people of West Lafayette, the people of the surrounding areas, and the students of Purdue feel safer and more included in your jurisdiction. You have the chance to let people know you care. You have the chance to add Gender Identity and Expression to your human right's ordinance.

The students I represent sincerely care about this issue. We know the inclusion of Gender Identity and Expression will help move the West Lafayette community to be even more supportive and affirming. It will help to make this an even better city to live in.

I want to know that my friends are guarenteed by the city of West Lafayette to be protected from discrimination. I want to tell my family how glad I am that West Lafayette moved forward on an issue. I want to tell my organization that West Lafayette cares about them. I want to tell prospective students that they will be protected here.

Please, do this for your friends, your families, your neighbors, your city. Please expand your Human Rights Ordinances to include Gender Identity, Gender Expression, and Veterans Status."

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