Unity Alliance Panel Discussion: “What's the Difference?!”
On October 29, 2008, eight students from Hampden-Sydney College along with one moderator, and one student from Longwood University did the unthinkable when they sat on the Unity Alliance Panel to speak of their acceptance of Homosexuality, along with telling his or her story about being homosexual and/or bisexual. The event was entitled “What's the Difference?!”
The Unity Alliance, an organization in past years that had failed, has made a comeback with the first event being a great success with more than thirty student and faculty members attending. The fact that these students worked hard to create this event after only having the organization back up and running for 3 weeks shows serious dedication and a striving to educate everyone to one day see that every man and woman is truly created equally.
The students were asked to tell his or her sexual orientation, to share his or her coming out story, and what were the after effects of doing so. There were a few stories both touching and saddening, stories of unacceptability from parents, and stories of how parents loved their child more. The students sat on the panel to explain why homosexuality is not wrong and why we should all accept people for whom he or she is no matter what differences the other has.
The students also talked about common stereotypes that are targeted toward people who are homosexual or bisexual. The rumors about feminine habits that gay men are “suppose” to have, and the masculine habits that gay women have. These rumors were corrected and gave everyone an insight on the real truth about the homosexual community. This event was not wanted on campus but we persevered, and many left with a different view of the gay community on the campus.
This organization exists to create diversity and to educate those who have a misconception of what really goes on in the everyday lives of people. With many questions asked for both the Gay and Straight students, many were shocked to find out the truth coming from the mouth of those who have to live the experience of having this part of you that is uncontrollable. These students hope that one day people will say something along the lines of “I love you for who you are, not who you think you have to be”. Which means people will accept him or her for who they are and love them for being his or herself and not conforming to what the world thinks they have to be.
These students are brave for the actions they took. The Hampden-Sydney Unity Alliance hopes that more students will come and support the group and the students here; and hope they get a better understanding of a life style that is seen as taboo. The lives of people who are homosexual is not easy, so the Unity Alliance will be back educating many people a lot more. Hope to see you there!