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Visitor column: Supporting LGBTQ+ college students is an ongoing mission – VC Star


Dr. Oscar Cobian

Though the Ventura County Pleasure Pageant was in August, supporting our LGBTQ+ group is an ongoing effort. It’s typically straightforward to really feel we’ve come a great distance on LGBTQ+ points and, certainly, there are a lot of hard-earned positive factors the queer group and its allies have secured over time.

Nonetheless, a lot work stays. That’s why Oxnard College and our sister faculties, Moorpark and Ventura, are dedicated to making sure LGBTQ+ college students and staff really feel welcome and supported.

Sadly, for a lot of LGBTQ+ residents all through Ventura County, popping out even right this moment just isn’t at all times the best or most secure possibility. This was underscored by a 2016 examine reported by Pink Information, which discovered Oxnard to be among the many nation’s 10 worst cities for anti-gay rhetoric on Twitter. Sadly, this isn’t stunning for a lot of residents who typically really feel unwelcome in their very own properties and communities. Tragically, Oxnard skilled a very darkish chapter in 2008 when a queer scholar named Lawrence King was shot and killed at E.O. Inexperienced Junior Excessive Faculty. 

For one queer scholar at Oxnard College, King’s homicide was a formative expertise: “The capturing impacted each queer child in Oxnard, and it frightened me. I felt like I couldn’t present my grief or assist as a result of my household and religion group would work out who I actually was and alienate me.” This scholar (who makes use of the pronouns they/them/their) has but to return out to their household and desires to stay nameless; they spent years caring for a sick dad or mum whereas feeling trapped by household and religion. “Latinos are sometimes raised with sturdy gender norms — you understand what’s anticipated of you.” 

Finally, this nameless particular person discovered a extra inclusive area at Oxnard College, the place they’ve excelled at school, turned concerned in scholar life and even launched a brand new LGBTQ+ membership. “Oxnard College is a secure place for me. I will be myself and discover who I’m — it’s helped me begin utilizing my voice to advocate for others.” 

The work of supporting our LGBTQ+ college students runs all through every Ventura County group college. Our district just lately acquired practically 1 / 4 million {dollars} from the California Neighborhood Schools Chancellor’s Workplace to develop college providers for LGBTQ+ college students. These funds have helped develop assist teams and campus golf equipment and have expanded psychological well being providers and worker trainings.

Moreover, this spring Oxnard, Moorpark and Ventura faculties plan to co-host a Lavender Graduation Ceremony to have a good time our LGBTQ+ graduates.  

Extra steps to assist Ventura County Neighborhood College District college students embrace the implementation of a Most popular Identify Coverage to offer college students the choice of utilizing a primary title aside from their authorized one.

Oxnard College additionally launched a pronoun information to affirm college students’ identities, and in 2022 we turned the primary higher-education establishment in Ventura County to boost the LGBTQ+ Progress Pleasure flag. We’ve additionally expanded our curriculum to incorporate the course Introduction to LGBTQ+ Research as a part of the college’s social justice research curriculum. 

Cristian Rosete is one other LGBTQ+ scholar at Oxnard College who has discovered acceptance and assist on our campus. However Cristian hasn’t at all times been accepted. In highschool, his father introduced an ultimatum: “Both cease being homosexual or transfer.”

So Cristian moved. “My father grew up in Mexico,” Cristian says. “He lived in a city that beat up males they suspected of being homosexual. So, culturally, it was arduous for him to simply accept me.”

Cristian turned an unaccompanied youth and moved right into a crowded group home the place he discovered supportive associates but additionally started experiencing abuse from his companion. He ultimately made his option to Oxnard College, the place issues started to click on. Cristian turned a membership president, was elected to scholar authorities and commenced working for the STEM Middle.

“I really like Oxnard College. Everyone seems to be right here as a result of they need to uplift the group and break generational traumas like mine to assist folks develop,” he says.

Oxnard College is just one companion on this essential work, and there stays a lot to enhance upon and develop. We’re grateful to native organizations exhibiting our group the way in which ahead, such because the Variety Collective VC, Oxnard LGBTQ Neighborhood, PFLAG Ventura, the Pleasure Clinic and the Coalition For Household Concord, amongst others.

Collectively, every of us will help construct a Ventura County we will all take delight in.

Oscar Cobian

Dr. Oscar Cobian (he/him/his) is the performing president of Oxnard College. For extra details about the Ventura County Neighborhood College District’s LGBTQ+ group, go to vcccd.edu/students/lgbtq.


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