A campaign aimed at bringing lesbian celebrity Ellen DeGeneres to Boston College, a Jesuit-run Catholic college in Massachusetts, is underway in an effort to bolster recognition of the LGBTQ community on campus.
The Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and Queer/Questioning Leadership Council (GLC) at Boston College began the social media campaign, titled “Ellen2BC,” to complement a letter that will be submitted to DeGeneres after signatures are gathered from student organizations, faculty, and administrators. Speaking about the campaign’s purpose, GLC leader Laura DelloStritto told BostInno:
“Ellen DeGeneres would do wonders to raise awareness of BC’s LGBTQ community and, more importantly, it would provide an immensely educational opportunity for many students who are not members of the LGBTQ community.”
GLC leadership identifies several reasons why Boston College needs improvement on its awareness and acceptance of LGBTQ members of the community in the letter:
“Here at BC, it is often challenging to be an LGBTQ student as the religious ties of our university make support for this community difficult and, in some situations, contested.
“The GLBTQ Leadership Council itself was not created by the university but was instead a student Senate initiative in 2004, less than ten years ago. This came after formal university rejection of an LGBTQ group four times since 1974. Since the creation of GLC, students have played a key role in leading the charge for LGBTQ visibility, resources, and education on campus.
“As recently as 2005, Boston College’s nondiscrimination policy did not include sexual orientation…The university responded to [a student campaign] and sexual orientation was added to the policy, but to this day it remains in a separate clause from all other protected identities. Although we are progressing, BC continually remains on the Princeton Review’s top 10 list of LGBT-unfriendly universities, and there is so much more work that needs to be done here.”
With the goal of education and awareness in mind, organizers of “Ellen2BC” recognize that an in-person visit may be most beneficial, but perhaps the least feasible. They are open to other options like a Skype video session or live chat on Twitter that would involve Ellen DeGeneres.
For further information, follow the Ellen2BC Twitter account.
–Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry