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RAINBOW SIG NEWSLETTER

Volume 25, Number 1, Fall 2018

The Rainbow Newsletter is published once a semester by the Rainbow Special Interest Group (SIG) of NAFSA: Association of International Educators. The Rainbow SIG is comprised of diverse NAFSAns whose goals are to combat homophobia, heterosexism, and transphobia within NAFSA, to counsel international students and study abroad students who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, and to support gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender professionals in international education.

In • • • • • • • •

T his Edi tio n: I Surf Goofy Foot- PAGE 2 CAPA The Global Education Network Supports Boston Pride - PAGE 4 Change in Vantage (Part 1): Questions, Challenges - PAGE 6 Preparing LGBTQ Students for Spanish Homestays - PAGE 7 IsraeLGBTQ - PAGE 9 LGBTQ+ & Allies Abroad - PAGE 11 Professionals Now Tell Their Stories of Being Queer Abroad- PAGE 12 Rainbow Leadership and Regional Representation - PAGE 14

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G E T I N V O LV E D! Subscribe: to the Rainbow SIG Listserv by completing the online form. Like: Join the private Rainbow SIG Group on Facebook Give: Donate to the Rainbow Scholarship Reach Out: Email the listserv by sending your message to: rainbow-l@indiana.edu Contribute: Submit content for the Rainbow SIG Newsletter Spring 2019 Represent: Volunteer to become a NAFSA Rainbow SIG Regional Rep

I Surf Goofy Foot Sarah Biddy, Digital Communications Specialist, University Studies Abroad Consortium I surf goofy foot. That means I surf with my right foot in front. I discovered this in Jacó, Costa Rica, where I went for a surfing excursion with fellow University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) students. Maybe because I’m goofy foot, or maybe because I am uncoordinated, it took me two lessons to learn to stand on the board all the way to the shore. Surfing goofy foot is a bit like being queer. I know it seems like a jump, but out of of twenty students in my program, two including me surfed goofy foot. Two (that I am aware of), including me, identified as LGBTQ+. It took me two lessons to learn how to stand, and it has taken me years to learn how to build authentic relationships. I am odd in many ways. I am queer and I identify as third culture. To me, being queer means I form relationships beyond the gender binary. Being third culture means that many of my formative adolescent experiences took place in a different cultural context than my family or ethnicity. It is rare when I meet others who share both these identities. I lived in Ghana between the ages of eighteen and nineteen. I visited several times afterwards. So, at twenty-two, studying abroad with USAC in Costa Rica was not an intimidating experience for me. There was a difference from my past experiences, however: for the first time, I was living out. When I arrived in Costa Rica, I wasn’t sure just how out I would be. I took some time to observe the people around me and their acceptance of differences. After my host mom invited a gay couple over for dinner, I shared my truth with her. We became close over the next few months largely because I was able to be vulnerable with her.

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I S u r f G o o f y F o o t (c o n t ’ ) I was part of a yoga studio in San Ramón which also served as a community center for meditation and feminist discussion. I knew my identity would be accepted there, and I spoke freely with the other students about many aspects of life. The learning I went through with this community still marks me today. The USAC San Ramón staff may not have been aware of my identity at the beginning, but halfway through the program, I got into a relationship. As soon as he noticed, the director was very supportive. One teacher asked for a wedding invitation when I mentioned we planned to stay together. It was sometimes challenging for me to express my identity in Spanish, and it’s not something I did perfectly. Spanish is a gendered language without much grammatical flexibility. The exercise gave me a deeper understanding of the Spanish language, and a glimpse of what it might be like to express queerness having grown up speaking Spanish. My experience studying abroad in Costa Rica as an LGBTQ+ person was not only successful, it was transformative and exactly what I needed in my life. I speak only for myself, though. As a white, straight-passing, outwardly gender conforming person I cannot speak to other identities. I also tend to be oblivious to certain social situations—I minimally self-monitor and I am socially bold. I still carry questions within me, especially questions about my relationships in Ghana. A few of my friends there know about my identity, most do not, and some, I believe “know without knowing.” I carry questions about whether it is right to continue travelling as an LGBTQ+ person when I know so many people within the community, even in the places I’m connected to, live in fear. The world is a big place and there are LGBTQ+ people living everywhere. Though many lives are harder than I can even imagine, I take heart in the beauty of our community across the world. We deserve happiness and the opportunity to make our identities a source of joy.

USAC values and embraces diversity. We’re committed to sustaining a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming environment across our 54 programs for all USAC members including students, faculty, and alumni. https://usac.edu

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RAINBOW SIG C A PA T h e G l o b a l E d u c a t i o n N e t w o r k S u p p o r t s B o s t o n P r i d e Shawna Parker, Director of Marketing, CAPA The Global Education Network Rainbow confetti swirled against the bright blue June sky as thousands traveled from Boylston to Tremont Street in a celebration of inclusivity at the 2018 Boston Pride Parade. Marching to a soundtrack ranging from samba to disco, jazz to techno, the energy and spirit of the event was electric, and we couldn’t imagine a better year for CAPA to sponsor a float in the parade. As a long-time supporter of equity and inclusion, CAPA was thrilled to invite staff, partner institutions and alumni to join in a celebration of our local and international LGBTQIA communities. While a keen focus on diversity is bedrock to CAPA’s programming and curriculum, our entry into the Boston Pride Parade capped off the previous academic years’ initiatives to diversify the types of experiences CAPA students can have abroad. These initiatives included the inaugural Diversity Advocates Grant aimed to increase opportunities for students to engage in social justice work abroad, as well as an amplified focus on international service-learning initiatives. “Participation in the parade has been a long time in the making,” Program Manager Greg Peterson remarked, adding, “In a political moment where members of diverse communities may feel alienated, we felt it was critical to let prospective students know that we support them in being themselves at home and abroad.” CAPA’s float in the Pride Parade also allowed the Boston-based organization an opportunity to engage with the local community. Because there are so many colleges and universities in the area, we were able to show local students of the LGBTQIA community that CAPA is here to engage with them. Furthermore, Pride was a demonstration of the city’s atmosphere of respect, acceptance, and inclusion. Joan Fusco, VP of Human Resources, reflects on the event, “My 16-year-old niece from Dublin was excited to march with our team in the Boston Pride Parade, an event that reflected the spirit of global diversity, inclusion and education that CAPA and the city of Boston embody. As we danced along the route and interacted with joyful crowds from every walk of life, we saw the best of who we are and what we can be when we join together to raise awareness and create community.” The sense of community that emerged from the Pride Festivities throughout the city were truly remarkable. (Continued on next page)

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RAINBOW SIG C A PA T h e G l o b a l E d u c a t i o n N e t w o r k . . . (c o n t ’ ) Here are our top 10 suggestions for planning a great pride float event. Our float was voted best of the 2018 Pride Parade! 1. Start your planning early and try to form a committee of two or three primary planners. 2. Review all the information on your local pride event’s website to be sure you stick to all the rules and don’t miss deadlines. 3. Choose a theme and build all your decoration around that theme—our theme was Disco Beyond! 4. Be inclusive—reach out with information and invitations to join to your organization’s team plus local alumni and partners. 5. On parade day, have a decoration team there early so you have plenty of time to decorate your float. 6. Have some of your team in the float and some on the ground marching. 7. Have some of your team carry a banner behind the float to increase your presence. 8. Bring a giveaway for the crowd—that way you can spread your pride and your organization’s name. We gave away drawstring backpacks and they were a huge hit. 9. Your music cannot be too loud. 10. Glitter—lots and lots of glitter!

The positivity of such engagement lingers long past the last of the glitter. So watch out, Boston, CAPA will be back for more next June, and we plan to be even bigger, louder, and bolder.

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RAINBOW SIG C han ge i n Vant a ge (Par t 1): Q u e s ti o n s , C hal l e n ge s Matthew Cwiklinski, Credential Evaluator, Foreign Credits, Inc

This is the first autumn in the last decade when I am neither teacher nor student. I work outside the classroom now in credential evaluation. As the fall rush of credentials flood in, and I see the roll of students eagerly applying to universities abroad, I am reminded of my own experiences and students. I didn’t receive much advising before my semester in India and I know that most of my own students were never explicitly advised on navigating life in the United States. One of the challenges facing very small schools can be the lack of resources for proper advising, with even fewer resources available for any LGBTQ-specific guidance. The closest thing I had to advice on how to navigate my time abroad was during a 10-minute meeting: “India is the last remaining ancient civilization. Don’t go in thinking you’re going change the culture. You won’t.” India changes on its own. While this past week India decriminalized homosexuality, in 2005, during my study abroad, it was illegal. I didn’t know this until about a week into my trip, nor did I understand if that meant homosexual activity was illegal or the identity itself. I had come out to my parents just a few weeks before, paranoid I might not make it back, not wanting to leave still hiding, lying. Growing up in a conservative Midwestern community, which was not particularly accepting of difference in sexual identity, prepared me to spend 6 months blatantly lying to people about my “girlfriend”, afraid some slip-up might find me sitting in an Indian prison or on the ugly end of some sort of mob justice. It can be jarring to experience how prevalent homophobia is in much of the world. The pressures of these cultural values have profound implications for both teachers and students abroad. While teaching in South Korea, where I was the only English teacher at an English academy, my boss flatly said to me, “Thank God you’re not gay, because we’d have to let you go, and the school would have a big problem.” Even in the United States, while protected from the prejudices of past employers, I was not always protected from the prejudices of my students. When teaching a class of mostly Saudi Arabian students at a language college, accidentally outing myself to my class resulted in ten of my thirty students transferring out the following week. My supervisor at the time: “I’m not really sure what you want me to do. I can talk to the students about acceptance, but they get to change classes-they’re paying.” (Continued on next page)

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RAINBOW SIG C h a n g e i n V a n t a g e P a r t 1 (c o n t ’ ) What challenged me most throughout the roles I played in international education was the difficult task of trying to respect another culture while still respecting myself. I recall a time when I felt particularly paralyzed by ambivalence during a unit presentation on “facts and opinions”. A Russian student gave a presentation on her beliefs regarding homosexuality. Academically, the presentation was very good, and having to sit through ten minutes listening to a student of mine describe me as “evil” and “disgusting” in her soft, gentle voice was hard, but not as hard as clapping for the presentation at the end. Was I dishonoring myself? Would I dishonor my profession to push back against a moment of prejudice when my student was just voicing their opinion for a book assignment? You’re not going to change Russia…. Do I do myself an injustice in changing the way I see hate? I always made a concerted effort in my classes to keep my politics and beliefs about religion to myself. I try to understand the ways in which cultures can be different from mine. But, when many people consider my identity as concerned with both the religious and the political, it can be very hard to feel safe to express basic facts about my life. I wear a wedding ring, and people want to know about it; do I risk the stability of my work, or an implosion of my rapport? Lie to my students? Deny my husband? Credential evaluation may be an area of international education where an individual’s sexual identity bears little if at all upon the work. Diplomas and GPAs offer no judgements beyond themselves. The LGBTQ international community is still emerging, growing, transforming. While more visible displays of prejudice exist, many of its consequences are invisible; it is hard to address the challenges you cannot see at all. Is there a benefit to changing the way one sees these problems?

Preparing LGBTQ Students for Spanish Homestays: A Narrative Case Study David Estrada, Intercultural Programs Advisor, Center for Global and Intercultural Study Do I have to hide who I am? Will my host family treat me differently if they find out about my LGBTQ identity? These are questions LGBTQ-identifying students might be asking themselves as they prepare to study abroad. Being an advisor for Spanish language programs at the Center for Global and Intercultural Study (CGIS) at the University of Michigan, I’ve had the unique opportunity to advise many students that come from different backgrounds and identities. In my position, I am expected to know the ins and outs of the programs I oversee, and knowing specific information about the host country and culture is always a plus. As a unit, CGIS tries to foster independence in students during the study abroad process (before, during, after). That said, we always want students to contact the CGIS office or their advisor directly if they’re feeling nervous about any aspect of their experience abroad. This can be a learning opportunity not just for the student, but for the advisor as well. (Continued on next page)

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RAINBOW SIG P r e p a r i n g L G B T Q S t u d e n t s f o r S p a n i s h H o m e s t a y s . . . (c o n t ’ ) In the spring I had an advising experience with a student going on one of the programs I oversee, in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. It’s a six-week program during the spring term. All students who go on this program are required to stay with a local host family. A student, who had already been accepted into the program, came to my office to discuss some uncertainties he had about his upcoming study abroad experience. When I met with the student, the program was going to start in a few weeks. Students had already received their homestay assignments. He wasn’t sure how the grandma in his host family would react, if she would be judgmental or accepting. Even though I’ve had many advising appointments with students, I did not have much experience with an advising situation like this. Earlier this year I had the opportunity to go to Spain and visit the programs I advise for, including Santiago de Compostela. Once there, I had lengthy conversations with all the on-site staff in our programs about experiences they’ve had with students with different identities, including those who identify as LGBTQ. I was assured by all of them that LGBTQ students have never had a negative experience. They also explained how progressive Spain is overall when it comes to LGBTQ rights; same-sex marriage was legalized in Spain in 2005. So, when I was having my conversation with the student about his worries with his host family, I mentioned all of this to provide context and hopefully calm his worries. It did. Sometime after the student returned to the States, I reached out to him and asked some follow-up questions about his experience went. I asked him what worried him the most about his study abroad experience as someone who identifies as LGBTQ. “I think just the uncertainty was most worrying to me. And regardless, even in the most accepting country in the world, there are still bigots...” he stated. The student had a great experience, he added, “I absolutely loved my homestay and host family, and I’m considering returning to Santiago after graduation and staying with them again.” Seeing as he was there for only six weeks, he didn’t feel the need to bring it up and instead avoided potentially making things uncomfortable between them. If some students in this situation want to tell their host families about their LGBTQ identity—they can. I would suggest to students to casually bring up the subject in conversation and see how they react, and then students can share their LGBTQ identity if they feel comfortable. This is just one way of going about sharing with host families -- I’m sure there are other ways. After having gone through a program like this, I asked the student what advice he would give to future students of the program. He said, “Don’t stress about it, at least for students with more “invisible” identities like being gay or lesbian. I can’t speak to what the experience for a trans student would be like, but, I, as a gay person didn’t have any problems my entire six weeks in Spain.” I want to highlight the advice the student would give to advisors on how to advise LGBTQ students: “It’s so important to know attitudes surrounding race, religion, LGBTQ people, and more in order to be as helpful to students as possible. Being able to talk to David about my fears and getting an immediate and helpful answer from him were incredibly reassuring for me, and I hope that every student who needs it is able to have the same experience,” he asserted. (Continued on next page)

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RAINBOW SIG P r e p a r i n g L G B T Q S t u d e n t s f o r S p a n i s h H o m e s t a y s . . . (c o n t ’ ) More than likely there are students with worries that are too personal to share with a big group. One thing advisors can do is to proactively invite students to schedule appointments to discuss any questions or worries. Perhaps advisors can organize casual gatherings in a coffee shop for students. Connecting students with past participants of a program can be helpful—sometimes students prefer to speak with a peer and get their perspective rather than meet with their study abroad advisor. I am more than glad I was able to provide my student with answers to his questions and provide reassurance. I am grateful he felt comfortable enough to bring this up in person. I hope others will feel the same.

IsraeLGBTQ: Israel as a Case Study for Exploring Local Queer Issues Ira Kirschner, Director, Office of Student Life, Rothberg International School, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

I came out when I found an incredible community of friends at the Rothberg International School (RIS) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I credit my boss, coworkers and international students themselves for creating an atmosphere that encouraged me to be myself. I consider myself extremely fortunate that when the vice provost decided we needed to be more proactive regarding diversity and inclusion, my personal nomination as Diversity & Inclusion Officer was not only welcomed, but celebrated. It has been wonderful to be supported in every initiative I have taken to support underrepresented students – from a gender-neutral restroom to mandatory orientations that introduce diverse identities and how they will be perceived in Israel. RIS, Jerusalem and Israel have been inexplicably tied into my identity as a gay man. Following my appointment as Diversity & Inclusion Officer, I began to envision an extracurricular program that would take a group of engaged students on a fun, educational and sometimes difficult journey through queer issues in Israeli culture and society. The short-term goal of the program is to support and celebrate queer students studying in Israel, as well as to educate participants about queer issues. The long-term goal of the program is for queer students abroad to hear about the program and consider studying in Israel because their identity is being acknowledged and celebrated here. After pitching it to the newly arrived spring 2018 semester students, over 15 committed to participate. This allowed me to continue with the planning. Scheduling was a challenge, due to the intense academic schedules most students have – participating in the program means sacrificing free evenings and some weekends. Despite the challenges, I proceeded to create the following plan: (Continued on next page)

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RAINBOW SIG I s r a e L G B T Q . . . (c o n t ’ ) 1. QUEER TOUR OF JERUSALEM Moti, a gay Jerusalemite and tour guide will show us the queer Jerusalem that most visitors and residents don’t know about! 2. QUEER PEOPLE IN PALESTINIAN, MUSLIM AND ARAB SOCIETIES A gay Palestinian will speak to us about the challenges of being queer in Muslim, Arab and Palestinian societies. 3. QUEER POLITICS IN ISRAEL The heads of queer interest groups from two political parties will speak about their agreements and disagreements in Israeli politics! 4. LGBTECH IN ISRAEL What is it like to be queer in the Israeli workplace? How do companies support their queer employees? Let’s tour Microsoft Israel and find out! 5. QUEER TOUR OF TEL AVIV ‘Rainbow Tour TLV’ will show us around a city famous for being an internationally acclaimed queer vacation destination! 6. IDF AND TRANSGENDERS The CEO of the Jerusalem Open House will speak to us about his experiences in the IDF, and how his transition was not only tolerated, but supported. 7. JUDAISM AND LGBTQ Does Judaism see queer people? Are they allowed in Orthodox spaces? What experiences do queer Orthodox Jews go through? An expert on Judaism and sexuality will explain the different perspectives. 8. MEETING PLACE Meet with queer dialogue activists about their work in Jerusalem with people that disagree with them, and join their dialogue circles for our final event! My reasons for creating the program were personal and professional, as was my satisfaction from it. Every session taught us something new about the intersection of queer identity and Israeli society. Even when I thought I had nothing new to learn, experiencing my reality through the experiences of international students allowed me to look at my reality from a different perspective. I specifically remember the session we had about queer identity and Judaism. As a person that grew up Orthodox, I have avoided Jewish text study for many years due to the struggles I experienced while studying Jewish texts during my closeted high school years. Going back to the texts I studied while closeted, but this time as a proud gay man accompanied by diverse international students in Israel, brought me to tears. After the program ended, students freely shared how meaningful the program was for them. Whether it was because of their queer identity, Jewish identity or simply human identity – diving into one main issue and how it intersects with different aspects of Israeli society allowed them to have a deeper study abroad experience, while also providing room for reflecting on issues in their homes. I encourage all international educators, queer or not, to create a program that allows students to deeply engage with key issues in the country in which they are studying – the experience will provide tremendous insight into the country in which they live, themselves, and their homes. V O L U M E 2 5 , N U M B E R 1 , F A L L 2 0 1 8

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RAINBOW SIG LBGTQ+ & Allies Abroad: Navigating Identit y and E xpression in a Global Context Meredith Connelly, Study Abroad Advisor, Tulane University

As an advisor, when I meet with students preparing to study abroad, I am also meeting with the myriad of anxieties they carry with them into an appointment. Most of these anxieties--such as the daunting prospect of traveling alone for the first time, or of pursuing a course of study entirely in a foreign language--will in effect solve themselves through the trial, error, and ultimately, adaptation that we so often offer as one of the intangible “gains” of international education. Being a constant witness to the reiteration of these fears can have a somewhat numbing effect, making it easy to forget that for some students, the decision to study abroad goes far beyond the usual questions of where and how. Underrepresented students, students reliant on need-based financial aid, and LGBTQ+ students in particular must overcome an additional set of hurdles in order to benefit from international immersion. It was in recognition of inherent privilege within the sphere of international education that our office decided to reconceive our existing model of pre-departure orientations--specifically, to offer a range of topical, conference-style sessions students could self-select in order to best meet their own needs and prepare them for their unique experience abroad. This shift from general to targeted orientation topics will hopefully allow us to more effectively address the specific concerns and experiences of underrepresented groups whose interests may otherwise never have been touched on in a more traditional pre-departure orientation. In addition to sessions covering topics such as race, religion, and mental health, we will offer a session entitled LBGTQ+ & Allies Abroad: Navigating Identity and Expression in a Global Context. During this session we hope to inform students of challenges LGBTQ+ travellers may face abroad, provide strategies and resources to help overcome those challenges, and begin a meaningful discussion surrounding queerness across cultures. The coordination of this session has caused us to think more critically and intentionally not only about the glaring hurdles LGBTQ+ individuals must circumvent in order to study abroad, but also how to navigate the space between advising caution and limiting a student’s available options. In particular, it has been a struggle delineating so-called “safe” zones by country or region when in reality challenges and prejudices may well present themselves in even the most accepting of cultures, especially when this crosses certain destinations off the map in a way that cis students would never be subjected to. We hope to address this challenge effectively by encouraging students to perform research on their host country customs and laws before departure, as well as to actively prepare strategies on how to mitigate and de-escalate moments of cultural crisis while abroad. (Continued on next page)

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RAINBOW SIG L B G T Q + & A l l i e s A b r o a d (c o n t ’ ) Another hurdle has been curating the tone of the session. Although we recognize the subject matter will inherently veer towards more serious discussion, we also want to make LGBTQ+ students and allies genuinely excited about international immersion, and to start asking themselves important questions about their experience abroad -- e.g. how will my experience abroad impact my own perception of queer culture in the U.S.? For this reason we also want to include discussions surrounding global queer identities, allowing students to conceptualize varying iterations of homosexuality, gender identity, and sexual orientation across various cultures, from the hijras of India to drag culture in Berlin. Collaborating on this session with representatives from other offices on campus (such as the Office of Multicultural Affairs), our program providers, and returned students, will hopefully allow us to provide prospective study abroad students with a comprehensive session. Our hope is that this will enable them to prepare for a successful and safe experience abroad, and open their mind to the cultural introspection uniquely afforded by international immersion.

P r o f e s s i o n a l s N o w Te l l T h e i r S t o r i e s o f B e i n g Q u e e r Abroad Evelyn Rosengren-Hovee, Director of Partner Engagement, Gen Next Education, Inc In the recent NPR article, “Know An LGBTQ Student Itching To Study Abroad? Here Are Some Things To Think About” Rainbow SIG Co-chair Mike Nieto so eloquently stated, “You might be able to finally find people you feel like you fit in with. [...] It might be the first time you feel comfortable in your own skin.” As the years pass, as professional life swallows up college, it becomes harder to stay connected to our stories. We stop telling them. Did you find your queer self abroad? Was it huge and exhilarating? Was it scary? Did you have any regrets? Any victories? This is a call-out to tell your story. Here’s mine. Nanjing, China - Fall 2004 I fell in love with Natalie, my American roommate. She was a political science and religious studies double major, same as me. It took us nearly the whole 4 months to admit our mutual attraction, and we had that conversation in part because of our run-in with gay culture in China. And because of Matthew. There were actually 3 Matthews in our study abroad program, but we called the other ones Matt and Hangry. Matthew was thin, wore big glasses, and was single. He was the first officially out gay person I’d spent any significant time around. As part of a culture class, we had to do a group research project. Matthew was looking for a boyfriend, so the 3 of us decided to hit up gay bars and present on the topic: “Being Gay in China.” I don’t think any of us would claim our research was academically rigorous, but it was eye-opening. We joined forces with our friend and classmate, Jing, who embraced our “totally out there” project. (Continued on next page) V O L U M E 2 5 , N U M B E R 1 , F A L L 2 0 1 8

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RAINBOW SIG P r o f e s s i o n a l s N o w Te l l T h e i r S t o r i e s (c o n t ’ ) In Nanjing, a city of 6 million, she was able to locate one gay bar. “Look for the purple light above the entrance,” she was told. That’s how we’d know. Homosexuality had only been removed from the list of mental illnesses in 2001, 3 years before. The dark narrow hallway was lined with young men in tracksuits and leather jackets. Jing whispered that some of them were sex workers. The floor was littered with cigarette butts and peanut shells. So many peanut shells. They served two beers: Budweiser and Bud Lite. We went almost every Friday night. We drank our Buds and watched Matthew flirt. I saw my first drag show there on the small roped-off stage that looked more like a boxing ring. Once we stayed past closing hours and sang karaoke. The couple of people who were willing to be interviewed talked about isolation, the silence, family pressure, and the nonexistent lines between public and private space. To supplement our research, we watched bootlegged gay films like the Wedding Banquet and Formula 17. Then one Saturday night, when nightlife should be at its peak, Jing got a call from the bar to come right away. They couldn’t call the police. The four of us met out front. Chinese voices echoed from somewhere deep inside the bar. In the middle of the abandoned dance floor towered a broad chest with bare arms and a head hidden behind matted blonde hair. 8 guys in tracksuits were unsuccessfully trying to keep his fists out of the bartender’s face. Natalie yelled, “HEY! STOP!” Mid swing, he turned, paused, and came at us. We collectively shrieked and fled with him close behind. We scrambled into a taxi and watched as he stumbled back to the purple light and the door that was now shut and locked. We had helped...sort of, but the bar never reopened. After that incident, Natalie and I spent more time discussing LGBTQ culture on our own. I told her I was bi. She told me she was bi, too. I told her she was “bad ass” and that I was really attracted to her. She felt the same. She was my first girlfriend, and I was hers. There hadn’t been any literature or preparation from my university on being an LGBTQ student abroad or how to engage in academic work related to the local LGBTQ community. Our poorly executed research project was a lost opportunity to really delve deeper into queer culture in Nanjing. But being removed from the familiar and seeing LGBTQ lives in a completely different context was still life changing. I had a new appreciation for the resources that were available on my home campus, like a very active LGBTQ advocate student organization. Whatever stigma I had to face back home, it didn’t feel as daunting or insurmountable as before. I found my queer skin in China: thicker, more experienced, and probably purple.

RAINBOW SIG NEWSLETTER

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RAINBOW SIG R A I N B O W R E G I O N A L R E P R E S E N TAT I V E S •REGION 1

•REGION 7

Open Position

PJ Shoulders, pj@qs.com

•REGION 2

Heath Thompson, hmthompson@ua.edu

Drew Ross, Andrew.Ross.4@asu.edu

•REGION 8

•REGION 3

Brett Wobbe, bwobbe1@jhu.edu

Jose Martinez, jfmartin@uiwtx.edu

•REGION 10

•REGION 4

Rebecca Greenstrom, becky.greenstrom@nyu.edu

Kristen Colbrecht, albrechtkl@missouri.edu

•REGION 11

Will Bonfiglio, bonfiglio.w@wustl.edu

David Griffin, david_griffin@emerson.edu

David Gardner, david.gardner@mnsu.edu

•REGION 12

•REGION 5

Shawna Hook-Heid, sheld@ucsd.edu

Mark Chung Kwan Fan, chungkw1@msu.edu

Travis Pentz, travis.pentz@ucsf.edu

Jesus Velasco, jvelasco@millikin.edu

•OUTSIDE U.S. REPRESENTATIVE

•REGION 6

Ira Kirschner (Israel), ira.kirschner@mail.huji.ac.il

Kyle Hayes, kyghayes@iu.edu

RAINBOW LEADERSHIP TEAM •RAINBOW CO-CHAIRS Mike Nieto, ’17 – ’19; mikednieto@gmail.com Murphy Scott, ’18 – ’20; murphy@insituprograms.org •NEWSLETTERS CO-EDITORS

•MEMBERSHIP & LISTSERV MANAGER Susan Carty; scarty@iu.edu •SCHOLARSHIP COORDINATORS Andrew Rapin, ’17 -’19; andrew.rapin@columbia.edu

Kelly Zuniga ’17 - ’19; kzuniga@saonet.ucla.edu

Gregg Orifici, ‘18 - ‘20; gregg.orifici@unh.edu

Shane Michael Lanning ‘18 - ‘20; smlanning@bsu.edu

Jan Kieling (Honorary); yaneechay@hotmail.com

•WEB-CONTENT MANAGER Evelyn Rosengren-Hovee, ’17 -’19; evelyn@gennexteducation.com

Mark Lenhart (Honorary); mlenhart@academic-travel.com •TREASURER Rick Russo; russo@berkeley.edu

V O L U M E 2 5 , N U M B E R 1 , F A L L 2 0 1 8

PA G E 14

Profile for Rainbow SIG

Rainbow SIG Fall 2018 Issue  

The Fall 2018 issue of the Rainbow SIG newsletter

Rainbow SIG Fall 2018 Issue  

The Fall 2018 issue of the Rainbow SIG newsletter

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