Due to an error, this article was not posted until August 11, 2017. It had originally been created for November 10, 2017.

By Tashfia Parvez and Isabel Lohman

LGBTQ students at MU face higher rates of harassment compared to their straight peers.

According to a 2009 MU Campus Climate Survey, 57 percent of students who identify as transgender and 35 percent of students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or queer report experiencing harassment on campus. This compares to 16 percent of overall students.

“Being a trans woman on this campus, there are a lot of times where I don’t feel like I can present the way it is that I want to without feeling like I’m in immediate danger,” Gabriella Haynes said. “You try to put headphones on… to block out the things people are saying and you can still hear them.”

During her freshman year, Natalie Brunk’s roommates asked her intimate questions about her sex life because she is a member of the LGBTQ community. Brunk said they made her feel objectified and isolated by asking questions they wouldn’t ask a straight student and making her feel like “some sort of show to watch.”

Both Haynes and Brunk have not seen much improvement from the university in making efforts toward better representing the LGBTQ community over the past year. Haynes said more open and honest conversations need to happen, both by the university and fellow students.

Brunk said she appreciated MU Tour Team’s decision in 2015 to include social justice centers in their tours. One of the centers the tour now includes is the LGBTQ Resource Center.

The center hosts several programs like Queer Monologues and Coming Out Week. The LGBTQ Resource Center also has several resources and organizations to help build a support system for the LGBTQ community.

“It completely changed my life. They really made me feel accepted and welcomed and wanted somewhere, which is something I have kinda struggled with in my life,” Haynes said.

Brunk said students can help create a more inclusive campus by taking social inequality classes and talking to people from different backgrounds.

“Step outside your comfort zone and educate yourself,” Brunk said. “People will meet you where you are at.”

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