LGBTQ Student Center holds meeting to gain community allies

Ken+Ditlevson%2C+the+director+of+the+LGBTQ+Student+Center+at+Kent+State%2C+discusses+what+it+means+to+be+an+ally+at+a+meeting+Wednesday+Oct.+25%2C+2017%2C+at+the+Student+Center.

Ken Ditlevson, the director of the LGBTQ Student Center at Kent State, discusses what it means to be an ally at a meeting Wednesday Oct. 25, 2017, at the Student Center.

Hannah Sheridan

Ken Ditlevson, the director of the LGBTQ Student Center, showcased his presentation on how students can be respectful allies to the LGBTQ community in the Student Center Wednesday.

The ally training, a part of Sex Week, consisted of a slideshow presentation and an open discussion for participants to share personal experiences.

“It’s important to be an ally, not just for the LGBTQ community, but for everyone because everyone needs to be connected and form relationships with each other,” said Princess Anyaibe, a junior fashion design major.

In his presentation, Ditlevson explained people should not assume another individual’s pronouns or gender identity.

“If you want to have a connection with people, use gender-neutral language instead of closing the door,” Ditlevson said.

A child understands their gender around age 3, but at birth their sex is assigned to them, Ditlevson said.

Participants then shared reasons they knew of individuals being afraid to come out, including fear of being disowned or isolated.

“It’s important to connect everyone, especially now when everything is really divided,” said Corey McGinnis, a freshman College of the Arts general major. “We need to be able to be there for anyone who needs it.”

The LGBTQ Student Center offers an Emergency Fund for students who have been disowned from their families for being part of the LGBTQ community.

“We all want to be treated with dignity and respect, so let’s do that for other people,” Ditlevson said.

Hannah Sheridan is the women’s and LGBTQ issues reporter. Contact her at [email protected]