Sex Week: LGBTQ+ ally training

On Wednesday, Oct. 23, Kent State’s LGBTQ+ Center hosted the How to be a LGBTQ+ Ally seminar as a part of the scheduled Sex Week activities.

The host and main speaker, Ken Ditlevson, director of the LGBTQ+ Center, discussed topics important to the community, like the inappropriate use of umbrella terms and the usefulness of acronyms. 

An umbrella term is a term that is supposed to address a wide number of concepts or ideals, but sometimes can exclude significant concepts.

Ditlevson used the example “gay community.” He explained the term is outdated because there are people who do not identify as gay, but are still categorized under that umbrella term. 

He advised the audience against using the term “gay community” and encouraged them to use the proper acronym, LGBTQ+ community, because it ensures everyone is included.

Ditlevson also touched on the four categories every person has: sex assigned at birth, gender identity, gender expression and physical and emotional attraction.

According to Ditlevson, education toward supporting the LGBTQ+ community is limited. 

“Education around being supportive toward the LGBTQ+ community is just lacking,” he said. “So most people haven’t gotten this information in high school or in any of our college courses. This is just a way to show respect and to interact with a culture that might be different.” 

Ditlevson also listed various outreach programs for the LGBTQ+ community including Kent State’s LGBTQ+ community center in the lower level of the Student Center, the Trevor Project and Town Hall 2.

Contact Kennedi Combs at [email protected].