As some who read this might know, I'm from Kansas and attend Kansas State University (KSU). Here in Manhattan, the community is predominately conservative and/or Roman Catholic, and so many associate us with rural bible-thumpers or something close to it. However, what many don't realize is that we have some of the most liberal groups within our KSU community that do all sorts of wonderful things for our community and the people that belong to it. Normally, I wouldn't even glance at our school newspaper. It's definitely not something that I would consider "top-notch" reading material (I prefer bigger newspapers), but today the front page caught my attention.
I have heard, as most people have who pay attention to the news, of the Westboro Baptist church and Fred Phelps and his followers who protest against any and all things that have to do with homosexuality, the military and so on. Being from Kansas and having to share the beautiful state with a hate-group makes me angry, but also makes me inspired to become involved in a group or organization that proves that equality is the best way to go. Having this opportunity at hand, reading the collegian (our school's newspaper) about those who went out and protested against Fred Phelps' followers renewed my faith in our student body and the staff that went and supported them. The students and staff were protesting for the equal rights in the work force (because, unfortunately, Manhattan does not have anything enacted that allows for the non-discrimination based on sexual orientation). Today, I'm proud to be a Wildcat.
On the topic of homosexuality was another story in the collegian about a professor here at K-State who is an English and American ethnic studies professor who is currently writing a book about the two-spirited-ness of American Indians. I've never heard of the term before today, and so I was surprised to learn that two-spirited basically means (and I'm summarizing here) that the American Indian considers themselves gay or lesbian.
I've been fortunate enough to have this professor as one of my own professors last semester and she was fantastic. I'm looking forward to this book, not only to read about American Indians (as my heritage is a part of that ethnicity) but also to learn about how American Indians have viewed homosexuality throughout their existence. That is one area that I have never heard about until now, but have often wondered about.
Click here for the article on the non-violent protest against Fred Phelps' clan.
Click here for the article on two-spirited literature.