Just out. (Portland, OR) 1983-2013, September 05, 2003, Page 28, Image 28

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    5.2003
The
Learning Curve
PHOTO BY ADAM AMATO
queer issues are n o rm al­
ized.”
Not that mobilizing the
ties, alth o u g h o fte n tim e s grow ing up is
queer community isn’t still
extrem ely hard for us,” she says. “It just goes
very important, she adds.
hack to you’re scared of what you d o n ’t know.
"Queer organizations need to
A nd once folks know som eone th a t’s queer
continue,
and an identity is actualized,
and the more
it’s not so scary."
the merrier,
T h a t recognition and in te ­
hut 1 think
gration is a lesson she has
that
those
brought to cam pus life, ttx).
organizations
As student Ixxly president,
also need to
M e lto n ’s vision is o n e of
start focusing
“shared g o v e rn a n ce .” S he
on leadership
wants to see decision-m aking
development
shared with all members of
in
general
th e university com m unity,
and develop­
bringing students, faculty and
ing people
staff to the table w hen poli­
into
lead­
cies are discussed. W ith
ership that
greater involvem ent, every­
they can use
o n e ’s
in terests— in cluding
in any orga­
th at o f sexual m inorities—
nization or
can contribute to a greater
stmcture.”
whole, even w hen the issue
T h at in­
is n o t specific to any one
cludes culti­
com munity.
vating queer
“Every
decisio n
th a t
allies among
com es across my desk, I read
— Maddv Melton leaders, ttx).
with a queer lens. I’m a queer
Growing up in rural Cave Junction taught Maddy Melton to value
She says it to her role as student body president at U niversity of Oregon
person and have those life
again gix?s hack to her rtxits
experiences, so som ething th a t is heterosexist
in C ave Junction— building a sense of com ­
or hom ophobic isn’t going to slip by with my
munity hy finding ways for people to partici­
stam p of approval," she says. “O n e of th e
pate more fully, not just the gay community or
biggest moves the queer com m unity needs to
sense of responsibility to the community is
make is having queer people in positions of the campus com m unity hut on all levels.
exactly what the new Emerson School will
“People have to take responsibility to
power— and m aking decisions th a t not only
iTKxlel
when it opens its dixirs to grades K-5 this
make
th
eir
com
m
unities
better,"
concludes
affect the queer com m unity directly, hut com ­
month.
M elton.
m unities in general. I think th a t’s the way
Continued from Page 2 7
“Don't be afraid
to engage
the world.
The oppression
of the queer
community
will never be
resolved
or changed
if queers
and allies don't
engage the rest
of the world.”
Respecting kids
*
a sense of community, a principle she brings
“Tins is a place where gay and lesbian families
can come and be gay and lesbian families. They
don’t have to he something they’re not," states Jo
Sigmund, one of the three founders and a parent
who has worked in the education field for 18
years. “They don’t have to worry about their kids.
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