Pictures, left to right: Heather Riley, adviser and chemistry professor; Mary Rowan, student; Frenchie, student; Krystal Cox, adviser and English professor; and Victoria Giesken, student.
Members of the Boone United Group answered questions from the audience during an event in the Courter Center last fall.
Question: What does the Q mean?
Answer: Queer or Questioning
Question: Can Straight people be involved in Boone United?
Answer: Absolutely. We encourage folks to come to the meetings and be allies for the group members.
Question: How do people know what pronouns to use?
Answer: Usually you can guess and/or the trans person will tell you which pronouns to use. “One of the best things you can do for a trans person to support them is to use the pronouns they ask you to,” said Dr. Heather Riley.
Question: Can a university have a trans gendered professor?
Answer: Yes. UNI has an out trans professor in women’s studies and ISU has an out trans professor in English.
Question: Why is it so difficult for people to come out as gay?
Answer: Concerns about losing family/friends.
Question: What benefits does this group have for DMACC and the individuals who join?
Answer: Support. We offer students a place to meet with like-minded individuals in a safe and non-judgmental space. In doing so, we help to prove that DMACC Boone Campus is a friendly place that supports all students.
Question: Boxers or briefs?
Answer: “Neither, boxer briefs,” said French.
Question: Why was the group created?
Answer: Mary asked Krystal (and another faculty member) to form a group for support in 2011. We felt students needed support on campus and a way to connect to community resources.
Question: What determines who you will be attracted to? (Personality? Looks?)
Answer: Looks/personality, depends on the person. “Looks/personality, but I want to know up front if the person I’m hitting on is not straight, otherwise I get embarrassed,” said Riley.
Question: What kind of pizza do you all like?
Answer: French said barbecue drizzle chicken with pineapple. Mary said any kind. Heather said broccoli and garlic.
Question: What does this club do? (Is it just a support group that sits around singing kumbaya?)
Answer: A way to have a sense of community here on campus.; a way to connect students to resources here in the community and also to GLBT resources at ISU (They have a much bigger group).
Question: If I hang around folks who are gay, will I turn gay?
Answer: Nope, it’s not contagious. “But if you get to know us/ are straight, it will help you be an ally to the community,” said Mary.
Question: Do gay parents turn their kids gay?
Answer: Nope. All of our parents were straight.
Question: How/when did you know you were not straight?
Answer: French said about 12- 14. “Eeww, boys are yucky.” Mary said she knew at 21 but “didn’t come out until 31.” Heather said she knew “about the end of high school/early college but didn’t come out until college.”
Question: Who did you first come out to?
Answer: French said “myself (“Oh we gay, ok ok”) – but my cousin who basically played match maker right after.” Mary said “the internet, then my mom.” Heather said “my dad (a poor choice).”
Question: My uncle is gay and faces lots of discrimination in CA, how do you feel when you’re not accepted?
Answer: French said “like poo poo, but who cares, do you boo boo do you! Only God’s opinion counts.” Heather said “I was worried after the election because I know that I’m not straight and folks out here have a lot more access to guns compared to a home (in CT), you hunt a lot more here. I was worried if I told folks I wasn’t a straight white female, someone might want to hurt me. I told one of my classes, and they were very accepting, which was positive.” Mary said “I faced way more discrimination in CA. IA has been the most accepting place and I’ve lived in 4 states.”
Question: Do you intentionally hit on straight folks and try to turn them gay?
Answer: Heather said “No way. I’m embarrassed when I accidentally hit on straight folks.”
Question: In a sexual experience, who dominates?
Answer: It depends on the relationship. It can be very 1 person is always in charge and the other isn’t. Pre-arranged or decided that day or they can switch. The person on top.
Krystal (an afterthought) asked “why does there have to be a dominant partner? Perhaps the most important thing we can learn from the GLBT movement is to reconsider gender roles and stereotypes. Can’t a sexual experience be a partnership?”