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Proud to be Queer at Nevada

Posted on Wednesday, August 12, 2020

The Department of Diversity of Inclusion’s “The Proud to be ____ at Nevada” project is a student-led campaign to recognize and lift up the voices of underrepresented students at Nevada. Every month we will highlight a certain minority group on our campus. Throughout the month ASUN social media will post a picture and short story caption featuring students from the highlighted group. Halfway through the month, we’ll host a virtual Zoom town hall discussing the identity of the highlighted group. And at the end of the month, we’ll do a blog post with the student features compiled, along with other info (resources, statistics, history, recent achievements, etc.) about said group.

August 26, 2020 Feature: Indigo Hinojos

My name is Indigo (he/she/they), and I am a rising sophomore majoring in Gender, Race, and Identify(GRI) with a minor in Ethnic studies. I am also the president of the GRI club, as well as, I am one of the Nevada State Directors for the Every Voice Coalition. The Every Voice Coalition is a group of students writing legislation to combat sexual violence on college campuses. I am really passionate about making sure all voices have a seat at the table to be able to discuss their own experiences. As well as being able to organize and bring people together on similar issues. For me, my identity is just who I am. I think it is sad that I have to be aware that I might become an outcast or be attacked for that, but I am never going to allow it to stop me from being me. My identity makes me a stronger person and pushes me to continue fighting for those who have not found their voice quite yet. I have also learned that I have to be the one to love. Although things still hurt me, and I react negatively at times, I could never hate the athletes who have harassed me for my sexuality and I could never hate the religious people who tell me I’m a sin or that I’m going to burn. This definitely leads into my experience on UNR’s campus, however, I have not had the best experience on campus. The admin could honestly care less about their students unless they are white, upper-middle-class, straight, cis, and male. As well as, the lack of accountability for athletes and greek life is extremely toxic. Although the admin and these other groups of students have caused immense pain for not only me but many others, the small number of students I have met have proved to be some of the most amazing people. They have shown how caring and ready to protect they are, and many have gathered around to fight with us. I cannot thank these people enough for all the support they have shown. All that has happened within only one year has definitely just pushed me to be more outspoken and to fight this uphill battle. The lack of empathy the school has shown does not discourage me one bit. All it does to make me want to be there for others and continue to advocate for my community.

August 19, 2020 Feature: Prism Zephyr

Year and Major:
I’m a fifth-year majoring in Philosophy and minoring in information systems.

Campus Affiliations/Accomplishments/Passions: 

I was part of the outreach program between UNRPD and QSU, helping the cops learn about the community. QSU has since removed affiliation, however, I send weekly emails to Chief Renwick about the civilian perspective on cops, and why/how the cops are typically perceived in a negative fashion rather than even a neutral one. I am also on the College of Liberal Arts Student Advisory Board as a representative for the Philosophy department. Currently, because of COVID-19, I have no active projects with them, but I am looking forward to working with them. I currently have a 3.85 GPA. Last semester I was a research assistant to Dr. Fisette for his argument for slavery reparations using the philosopher Immanuel Kant. My junior year I studied abroad through USAC in Cork, Ireland at Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh (UCC), at which I participated in a diversity panel there as well. I’m in college part in due to the Horatio Alger Association who awarded me with a $22,000 scholarship for academic achievements through adversity, my main adversity that doesn’t pertain to society’s treatment of my various identities being that I am an orphan. I am passionate about intersectional feminism and find philosophy to be a very good base for critical thinking, analysis, and argument construction within that realm, as well as, of course, reading more modern philosophers who are feminists themselves. In a year, I will be applying to master’s programs within gender studies, hoping to expand such programs from nearly entirely women, and going into genders under the category of nonbinary as there is a whole untapped world of knowledge that we could be encouraging.

What does your identity mean to you?

I have always had a disconnect to gender; never really thought about it much, never really thought of myself as a girl or a young woman, but people kept calling me that, so I just shrugged my way through gender until I came to UNR when I met my first nonbinary friend. After listening to them describe their experience, I realized it mapped onto mine pretty cleanly. This was fortunate for me seeing as I now understand there’s no singular way to be nonbinary. It was shaky at first, with a lot of self-doubt, but in Ireland, more than two-thirds of the friends I made were also nonbinary, all very unique, and there I got to really solidify my understanding and comfort within my own body. there’s a lot of people who don’t understand not being either a man or a woman, but from my perspective, I can’t grasp the idea of being a man or a woman; I wouldn’t know what makes a person one or the other. The only reference point I have of it is society’s rigid definition of it, and I don’t see why/how many people are taking much pleasure in that, if they solely use society as a base understanding for their own gender, which I feel like is the case for a lot of people who have never thought about it before. I’ve been nonbinary all my life even if I didn’t know it, I’m nonbinary today, and I’ll be nonbinary for the rest of my life, even if others want to doubt it or rail against it. I’m sure enough to know now that I am nonbinary regardless of white culture specifically (plenty of non-white cultures acknowledge and have space for more than two genders) and that I know more about the processes of gender within me than anyone else can know.

August 12, 2020 Feature: Ciege Jacox

Year and Major:
1st-year Graduate Student in Political Science (MA)

Campus Affiliations/Accomplishments/Passions:
Queer Student Union (former Events Director); Currently rewriting the charter for the Police Services Advisory Board, Graduating College, and Getting into Graduate School; My passions range from woodworking to podcasts (King Falls AM is my favorite) and DnD, to studying infectious diseases (I love research)

What does your identity mean to you?
I identify as a Queer Transman. My identity does not define me but allows me to find others (LGBTQIA+ people) who understand what I go through, and the daily struggles of being Queer in the United States. We can commiserate and support one another. Understanding who I am has allowed me to find my true family. My found family.

What has your experience at Nevada been and how has it shaped your identity?
UNR has allowed me to find a group (QSU) where I feel safe in expressing myself without fear of judgment or backlash. I think this sense of openness has allowed me to further develop myself, and understand others from different backgrounds, and forms of oppression they face.


Contacts at Nevada

Pride (LGBTQIA+) Program –

Queer Student Union –

Gender Race and Identity Club –

Gender Race and Identity Department –

Counseling Services –

The Center –

LGBTQIA Medical Student Alliance at UNRSOM on Facebook

Gender Inclusive Housing Application –

Northern Nevada HOPES LGBTQ Services

Transgender Allies Group (TAG)

Relevant Statistics 

According to a survey conducted by College Pulse found that:

  1. 64% of college students noted discrimination against gay and lesbian students on their campus
  2. 75% of LGBTQ+ students noted discrimination against
  3. 62% of females and 41% of male students said they would be comfortable with an LGBTQ roommate

According to the Trevor Project’s inaugural National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health

  1. style=”font-weight: 400;”>2 in 3 LGBTQ youth reported that someone had tried to convince them to change their sexual orientation or undergo conversion therapy 
  2. 39% of LGBTQ youth are serious suicide risks
  3. 76% of LGBTQ youth felt that the recent political climate impacted their mental health or sense of self
  4. 58% of transgender and non-binary youth reported being discouraged from using a bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity

According to data from the 2015 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), of surveyed LGB students:

  1. 10% were threatened or injured with a weapon on school property
  2. 34% were bullied on school property
  3. 28% were bullied electronically
  4. 23% of LGB students who had dated or went out with someone during the 12 months before the survey had experienced sexual dating violence in the prior year
  5. 18% of LGB students had experienced physical dating violence
  6. 18% of LGB students had been forced to have sexual intercourse at some point in their lives

Research Starters 

Coming Out
Drag King
Drag Queen
Gender Expression
Gender Noncomforming/ Variant
Internalized homophobia
Internalized transphobia
Queer (as used by the LGBTQ+ community)
Reclaimed Words
Sexual Orientation

Valuable Resources and Articles 

University of California, SF LGBT Resource Center
LGBTQ Students on Campus: Issues and Opportunities for Higher Education Leaders
LGBT Inclusion: A Work in Progress
The Trevor Project –