AACC accepts LGBT community


Photo by Nyia Curtis

The college has three gender-neutral bathrooms.

Jacob Baumgart, Ad Manager

AACC students said the college community is accepting of its LGBT classmates.

In an informal poll, 10 out of 10 students noted their classmates seem to accept their LGBT peers.

“I honestly don’t think it could be any better,” first-year student Paul Verner said of his perception of schoolwide acceptance of the transgender community.

Like AACC, the nation as a whole has become more welcoming of the LGBT community.

A 2015 Human Rights Campaign survey revealed 53 percent of the United States’ population viewed transgender citizens favorably.

But in a poll by Hart Research Associates and Public Opinion Strategies last May, 33 percent of American voters said society has gone too far in its acceptance of transgender citizens.

This finding contradicts the results of the informal survey of AACC students.

On campus, “everyone’s pretty accepting,” education major Michelle Ruiz said. “So, I like it.”
Ruiz is bisexual and has transgender friends at AACC.

“They’re respected around campus,” second-year student Ben Solee said of AACC’s transgender population.

To show acceptance of transgender students and others in the LGBT community, AACC hosted Coming Out Week. Throughout the week, speakers and seminars taught how to create an inclusive environment for all students.

“All the Coming Out Weeks have been fun and interactive,” Gay-Straight Alliance member Olyva Utterback said. “Students … seemed to participate.”

GSA is a club at AACC that fosters LGBT equality.

“So far I’m impressed,” first-year psychology major Sam Proctor said. “I can tell GSA has a strong presence here.”