The Young Conservatives of Texas at Texas State have demonstrated year after year how difficult their lives are on a liberal campus by “coming out” as conservative during National Coming Out Day, which is significant for people within the LGBTQ+ community. Despite the fact this is an annual occurrence, it continues to make dramatic ripples on campus.
The “coming out as conservative,” door is homophobic, transphobic and downright disrespectful. It undermines how difficult it may be for the LGBTQ+ community to come out in society.
Recent action was taken by the Texas State Student Government Association by denouncing the YCT chapter. Members of the political organization responded in a statement, “To take such a serious matter and arbitrarily blame organizations, which most of the Student Government refuses to talk to, is negligent and dangerous.”
There are several things wrong with the statement produced by Sebastian Quaid, YCT Texas State Chapter Chairman. Students will not speak with the conservative group because they do not believe or care to believe what the organization thinks. It is not dangerous for Student Government to take initiative when an action performed by a student organization belittles a person or group.
Quaid, a voice for conservatives on campus, said how conservative students are afraid to discuss their political beliefs. However, the only reason Republican students might feel “oppressed” or “attacked” is because they come from a background that commends them for such views. Being on a college campus, especially a predominately liberal one, conservative students may struggle to admit their ideologies and actions mommy and daddy told them are okay when in reality, might not be.
The YCT organization claims it has suffered violence and harassment when the only persecution noted is people trolling behind Twitter handles. In 2019, a student’s precious MAGA hat was taken off his head by another student and thrown to the ground. The severity of the harmless action meant a lot more to police and the conservative student it happened to more than anyone else. As a result, four people were arrested after protests ensued.
While Quaid and the rest of his yes-men continue cries of “oppression,” there are numerous members of the LGBTQ+ community negatively affected by coming out for how they identify. According to Postsecondary National Policy Institutes, in Texas alone, 20% of LGBTQ+ college students fear for their physical safety, and 31% of LGBTQ+ students of color reported experiencing exclusionary, intimidating, offensive, or hostile conduct. Texas is a red-voting state, which is why identifying as any minority group alone can be threatening. In this case, conservatives are not, nor will ever, fight that battle.
The action taken by the Student Government was completely appropriate. YCT members at Texas State acted immaturely in creating a door to “come out as conservative,” showing further ignorance within their political party. Student Government is committed to taking action with a lasting positive impact on the community and university.
Additionally, Student Government members aim to uphold the betterment of Texas State for all students through honest, truthful and ethical actions. Nothing about mocking the LGBTQ+ community is moral or ethical, nor did the demonstration have a positive impact on the university body.
YCT members need to realize not everyone is going to agree with their political ideologies. Conservative students will never face the same discrimination as members of the queer community. The only pushback in “fostering any diversity of thought,” is the undermining of the significance of coming out.
The YCT chapter does not need to make a situation out of something members have brought upon themselves. The demonstration in itself was unnecessary and unneeded. The fact this occurs every year with no repercussions is deplorable. Student Government was right to condemn such smalled-mindedness. After all, Texas State is known best for its diversity and inclusion. Quaid and his minions can throw a pity party for someone who actually cares.
-Amira Van Leeuwen is a journalism and mass communication sophomore