Do you have questions about gender, sexuality, diversity, or acceptance? Would you like anonymous advice from friendly peer counselors?
Check out the Queer Resource Center, the educational branch of Triskelion, the Brandeis LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual/ally) group. We provide free, confidential peer counseling to people of all identities, in Shapiro Campus Center room 328, Mondays through Fridays form 1 to 5 PM.
Now you can have your questions answered anonymously in print! Submit a question to “Ask the QRC” at email@example.com. Put “Hoot” in the subject line, and you’ll see your question addressed anonymously in next week’s paper!
Is it true that gay people have a smaller hypothalamus?
Experiments and tests have been performed, mostly on men, over the course of many years in an attempt to discern a biological difference between homosexual and heterosexual people. For example, three researchers named Swaab, LeVay, and Allen have investigated the differences in the hypothalamus between homosexual and heterosexual men. They each came to differing conclusions, and the medical community has yet to make a definitive statement on the issue. If you want more information, you can check out the AllPsych journal’s article called “Homosexuality: Nature or Nurture” online at http://allpsych.com/journal/homosexuality.html.
It is important to note that these studies looked at the difference between homosexual and heterosexual people, not any other members of the queer community. Moreover, these studies represent a single hypothesis of biological difference between homosexual and heterosexual people. The results so far haven’t shown convincing evidence, but even if an answer was found to this particular question, there are other topics within the connection of biology and sexuality to be studied. The implications of these studies are perhaps more complex than the question itself, as it brings up debates of nature vs. nurture, choice, equality, and human rights.
So is gender neutral housing a new thing? How does this affect my life here at ‘Deis?
While some other schools have had Gender Neutral Housing for a while, it is a new thing for Brandeis. This is actually the first year we’ve had it! Gender Neutral Housing is essentially gender blind. Living in Gender Neutral Housing means that your gender is not declared to Community Living. Here’s how it works: GNH exists only on sophomore housing and above and is available by request on certain floors. You can contact the Department of Community Living for a map of which buildings and floors contain gender neutral areas. If you would like Gender Neutral Housing, you can request it. Brandeis will not force anyone into a living situation they don’t want, and as such Gender Neutral Housing will affect your life only to the degree that you want it to!
A lot of my friends are gay and I want them to know I support them. What’s the best way for me to do this?
There are several ways to be a good ally! Some include stepping in when offensive language is used, not assuming people’s sexuality and/or gender identity/expression, and always refraining from labeling someone until they tell you the term they prefer. Of course, with friends you can ask them about ways you can be more accepting and supportive of their sexuality! Remember, not everyone will want or need the same things; the most supportive thing you can do is be available!