MINNEAPOLIS – A University of Minnesota program targeted at supporting “People of Color who identify as LGBTQIA and/or Same-Gender-Loving” makes clear that white and straight students are not welcome.
Regardless of how supportive the white and straight students may be of the group’s mission, they are not allowed to participate in the group’s activities, events, or discussions.
“For our allies: we do appreciate your voices and commitment to dismantling racism and homophobia; however, please note that this is a space created for LGBTQIA and/or same-gender-loving people of color,” reads the group’s website.
Campus Reform reached out to the group, and one member responded by parroting the group’s description on its Facebook page.
“Tongues Untied (TU) is a space that was created by and for indigenous people and people of color who identify as queer and/or trans,” reads the Facebook description.
The group is housed under the direction of the University of Minnesota’s Gender and Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans Life, which is itself part of the Office for Equity and Diversity.
The group is called Tongues Untied, and is named after a 1989 documentary of the same name. That documentary is a combination of documentary footage exploring African American gay culture, and director Marlon Riggs detailing his own experiences as a gay man.
The movie was the source of some controversy when it was released. At the time, Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, in his primary bid against incumbent President George H.W. Bush, called Tongues Untied an example of how Bush’s administration was using taxpayer money to fund what he called “pornographic art.”
Riggs responded to the allegations by saying that, “Implicit in the much overworked rhetoric of community standards is the assumption of only one central community (patriarchal, heterosexual and usually white).”
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