How do you solve the problem of homocentrisim here at JMU and at colleges everywhere? How do you actually put acceptance into practice? We must conduct a need-based intervention. We must convince the straight community that they need more understanding and compassion towards the LGBT community, and the LGBT community needs to feel more accepted in return. While the overarching goal is an attention intervention among the straight community, the way to get there is through a need intervention. An idea that comes to my mind as I think about putting acceptance into action would be to have a sort of “holding hands” day on campus. A day where everyone, straight or gay, could hold hands and it doesn’t matter what sexual orientation you are. We are together. We are one. That would be a simple yet effective way to preach and practice acceptance.
The primary audience of this need intervention is the straight community. The straight community must decrease ignorance of the LGBT community and increase our awareness of the symbolically created walls that we have separating us from the LGBT community. College is the place to begin this wave of acceptance due to the liberal tendencies of most on a campus. While there will always be those unwilling to change (the @Straightmu Twitter account was an unfortunate example of this here at JMU) most on the campus would probably be more than willing to try to learn to break down the barriers that they knowingly or unknowingly have created with the LGBT community. While there is a GayMU week at James Madison University, there has to be more. It is so easy for most of us to simply just avoid the events of GayMU week and move on with our lives. So, what’s the answer? Those of us within the straight community that are already accepting have to start a movement with those who aren’t. We have to team up with the LGBT community both locally and nationally to begin this movement. I believe that the national LGBT community should focus a lot of their resources at one college with an experiment like this and see if it works, but if a movement of passionate individuals can get started and be supported by the national LGBT community, who knows what could happen next? What would the movement actually do? Well, I don't know. Their objective, though, will be removing the symbolically created walls by those who tolerate, but do not accept. However it is important to note that everyone must get involved. From department heads to promote acceptance in the classroom to members of the SGA to help promote the movement itself to the president of the university being the figurehead for their respective college, this movement would have to reach out to all areas of the university. Those in charge will have to learn to have thick skin, as those who are intentionally masking these anomalies will be out in full force promoting their respective beliefs. But it can be done. It must be done.
While JMU is probably not the place to initially start a movement like this due to its strong roots in southern Christian beliefs, it probably would be a good place to go for a challenge if the movement works at other universities. My goal here as the intervener, my rhetorical maneuver, so to say, is to put this idea in the minds of you, the reader. If you are at an extremely liberal college and feel passionately about this anomaly, get out there and start a movement. Get going, and it’ll only be a matter of time before we are no longer just preaching tolerance, but also practicing acceptance. The time has come. Our world is not composed of LGBTs and straights. We are all brothers and sisters. We are all human beings.