As a transgender woman, I want to thank the administration of NDSU for their proactive response to minority stress following the election.
As research has shown time and time again, educational outcomes are not terribly great for minority students who experience high levels of stress related to their minority status. In the aftermath of the election of a bombastic man who ran a campaign based on a racist, xenophobic, sexist and anti-LGBTQ+ platform, it was perfectly reasonable, and frankly incredibly human, to empathically consider that minority students in a state that overwhelmingly supported this disastrous movement would be feeling panicked, frightened and depressed.
In an immense display of compassion, our administration demonstrated for the first time in months just how student focused they actually are.
Now I know that there is a vocal group of white men, and some white women, who are criticizing NDSU for what they consider to be pandering to whiny millennials or prompting learned helplessness. However, I don’t think NDSU should use their criticism as a metric of the appropriateness of their decision.
As a graduate teaching assistant, I spent a better part of last week comforting, crying with and encouraging our student population. I had over 30 ethnic, gender and sexual minority NDSU students contact me, come to my office or seek me out for reassurance because they knew I would listen and help.
I, myself, was incredibly overwhelmed, frightened and panicked by the uncertainty which lies ahead for transgender folk like me. To know that my university, my employer has my back and cares enough about me to think about how I might be feeling in this frightening time was a great encouragement and comfort to me.
So don’t listen to the voices of dissent. They don’t know what it’s like to be social outcasts. They don’t have a right to comment on how we feel right now because they have not spent the last year being informed by our next president that they are rapists, murderers, free loaders, thieves, terrorists, perverts and the root cause of every bad thing about this country. They have not been threatened with mass deportation, a wall, rape or iatrogenic treatments.
You did the right thing. And we who understand the struggle and need the support really appreciate your proactive compassion.
Darcy Jeda Corbitt-Hall
Doctoral Student, Health/Social Psychology