ASU’s LGBT initiatives win two national honors
Appalachian State University’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender
(LGBT) group is being recognized for its fall 2011 “Gay? Fine By Me” campaign by the Atticus Circle,
a non-profit organization dedicated to educating and mobilizing straight people to advance equal
rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender partners, parents and their children.
In addition, graduate assistant Mark Rasdorf, who helped lead the campaign and other service events with Appalachian’s LGBT Center, is being honored this month with a graduate student award from the Association for LGBT Issues in Counseling (ALGBTIC).
Appalachian was one of 200 schools to organize a “Gay? Fine by me” program in its community. The LGBT group on campus set up a day of awareness with flyers and distributed 100 free T-shirts and buttons to those who signed the pledge to speak out against homophobia and who supported full equality of the LGBT community. A total of 223 signatures for the pledge were gathered.
Appalachian’s LGBT group was awarded honors at the 2012 Atticus Circle Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, Feb. 29, in Austin, Texas. Also featured at the event were Vincent Pryor, former Texas Christian University football player, Paul Boskind, Deer Oaks Mental Health Associate, and Amy and David Truong, parents of bullying victim Asher Brown.
“The award brings national recognition to our efforts in the High Country and is an outstanding recognition of the hard work and creativity of the students of the LGBT center who worked so hard last fall to make our campaign such a success,” said Rasdorf, a graduate student in Appalachian’s clinical mental health counseling program.
Rasdorf was also recognized at the ALGBTIC brunch March 24 in San Francisco, Calif.
The graduate student award is based on the recipients’ significant contributions and commitment to the ALGBTIC and Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer and Questioning (LGBTQQ) communities.
“He is a positive influence in assisting students in becoming comfortable and open to learning and understanding the needs of others,” said Dr. Christina Galvin, assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Psychological Counseling, who nominated Rasdorf for the award. “I have personally experienced Mark’s compassion, patience and openness in reaching out to help students, staff and faculty in answering their questions and inviting them to understand the needs of the ASU LGBT community, in a respectful and supportive manner.”
ALGBTIC is an organization whose mission is to include recognition of both individual and social contexts representing the confluence of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, ability, age, spiritual or religious belief system and indigenous heritage.
For more information on the Atticus Circle, visit http://www.atticuscircle.org. For more information on the ALGBTIC, visit http://www.algbtic.org.