Queer Writing Goes Mainstream in ACC Curriculum

Story by Stefanie Ventura, Reporter

ACC has welcomed queer writing into its honors program.

This semester, for the first time, the college offered ENGL 1302 – Composition II “Queer Writing: Stories By & About LGBTQ People.”

The course is designed to show the importance of fiction for the LGBTQ community as a political tool, historical reference and healing experience. The class also focuses on queer identity within society.

“I am a self-identified queer woman who happens to be married to a man. It’s confusing to some people. In fact, the word queer confuses a lot of people,”

Professor Louisa Spaventa, who designed and teaches the class, said. “Major universities and institutions use that word as kind of umbrella term for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. It’s sometimes just used as a shortcut.”

As the LGBTQ community becomes more visible and a more prevalent part of our literacy, there is a high demand for literature that shares the experience of these diverse lives.

Spaventa said the course is more of a collaborative learning experience, where everyone sits in a circle and participates. The main focus is on the discussions and identifying certain issues in the story.

“It’s one of my favorite subjects,” Christina O’Donnell, president of the Gay-Straight Alliance club at ACC, said. “I wanted a different kind of outlook, and I thought the topic would be really interesting and intriguing for me to read about.”

Also enrolled in the class, Katya Marcelle Garcia said her biggest motivation was the new and different perspectives she’s gained of her peers.

“I think it is very important for people to be able to relate to each other on different levels even if you haven’t been through the same things,” Garcia said. Acceptance by peers and society make up the majority of issues addressed in class.

“Some are just coming to terms with their gender and sex identity,” professor Spaventa said. “Some are just working on healing themselves from years of bigotry. They face violence — especially transgender women.”

Professor Spaventa explains that most of the discrimination trans students face happens out of sight.

“A lot of the violence happens in the restrooms because somebody notices somebody else is not like them and it can be nerve wrecking,” Spaventa said.

Class member David Oberparleiter was optimistic in his outlook for young members of the LGBTQ community.

“I know it’s tough, it was tough for me. So I’ll say just hang in there it gets better.”

173 thoughts on “Queer Writing Goes Mainstream in ACC Curriculum”

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