Speaker asks: how gay is USF?

Shane Windmeyer, a gay rights activist, is asking about USF’s G.P.A., but he’s not interested in the University’s academic performance.

As part of National Coming Out Week, Windmeyer – the editor of several books on gay college life and a leading advocate for equal treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students at universities – will ask USF students “What’s your Gay Point Average?” at 7 tonight in the Sun Dome Corral.

As a gay college student who struggled with telling classmates about his sexual orientation, Windmeyer learned first-hand the difficulties of coming out as a young college male.

He said he now wants to educate both gay and straight students on how they can help each other.

“I never want anyone to feel alone like I felt in college being gay,” Windmeyer said. “I want straight people to know the power they have in helping and supporting gay youth. There is so much we can all do to be allies for not only gay people, but to one another.”

The goal of Windmeyer’s speech tonight, titled “What’s Your Gay Point Average?” is to gauge what students know about sexual orientation and gender identity issues, he said. The message will be clear: Gay and straight people must work together for change.

“After I speak I hope that straight allies realize the power they have to change the world for the better, simply by being supportive of gay friends,” Windmeyer said. “Also, for gay people to realize how much we need our straight allies and the need to share our stories with family and friends.

In addition to his work with Campus Pride and lecture tours, Windmeyer is the author of The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students, the first-ever college guide profiling the “100 Best LGBT-Friendly Campuses.” He also

contributed to Brotherhood: Gay Life in College Fraternities, Inspiration for LGBT Students & Allies, Out on Fraternity Row: Personal Accounts of Being Gay in a College Fraternity and Secret Sisters: Stories of Being Lesbian & Bisexual in a College Sorority.

Natalie Gagliordi can be reached at (813) 974-6299 or oraclegagliordi@gmail.com.