Goldy didn’t “endorse” homosexuality

As officers of the Queer Student Cultural Center, the student group responsible for hiring Goldy Gopher to appear at the National Coming Out Day rally, we feel the need to set the record straight, so to speak.

First, we want to apologize for permitting Goldy to “come out” through our lavender door as prompted by a television cameraman. This act suggested that Goldy, a mascot free of any specific gender or sexual orientation, was coming out of the closet itself.

We do not, however, apologize for Goldy’s mere presence at the rally. The editorial published in Monday’s Daily argues that Goldy’s appearance at the rally “was an impermissible endorsement” of minority sexual orientations over the majority heterosexual identity.

As it stands, Goldy’s participation in the National Coming Out Week, or any other event that celebrates or promotes a minority culture, is not an endorsement. Rather, it is an affirmation of the University’s policy of nondiscrimination.

Goldy’s presence says to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual students that they are a part of the University, too. If Goldy can celebrate the Homecoming King and Queen, if Goldy can cheer on the football team to victory, then Goldy can also support students who wish to “come out of the closet.”

The gay student community is not being singled out for Goldy’s support and all that it represents. We are not trying to use Goldy to further our own political agenda, unless one considers tolerance, diversity and human rights overtly political. We are merely staking a shared claim in one of the University’s most beloved and recognized symbols.

Antonio Cardona, Co-chair; Kate Nelson, Co-chair; Brian Wiedenmeier, Treasurer Queer Student Cultural Center University of Minnesota