The paper’s exapansive coverage of LGBTQ issues is for reason.
The front page of last week’s April 13 issue of The Temple News showcased a bold headline: “Cracking the gender binary.” The article, about Main Campus efforts to secure gender-neutral bathrooms for transgender students, didn’t spark outrageous reactions, but it did incite a grumble we’ve heard before: The Temple News sure does print a lot of articles about the LGBTQ community.
We’re glad you noticed.
We’ll be frank: The Temple News considers the gay rights movement at hand our generation’s cause to care for, nurture and eventually solve. As journalists, our job is to expose students’ issues and report on what, if anything, is being done to repair the cracks.
And since gay rights in the United States are on a slow moving progressive track, it only makes sense that those national issues would trickle down to students at Temple.
The LGBTQ community may seem small to those either not a part of it or not connected to people within it, so our coverage may seem partial to one set of students. If a majority of Temple students are not LGBTQ, why bother reporting on related events or issues? Well, a majority of Temple students do not actively participate in university athletics, but we would never consider cutting the Sports section. Furthermore, if readers feel a sub-culture at Temple is being under-reported, we encourage them to voice their concerns by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We need your input, and we’d be happy to report on issues students find to be ignored.
For equality to exist among all Americans, it’s important to help make Americans more comfortable with people different than themselves. We are proud of QChat columnist Josh Fernandez for exposing more students to gay culture on campus. If our peers can learn more about each other’s lives and accept the differences, Temple students may be more likely to make our nation a better place.
During the 1940s and ‘50s, when the civil rights movement was in full swing, few black journalists worked at so-called “white” newspapers. At a white newspaper, the less-than-diverse workforce often published editorials and articles on the racial divide. But today, when we look back at the words printed, we do not always associate an article with its byline. Instead, we associate the message with the movement.
Yes, some employees of The Temple News are members or allies of the LGBTQ community. But when the day comes that all Americans can marry and transgender Americans are not forced to slap a gender label on their livelihood, it won’t matter who worked at The Temple News when the U.S. still struggled with such issues.
What will matter, however, is that Temple students were informed about the inequalities that tainted the LGBTQ community. If, years from now, students sift through old editions of The Temple News and read our coverage of the Westboro Baptist Church protests, it will be apparent that during those students’ time at Temple, their peers, regardless of sexual orientation, were a part of the ongoing movement toward equality.