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Unless you live under a rock, you know that the president and chancellor of the University of Missouri, where I teach law, have resigned in response to protests over their failure to respond to several (three identified) racist incidents on campus. A group called Concerned Student 1950 staged a series of protests and demanded, among other things, that our president resign, that he publicly denounce his white privilege, that the university mandate a “comprehensive racial awareness and inclusion curriculum,” and that the percentage of black faculty and staff be increased to 10% by the 2017-18 school year. Last week, a student embarked on a hunger strike until Concerned Student 1950’s demands were met, and students in solidarity moved into a tent village on one of our quads. Over the weekend, the black members of our football team threatened to boycott play until the president resigned, and our coach, facing four straight losses and little prospect of another victory this season, agreed to support and publicize the boycott. Yesterday morning, Mizzou faculty supporting the Concerned Student group walked out of their classes and headed to the quad, where faculty and administrators joined protesting students in blocking media access to the tent village in the middle of our public quad. Around 10:00 AM, the president resigned, and protesting students danced on the quad. Toward the end of the day, the chancellor announced that he will move from his position at the end of the year.

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Listen up, LGBT America.


Tuesday’s election showed a sharp contrast in LGBT rights across the country — but also illustrated how we can win that battle.

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These last few years have been incredible for us as a community, and for me personally. My just-released memoir, “And Then I Danced: Traveling the Road to LGBT Equality,” is my view of my almost-50 years of activism. I had no expectations for it once it published, but surprisingly for me it’s now a best-seller on numerous online lists.

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Recently, while browsing social media, I encountered many articles and editorials about anti-LGBTQ bullying. The deluge of articles came in light of the anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s brutal beating death which took place October 12, 1998. Though many of you are likely very aware of the details of that tragic event, it goes something like this: On October 6th, Matthew Shepard, who identified as a gay man, ventured out to a bar in Wyoming, where he was attending college. He was twenty one years old at the time. While at the aforementioned bar, Matthew met two straight men about his age, Aaron and Russell. Upon leaving the bar, Matthew accepted a ride home from his two new acquaintances.

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One of my favorite movies as a kid (and to this day) was “Auntie Mame.”

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