On February 19, 2013, Gallaudet President T. Alan Hurwitz delivered a State of the University address to the Gallaudet community. In his address titled, “Open the Gates Wide: Diversity and Inclusion at Gallaudet”, Hurwitz became the first sitting Gallaudet president to mention the LGBT community in a State of the University address. Here’s what he had to say about our community:
The fight for equality is an issue for many labeled groups in our society. The national discussion on the rights of those of diverse sexual orientation provides a stunning example.
National attention is focused on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community – LGBT. Again terminology is receiving increased attention. Over time, terms that are new to many of us are added to the national vocabulary. But of course it is not the terminology that matters. In my view, the LGBT community is gaining acceptance and appears well on its way to attaining full legal rights.
They ask not to be special.
Instead they ask to be equal and to have equal rights.
They ask to raise families and to serve their country.
I feel pride in the LGBT community’s success.
I feel humbled by their tremendous discipline and effort.
I feel the dignity of their determination.
I feel the understanding of their anger as well.
Large numbers of young people demonstrate open and empathic acceptance of sexual diversity. It is
many in the younger generation who help lead the way to LGBT acceptance and inclusion.
It is a lesson being taught by youth.
It is a lesson to be learned by those in older generations.
I celebrate these changes and express my admiration for what you have done.
Again we are learning that the wider the gates are open the more room there is for all.