UMN student group drops exclusionary disclaimer

The University of Minnesota has removed a disclaimer from its LGBTQ program “Tongues Untied” that instructed non-LGBTQ and racial minority “allies” not to attend.

The UMN “Gender and Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans Life” offers multiple programs to students, including “Tongues Untied,” a group designed “by and for” racial minorities that identify as LGBTQ.

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The Center’s website claims that it strives “to create a campus climate where more inclusive understandings of gender and sexuality foster a sense of belonging for all,” but until the description was revised, “Tongues Untied” made a point of noting that “allies” did not belong in the program.

Campus Reform reported on the program’s seemingly discriminatory language last year when the program webpage included a disclaimer which read, “For our allies: we do appreciate your voices and commitment to dismantling racism and homophobia; however, please note that this is a space created for LGBTQIA and/or same-gender-loving people of color.”

“Tongues Untied (TU) is a space that was created by and for indigenous people and people of color who identify as queer and/or trans,” the group’s Facebook page stated at the time of Campus Reform’s original report. “If you identify as a queer and/or trans indigenous person or person of color, we welcome you to take part in our discussions.”

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Now, however, the “Tongues Untied” website no longer includes the disclaimer advising “allies” of the program not to attend, though it does state that the program “is designed to enhance and center the experiences of queer indigenous people and people of color.”

The exclusionary language has also been removed from the “about” section of the group’s Facebook page, which now describes Tongues Untied as simply “a space by and for QTIPOC” that “serves to connect students, staff, faculty, and the Twin Cities community.”

Campus Reform reached out to UMN for clarification on when and why the discriminatory language was removed, but did not receive a reply by press time. This article will be updated if and when the school responds.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Grace_Gotcha