If anyone has been to Pasadena, let alone this campus, it’s obvious how diverse and open the community is to all lifestyles.
Within the last few months, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights have come to the forefront in the United States. In California, same-sex marriages have finally been legally recognized in the courts. What about gay rights at the local level?
According to The Advocate’s annual review of America’s “Gayest Cities,” Pasadena ranked number two on the list, just behind Washington D.C.
Wow. How did this town of less than 140,000 happen to be so high on the list of thousands of cities in the entire country to be considered gay-friendly, one might ask?
The ranking system comprised a few criteria, including the number of city-wide and state-wide “out” elected officials, the number of female elected officials, how many lesbian couples owned houses, the number of gay bars, and even how many Lady Gaga (who is an active advocate for the LGBT community), Pink, Mariah Carey and Jonas Brothers concerts were held.
The little old town of Pasadena currently has two “out” elected officials, two gay bars, and let’s not forget about the LGBT-accepting churches such as the Good Shepard Church, which boasts a rainbow on its website along with many links to community LGBT activities. Another LGBT-friendly house of worship is the All Saints Church, which not only advocates for marriage equality, but also has AIDS workshops and tolerance lectures for progressive Christians.
How many LGBT community members are on our campus? Let’s see… Simon Fraser the Student Trustee, Associated Students President Jordyn Orozco, both elected officials, are openly gay. Communications instructor and LGBT outreach mentor AC Panella is openly transgender. Journalism instructor Warren Swil is openly gay. Many of your classmates and and/or coworkers are probably part of the LGBT community as well. Heck, the LGBTQQ (Queer or Questioning) Queer Alliance club on campus is considered a “cool” club to join (by the way, the Big Gay Prom is always a ball NOT to miss out on).
When looking at the statistics, it seems like Pasadena is so gay it’s straight friendly.
However, according to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Municipal Equality Index, Pasadena only received 56/100 on its scorecard.
How did that happen?
While Pasadena did score low on having a LGBT pro-legislative, protective liaisons for “out” officials and members of the “out” community, it scored very high on providing equal employment (which is transgender inclusive) by the city and on partnership recognition and protection.
As for the low scores on liaisons and whatnot, Pasadena doesn’t seem to need them. Why would you hate on your gay neighbor when your other neighbor is probably gay, too? Maybe you feel like they are being straight friendly to a point, because there is just so much tolerance in the air. Feel free, Pasadena, to let your rainbow flag fly. It’s not like anyone will tear it down anytime soon, anyway.