Lucye Rafferty/The Hoya Chuck VanSant

Chuck Vansant

Interim Coordinator of LGBTQ Resources

What was your reaction to being named Georgetown’s interim Coordinator of LGBTQ Resources?

My first response was one of caution. I wanted to be sure that the position had the support it needed in what might be perceived to be a harsh environment for these issues. Dr. Olson’s follow-up conversations with me, and ongoing support of the position, have assured me that he and the institution are invested in providing support and services for LGBTQ students at Georgetown. The community, as well, has been enthusiastically supportive, and I am grateful.

Do you think the university should have more resources on campus for LGBTQ students besides a coordinator?

Having a coordinator at Georgetown was a huge step in beginning to meet the needs of LGBTQ students. This position is the first such position in the country at a Catholic institution. The LGBTQ Working Group, in conversation with Dr. Todd Olson, will continue the conversation to identify services and institutions necessary for full inclusion and success for LGBTQ people at Georgetown.

What are the biggest challenges you see LGBTQ students facing on Georgetown’s campus?

Coming out is hard for every LGBTQ person, and every person has to come out on their own terms. One essential aspect of supporting that process in healthy ways is to have a safe community. Though improving daily, LGBTQ people at Georgetown continue to hear and see words and accusations that push us farther into the closet and make us feel less welcome in the community.

How do you reconcile the mandates of your position with Georgetown’s affiliation with Catholicism, a religion that has been generally not accepted homosexuality?

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, in a statement entitled “Always Our Children: A Pastoral Message to Parents of Homosexual Children and Suggestions for Pastoral inisters,” affirms that “[e]very person has an inherent dignity because he or she is created in God’s image.” That same document calls us to understand “sexual orientation (heterosexual or homosexual) as a deep-seated dimension of one’s personality.” I believe, and especially in a Jesuit institution that teaches a care for the whole person, we have an obligation to support fully individual LGBTQ persons and to work towards a fully accepting community.

What are some of the political issues you are most interested in on a national level?

I have never thought of myself as a seriously political person, believing that the quality of my life depends more on the personal relationships I develop. However, I have become more aware of how significantly the political process either recognizes or ignores my existence and either confirms or denies my fundamental rights. I have become more and more interested in seeing this country come to recognize and support in serious and fundamental ways the loving and committed relationships that LGBT people desire and many have.

What was the latest movie you saw, and what did you think of it?

This question is a difficult one for me, because I rarely go to the theater to see a movie. So, the last movie I saw on HBO was “Oceans 11.” I’ll give my usual response to movies … “It was OK.”

How would you complete this song: “What the world needs now…?”

… “is love, sweet love?” Dare I improve on perfection in poetry or sentiment?

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.