LGBTQA Panel Leads Discussion on Their Shades of Black

The MSU Spokesman

Students, faculty and visitors of Morgan State University gathered in the University Student Center for the first of two installments in the “Shades of Black And…” panel discussion on Monday evening.

Sponsored by MSU’s LGBTQA Advisory Board, Women’s and Gender Studies Program, Office of Student Activities and outside organization Equality Maryland, the four-person panel spoke with the audience and one another about their experiences of being Black and LGBTQ. The panelists included Brian Stewart, senior business administration major, Rev. Cedric Harmon, member of the Many Voices movement and visiting lesbian couple Jay and Treeva Morrow.

Panelists and audience members shared moving anecdotes of looking for acceptance from their families and the forms of scrutiny and discrimination they endured about their open sexuality. Stewart’s story of discrimination made national headlines when he filed a formal complaint against MSU’s Alpha Iota chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. under claims that he was rejected from the fraternity because he is gay.

The panelists also offered words of advice to the various questions from the audience, such as from one graduating senior student who was struggling to figure out how to go about making it known she is lesbian as she made the transition into the workforce. The inclusion of non-students in the room enabled some audience members to even help one another with their concerns.

Stewart says “Shades of Black And…” is a result of a personal request by President David Wilson to encourage awareness of the LGBTQA community following his case with Kappa Alpha Psi.

Stewart, offered advice for students coming out with their sexuality. “I would say, find someone that they can talk to that will listen to them, A\and if you can’t find someone, call me.”

Check out our coverage on the opening ceremony of this event here.