LAMBDA Volume 28: Issue 1
The UNC LGBTIQ community welcomes Graduate Assistant for the
Program of Sexuality Studies, Anthony Reid, with open arms
By Win Chesson
This fall the UNC LGBTIQ
community brought a new smile to the mix - Anthony Reid, a graduate
student in the UNC School of Social Work. As the Sexuality Studies
Graduate Assistant Intern, Reid will work with the LGBTQ Advisory
Board to implement this new program of study. A native of
Winston-Salem, Reid attended UNC from 1992-1996 as an undergraduate
majoring in Sociology. He was active with Carolina Fever, the
Carolina Athletic Association, Campus Y, the Black Student Movement
and the Universityís main LGBTIQ organization at the time, B-GLAD.
Upon graduation, he worked for five years at the N.C. School of
Science and Mathematics and then the N.C. School of the Arts as a
LAMBDA: How does it feel to be back at UNC after eight years?
ANTHONY REID: I am just really excited in general to be back.
The social work program here is one of the highest in the country.
Itís kind of crazy. I think that a few years ago we slipped to
national ranking of sixth, and people started to freak out. The
faculty is pretty stellar, though some do too much research and I
wish they would share more of their knowledge.
LAMBDA: Since youíve graduated, youíve definitely had some
experience working with young adults. What have your interactions
taught you that you can apply to your work here?
AR: Most of my counseling at NCSSM and NSSA was with
adolescents, who are all dealing with things that are so similar to
coming out. Everyone is trying to find confidence. Working with
adolescents has sharpened my skills. As a counselor, you learn that
it is most effective to allow a person to self determine. Itís most
helpful if they can identify and label what they are dealing with
for themselves instead of having you tell them. Itís funny because
you find out that most people have similar experiences when it comes
down to it.
LAMBDA: What personal qualities do you have that will help
you perform well in this role?
AR: I consider myself a better role model now with more
general knowledge to share. And I like sharing it! Iím a really
great communicator, so now I can share that knowledge better. And
Iím still close enough in age to students to relate to them on many
LAMBDA: What vision do you have for the LGBTIQ on-campus
community while you are here?
AR: Oh, there is a terrific Audre Lord quote that describes
my vision perfectly: ď... and the visibility which makes us most
vulnerable is that which is also the source of our greatest
strength.Ē Audre Lord is such an amazing woman in case you didnít
know. Itís really how I have grown to see myself over time. I have
that quote on a banner I used at NCSSM. I absolutely love that
LAMBDA: Are there any ways in which you have already seen
your vision manifest itself on campus this year?
AR: Oh yeah. Iím the Community Coordinator for Connor
Community and we actually already have staff signed up for upcoming
Safe Zones. I didnít even work it hard, but my staff is trying to
push an initiative to get all North Campus RAs trained at the same
time. We hope to get a whole group to do it together because we all
feel itís important as a group. There is also a South Campus group
who wants to do it, mostly in Hinton James.
LAMBDA: What role do you see allies of the LGBTIQ community
playing in campus climate?
AR: Allies are crucial to the development of a safe campus.
Except for some hardcore radicals, most people realize that we have
to make it together as human beings. So we definitely want allies
learning about our issues so they can realize that our issues are
also their issues. Our issues affect them. Being aware and
deliberate about language matters. Itís so important that allies can
step up to the plate and feel empowered to help LGBTQ people.
LAMBDA: In what ways did you work to improve the LGBTIQ
climate when you were an undergrad?
AR: At the end of my sophomore year, I got involved with BSM
and B-GLAD. Both of those organizations were more political then
than they are now. My first year here, BSM marched quite a bit. I
remember thinking, I donít want to get arrested. I just want to get
LAMBDA: What was the nature of your relationship to B-GLAD?
AR: Senior year, I wanted to make sure that I had B-GLAD on
my plate. B-GLAD used to march a lot. My first march was so
empowering ? oh my God! I donít even remember the actual purpose.
And I got to talk on the megaphone, too. We marched from the Campus
Y around campus yelling. There were a couple hundred people, and
that was one of the smaller ones.
LAMBDA: What was the goal of B-GLADís marches?
AR: At that point it was about making Carolina recognize that
there was a group that was not represented, but that deserved
respect. It was at the time the chancellor changed to Michael
Hooker, and I think it was really good for him to realize our
presence on campus. And I feel that he acknowledged that. Marches
were so visible and empowering and helpful for your own identity
LAMBDA: What other interests did you pursue as a Carolina
AR: Anyone who knows me knows that Iím a sports junkie. Iím
sometimes crazy. I have to calm down. And I have always loved
Carolina basketball. My senior year I was Fever president. And I was
CAA president. Basically as an undergrad I was all over anything
sports-related. I went to so many soccer games, so many different
events that even Mia Hamm and Marion Jones knew my name. It was just
so awesome to see Mia Hamm after a game and have her say, ďHey, how
ya doiní Anthony?Ē
LAMBDA: Can you talk about the challenges of negotiating
multiple identities a bit?
AR: For me, I think that there are definitely a different set
of challenges for people of color because you donít know how the gay
white majority will view you, and you donít know how your fellow
people of color who arenít LGBT will view you. You need a strong
group of family and friends as you go through the growing process of
negotiating multiple identities. And coming out is an ongoing
process. James Baldwin writes a lot about double consciousness. I
can really relate to that.
LAMBDA: How do you feel the current administration handles
LGBTIQ issues today?
AR: I donít know. I want to see how the climate is when gay
folks are making themselves visible on purpose and see how they are
handled. The juryís still out for Moeser. As we increase our ally
training, the more people can publicly show solidarity, even if it
is just for one narrow issue, the better off we can be. When I was
here there was blatant harassment and homophobia. I remember one
time after some sort of pride march on campus, someone left a big
blow up toy sheep that said ďB-GLAD sex toyĒ. Hopefully thatís not
the norm anymore. I mean, weíre here. Weíre queer. Get used to it!