COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – A word on job applications at Colorado College has sparked a controversy.
The word “queer” appears in the voluntary gender section responses of the applications and the private school in Colorado Springs stands by the wording.
“I’m a little skeptical of what that could present to potential employees,” Colorado Collage Quinn Webb said.
The options include to not disclose, “male”, “female,” “transgender” or “queer.” The “queer” option is stirring up some controversy. Rex Fuller with Denver’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, And Transgender (LGBT) Community Center weighed in.
“It’s true that for many years lots of people were called ‘queer’ and it was a derogatory term and they find it offensive, but there’s definitely a younger generation that is trying to reform the term and give it new meaning,” Fuller said.
That’s the stance Colorado College is taking. They say the term was added to be more inclusive. Students with the Office of Minority and International Students agree. Student Marley Jamason says the term “queer” is changing.
“Colorado College is making an effort to be inclusive,” Jamason said. “’Queer’ is an umbrella term that encompasses a whole range of identities.”
Though not in every situation, both Jamason and Fuller agree it’s important to look at the big picture.
“It’s important to look at context when the term is being used. If somebody is screaming it at you on the street … they mean to offend you and that’s probably not a good thing, “ Fuller said. “But if someone is using it to identify themselves because that’s what they feel good about, then we support that.”
Whether finding it inclusive or offensive, when applying for a job at Colorado College, it’s an option.
Statement From Colorado College
As an optional part of our employment application, Colorado College includes the terms “male,” “female,” “transgender” and “queer” for gender. This is a direct reflection of Colorado College’s commitment to create and sustain an inclusive campus community. Applicants are not required to provide this data; we request it so we can know the composition of the applicant pool and to support our efforts to be an Equal Employment Employer. The college also employs an LGBTQ specialist to provide support to students.