Chapter 5:
Making Change
By Felice Yeskel, Ed.D.
Introduction
M
 It's not your concern;  and
When you think about wanting to make
M
 You're so idealistic/naive; when you
change on your campus, to get action on
grow up you'll realize_________. 
behalf of lgbt people, there are three basic
things to consider.  The first is, 
what do
These are frustrating messages and we
we want?
The second is, 
what's wrong
have learned to take our frustration out on
with what we have?
And the third is,
ourselves and each other, rather than try 
how do we get from what we have to
ing to change the external situation.  But
what we want?
we each have far more power than we
realize, especially when we work togeth 
Another necessary ingredient is believing
er.  That is why having a solid group is so
you have power.  This process is not nec 
important.  To decide to make change on
essarily difficult, but to even undertake it
your campus is to counteract all these
you have to feel/be empowered.  Most of
messages of powerlessness.  
us have learned, both consciously and
unconsciously, that we don't have the
Another obstacle for lesbian, gay,  bisex 
power to change things.  We've all heard
ual and transgender people is the sense of
messages such as:
being undeserving.  All of us have
M
 That's just the way things are!; 
learned and internalized some of the het 
erosexism and homophobia that pervades
M
 You can't fight City Hall; 
society.  Many of us struggle against
believing we are sick, abnormal, differ 
M
 If you make a fuss you're gonna be
ent, bad, sinful, and weird.  The process
sorry!; 
of coming out means recognizing our
sexual orientation, ridding ourselves of
M
 You won't be able to change things;
these messages we've internalized, and
they're in charge and they're homo 
learning to fully love ourselves.  Feeling
phobic; 
great about ourselves (and others) as les 
Sections of this chapter have been adapted from 
Grass Roots Organizing Weekends, 
Unit 
ed States Student Association, 1994.  Founded in 1947, USSA is the country's oldest and
largest national student organization, representing more than 3.5 million students. USSA
and its affiliated caucuses, including the National Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Student Cau 
cus and the National Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Students of Color Caucus, advocate for
student interests by tracking and lobbying on federal legislation and policy and working in
coalition with education and social justice organizations and students around the country.
M a k i n g   C h a n g e
M     1 0 1






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