5 questions with Scott Jackson
Scott Jackson, 49, is vice president of the Homage chapter at the University of Texas-Arlington. Homage is a national group for LGBT students. Jackson is currently working on his master’s degree in sociology.
Tell me about Homage?
It’s a group that celebrates diversity, and our focus is educational. It was started Irby Foster, who’s now president, around January. Homage nationally has been around a lot longer, and there’s been a gay and lesbian organization on campus for the last 27 years, but it’s had different names. We have 15 members, and there are other people who come from time to time.
What does the group do?
We meet every Wednesday at noon on the second floor of the University Center. We generally have something to eat. Lately it’s been pizza because that’s the cheapest, and we have speakers. We’ve had speakers from Lambda Legal, Equality Texas, the Metropolitan Community Church, the Resource Center of Dallas. We have as many different areas of focus as we can. We also do things like participate in the recent protest outside the conference of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality.
How did that go?
I think it went pretty well. These people are backed by the religious right to the tune of $2 million. What they’re saying is there is no such thing as gay people. They believe that whenever a woman says no to a man, he is overwhelmed with homosexual desire, and sooner or later he gives in, and then if he enjoys it he’ll continue doing it. As crazy as that sounds, that’s the premise of their argument. They’re saying women are at fault. I’ve never met a straight man who’s experienced that, but apparently that’s what they’ve convinced themselves is going on.
What’s the atmosphere like for LGBT students on the UTA campus?
There’s a group of people who are hyper-Christian and not very intelligent that’s pretty negative, but it’s not necessarily a hostile environment. I think overall most of the 20-somethings don’t care. There are even students who are out and live in the dorms, and there doesn’t seem to be a problem with it. There haven’t really been any incidents.
I understand you are doing your thesis on LGBT seniors. Tell me about that.
My thesis is on senior living for gays and lesbians in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. A lot of major cities in the U.S. have senior living for gays and lesbians, whereas DFW doesn’t. Gay seniors have been discriminated against their whole lives, and when they go to retirement homes, they feel like they’re moving in with people who’ve discriminated against them and like they have to go back into the closet. It’s a big problem.
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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 16, 2007