School of Nursing

February 24, 2017

Support for the LGBTQI Community

Azita Emami

Once again, we have seen a difficult and discouraging week for vulnerable populations. I am writing to assure you that our commitment to the core values of equity and dignity for everyone is a commitment that remains unwavering, and is in fact strengthened by those who would deny it.

Gender-based discrimination is harmful and insidious. We fully support the rights of every individual to define their gender identity and then live that identity with dignity and without compromise. There is simply no basis, biological or social, for discriminating against those who are transgender or who choose to define themselves as other than strictly male/female. This is each person’s very personal choice. . .and right. We support both, which is why we fought for a change in the UNWR gender classification.

This right is also supported consistently within the University, up to and very much including president Ana Mari Cauce. She expressed very clearly that, “our University is unwavering in its resolve to create an inclusive, diverse and welcoming community. We can and will work together to find the best in each other, to bridge our differences and to treat each other with the respect and kindness that all people deserve.” That is her position. That is the University’s position. That is my position and it is the position of the UW School of Nursing.

We are fortunate to have the support of the Seattle mayor and Washington governor, both of whom have made it amply clear they will not condone, tolerate or permit discrimination or hostility against any part of the population, large or small, visible or not.

I remind everyone that if you feel these principles are in any way being violated, there is professional, confidential and compassionate assistance to be found at the SoN’s Students and Academic Services, or through a variety of University resources to which SAS will direct you.

Stick together. Help one another. Be respectful, confident, and strong.