BY HAYDEN LOMBARDOZZI // OCT. 16, 2017 //
My name is Hayden Lombardozzi.
I am a senior at Curry College. I’m a Criminal Justice major with a double minor in Sociology and Communication. I guess you could say I am your average college student. I work on campus, I love spending time with my friends, and I too am elated when I get the “class is canceled” email.
Everyone in this world has things about themselves that make them different. I happen to have one big thing about me that in a sense separates me from the crowd here at Curry: I am a transgender male.
Being transgender at Curry College is exhausting, and these past two years I have had to scurry around MY campus and look over my shoulder just to make sure someone was not following me home.
From being called “faggot” on repeat to having someone etch “Caitlyn Jenner lives here” into my door while I slept, it has been exhausting.
When I heard about the “Hate Has No Home Here” forum that was being put on by upper administration and our president, Kenneth Quigley, I had a mix of emotions.
At first, I was slightly impressed. I remember thinking to myself, “Wow! Okay, this is good. Maybe people are going to start showing that they care.”
Then, as I sat reading the colorful email, an overwhelming sense of anger washed onto me.
I remember thinking, “Why now?”
Why not when I was a freshman and someone pushed me around and hit me in Hafer for being in the “wrong bathroom?”
Why not when I was a sophomore and was called a transvestite in front of my whole class?
Why not when I was a junior and I had to wake up to “I hope Donald Trump wipes out all of the tranny’s!” written on my bulletin board?
I sat there angrily clenching my fists wondering why all of a sudden it was so important for them to hold this campus-wide meeting when for years I had been suffering at the hands of people who shared the same “Colonel” name with me.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I understand the meaning behind the quote “better late than never.” In addition to that statement, let me add that I personally agree. I agree that it is better to show up somewhat than to be absent entirely.
However, I don’t agree with the idea that we should forget the damage that has been caused from so much silence.
I do not think the Curry Administration is doing the best job at acknowledging that they were extremely late to the game. A game that has caused myself and other students to fear walking out of our residential halls to simply attend the classes that WE pay for.
As far as the public forum goes, at which I was in attendance, I cannot help but feel steam-rolled.
A group of students and myself linked arms in the back of the assembly to show solidarity to the minority groups that have been affected, and at the end of the meeting President Quigley’s reaction showed me and other marginalized students his true colors.
Not only did our president, who mind you had just given a tearful speech about how he wanted the hate crimes to stop on campus, walk by us multiple times while ignoring our calls to him, but he managed to invalidate the struggles of those who had major concerns within the group.
I was holding a sign at the assembly that read, “President Quigley, I have been called a faggot and a tranny on this campus for two and a half years. Where have you been?”
Upon reading my sign, the president was quick to point his finger at me and say, “I’ve been here and you know I’ve been here.”
This made me, as a survivor of these transphobic attacks, feel nothing but muted. Within the years that I have been going through these hate crimes, this was the first time that I had ever heard from the president. This was the first time in all of my time at Curry College that I have even seen this man in person address the issue of hate on campus.
President Quigley left the chain of students after only about 5 minutes of discussion and departed while saying, “good luck to you guys.”
Well, Mr. President, I am going to need more than your “good luck.” I am going to need visible and tangible change on this campus, and until that is provided to the students who are seen as “different” at Curry, I will continue to speak up and speak out against the injustices that are being done to others and to myself in this community.
I understand the intent behind the slogan “Hate Has No Home Here,” but until we can say that with confidence, and until ALL of the administration is fully backing our marginalized and our targeted students, it’s just a slogan.
Hate, unfortunately, does have a home here at the moment — as much as you would like to believe that it doesn’t. Hate has made its home here, and it’s time for the administration to stand up and work harder to evict it.