March 18, 2016

LGBTI International Students Reflect on EducationUSA Interactive


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I’m Krylios Clark. I am from Montego Bay, Jamaica. I currently attend Howard University here in Washington D.C. I identify as gay and my pronouns are he, him, his.  I think what was so amazing about this panel was that all three of us were from different and diverse backgrounds. So, you have me as a person of color, an afro-descended person of color from the Caribbean that has a totally different experience from like Siobhan who is Caucasian and from the United Kingdom and self identifies as a queer woman, who is definitely different from Hua who is transgender, one, as well as she is from Thailand, you know. And so bringing them all to the fore, I think was very important.


[HUA, INTERNATIONAL GRADUATE STUDENT FROM THAILAND] My experience as a transgender person, you know, even though I come from Thailand where lots of people may think that Thailand is like the  paradise of LGBTI people. But, then still lots of transgender people are faced with discrimination to get a job. I just hope that having a higher education will give me more opportunity, give me more option s to my life.   


[EISSA, INTERNATIONAL GRADUATE STUDENT FROM PAKISTAN] My role on the panel was to answer questions on the web chat while the live chat happened here.  And my goal was to give  them a perspective of what I have experienced, my experience as an LGBTI person who is also an international student. Someone asked if you have the opportunity to develop mentorship relationships with professors or other members of the community. I went to a tiny liberal arts college in Vermont. So, we had a number of professors and staff members who were of the LGBTI community. They were my professors, now they’re my friends and colleagues and these are people I will hold very close to me for a very long time.


[SIOBHAN, INTERNATIONAL GRADUATE STUDENT FROM ENGLAND] So, one thing that I learned from my fellow panelists was the importance of community building and finding community in maybe unexpected places. On Facebook, in the local community you might find something that really speaks to you. And from there, you have a launch pad to be more engaged in a way that you didn’t necessarily expect beforehand.


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[ON SCREEN TEXT] Watch the full panel on YouTube here: