LGBTAA sub-groups to cater to members’ needs

Ben Burke

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Ally Alliance is transforming itself into something organizers hope will better serve the ISU community.

Ben Taylor, president of the LGBTAA, said the group has recently undergone big changes to cater to the specific needs and interests of its members.

Taylor, senior in computer engineering, said the LGBTAA has divided itself into various subgroups so members can pursue specific interests.

“Anyone can form one of the subgroups if they have a specific interest or idea. This way we can cover as many needs as possible,” he said.

The focus of each subgroup is different, Taylor said.

The subgroups are focused, for example, on bisexual students, gay graduate students and LGBTA people of color.

The People of Color group will meet for the first time Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Cafe Escape, 2402 Lincoln Way.

“I could potentially see it as being one of the biggest subgroups with the greatest potential,” Taylor said.

Todd Herriott, staff adviser to the LGBTAA, said the group “creates a safe place where individuals can meet and look more specifically at what they’re dealing with.”

The LGBTAA realized it was trying to be all things to all people and there were many needs the group was trying to serve, said Herriott, program coordinator for the dean of students office.

“Individuals wanted to do things in the group but they were going in different directions,” he said. “Now individuals have the ability to pursue their own interests.”

Herriott said the LGBTAA will continue to have general assembly meetings every month and the group will continue to organize larger events on campus.

“My personal view of the new structure is that I like it and it’s exciting to see such a change,” he said. “No one on campus has ever seen such a big change in the group.”

Taylor said the change was necessary because the LGBTAA would fail if it remained “static.”

Ten years ago there was a greater need for a coming out group but now many more people coming to college are already out of the closet, he said.

For more information about the LGBTAA subgroups and their meeting times, go to