Colors of the rainbow

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Posted Wed, Nov 7, 2012


DENVER, Auraria Campus — Arch is the happy face that greets you upon entering the Gay Lesbian and Transgender Office on the Auraria campus. His personality is welcoming, instantly putting you at ease. The first time I spoke with him he had been eager to talk about the Feminist Alliance and how much it meant to him personally. But today was all about Arch and his own journey.

As we stepped outside it was a warm and balmy fall afternoon. The sun was shinning and he was casually taking drags off an American Spirit cigarette. Students were buzzing all around us as we began to talk about a topic that is not easily broached.

Arch, an openly queer male, is an activist for gay rights, making it his personal mission to ensure that people have access to whatever information they seek. He hopes that with information comes expanded thinking and ignorance can be lessened.

“I remember I was hanging out with my cousin and his friends, we were shooting pool and watching basketball. One of them said to me, Hey man do you like basketball? I said no not really,” Arch reflects. “The only way you’ll get me to watch basketball is if you put them back in those little shorts.”

Arch’s honesty is refreshing and it seems as though there was no topic he wouldn’t allow me to inquire about. Originally born and raised in Pueblo, Colo., he is no stranger to small towns. However, Arch has remained true to himself and what he believes in.
“I am gender queer and also queer in orientation.” Queer is in line with pan sexuality, he explained, a term that is fluid and is based upon the idea that you don’t judge the other person on their gender presentation, you love them for the person that they are. Sexuality comes in many different forms, and has developed into many different definitions in our modern day society; Arch embraces all expressions of sexuality, even if society may view it as deviant.

Clearly evident is his profound pride in the culture he comes from. Arch’s father is a Mestizo man. He was raised around a strong Mexican culture that shaped many of his values today. In fact, it has been his father’s support of his sexuality during his journey that has made all the difference.

“My dad told me as adult, that he knew I was queer in some way, he knew when I was about 9, and he didn’t want a gay child. Yet when I finally told him at the age of 20, he had one of the most beautiful responses; will you still watch the Broncos with me? I still love you Hijo, you’re my blood, and my heart is in your heart.”

Arch’s journey hasn’t always been an easy one. At a young age he was the victim of sexual assault. “A big part of my personal journey and my own narrative is (that) I was a survival of sexual assault when I was 7 and 14, both by males that were older then me.” Perhaps this is what has fueled his drive to become the activist that he is today. He blazes the way for others, living his life as an example of compassion, strength, and acceptance. A familiar face around the Auraria Campus, he can often be found in the LGBT office or at events for the Feminist Alliance.

Sexual intolerance is an issue that can be seen in any community. But are deviant forms of sexual orientation truly gaining wider acceptance? Kara Homes, Vice President of the Feminist Alliance said, “Acceptance is growing.”

However, it’s clear that the battle for acceptance wages on. “Its kind of the old stand point of, I don’t care if people are gay but don’t hit on me,” said Feminist Alliance Treasurer Megan Fowler. “So as long as it’s not public, radical, or viral I think people will tolerate it, but I don’t think that’s the same as acceptance.”

Arch recognizes that understanding is growing globally, however, there are moments when carving out his own unique journey in life can be challenging; he does his best to remain true to the values he holds in esteem. “Everybody at some point says yea if I could be a white, straight, rich man…. Sure…why would I not do that? But it’s not who I am,” said Arch with a smile.

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About Simone DeAlba

Former CU Buff (Political Science), here at Metro State to finish a second degree in Broadcast news. Marathon runner, political junkie, and cheap sunglasses connoiseur.

View all posts by Simone DeAlba

3 Responses to “Colors of the rainbow”

  1. Stephen Young Says:

    Your story was very illustrative and detailed. Arch’s exchange when he told his father he was gay was one of the more touching things I’ve read this semester. Your letting that quote stand alone drove home the merits of the quote itself. Great story.

    Reply

  2. Spencer Hunt Says:

    That was really informative, I didnt know there were so many different terms within the LGBT community. Also, that was a great profile on Arch

    Reply

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