Not a bird or plane, but Super QueerWritten by Matt Liasse | | email@example.com
She’s Jennifer Dietsch by day, Super Queer by night.
Donning a tie-dye shirt, tying a rainbow flag around her neck and sporting a pink “Q” on her chest, alumni Dietsch created an alter ego: a super hero fighting for gay rights and BGSU was her Gotham City.
“It was hard for me coming out,” Dietsch said, who came out the day she graduated high school. “I felt like a monster for just being myself.”
She is telling everyone what she wishes someone had told her parents before she came out.
“I think the worst thing for any human is to feel alone,” Dietsch said. “When I was in high school, and still in the closet, I felt like an alien … I felt like I was the only gay person around.”
Dietsch wears the costume to let people not ready to seek help know they are not alone. She sees herself as a supportive figure.
Dietsch said she used the Super Queer costume for shock value as well. If someone can walk by someone dressed as a super hero and not feel awkward, they can walk by two people of the same sex holding hands in public, Dietsch said.
She wants to make Bowling Green a “more accepting city.”
As a student, Dietsch would dress up as Super Queer once a week to spread awareness for the LGBT community.
She once attended a blood drive the University was sponsoring in costume. She attempted to motivate straight men and women of any sexual orientation to donate blood because gay men could not. This was something the Red Cross was very supportive of, Dietsch said.
Other times she carried a sign saying “I was born queer; I chose to be super,” playing with the idea that being gay is a choice.
Since graduating in 2008, she still makes two visits a year to the campus. She most recently paid campus a visit April 19 for BGSU’s Rainbow Week. She also keeps up with regular YouTube videos directed to parents of LGBT youth.
The idea for Super Queer came when Dietsch attended a Pride festival in 2007. She saw someone with a rainbow flag tied around their neck, and fused that idea into a character.
Dietsch regularly helped with the LGBT Programs and Services with coordinator Annie Russel.
The LGBT Programs and Services are expanding and will be hiring full-time help this summer.
In the fall, they will continue with the Safe Zones program, which has been successfully going for three years, Russel said.
Safe Zones is meant to “create a network of allies,” raises awareness and teaches how someone can be supportive, Russel said. It’s a two-hour workshop that takes place every two weeks during the regular semesters.
“We want to get as many people as we can,” Russel said. It’s for everyone, but geared more for straight people looking to support gays. In the fall semester, 127 people completed the workshop.
Dietsch supports the work of the university’s LGBT department. She thinks coordinator Annie Russel has “organized it quite well.”
“I think it’s wonderful,” Dietsch said.
Dietsch likes how available the LGBT Resource Center is for students.
“There are times when life just gets you down,” she said. “It’s comforting.”