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Jaime Reuter: Being Non-Binary at Pace

Jessica D'Angelo

Jessica D'Angelo

Adiba Sikder, Editor-in-Chief

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Waking up every morning and seeing banners that say “Vote for Donald Trump” are ideal for conservative families that are proud of their vote.

However, it brings Jaime Reuter, a senior majoring in English, a lot of disappointment because of his fundamental liberal beliefs.

Reuter’s parents raised him to be conservative, however, as soon as he started understanding more about his sexuality and gender identity, the communication between himself and his parents lowered throughout the years.

For Reuter, the best way for people to implement the changes that they want to see in their communities and colleges is to vote.

“If every single person believes that their vote doesn’t matter than the world stays stagnant and horrible,” said Reuter. “I grew up believing my parents when they said gay people are okay but they want to make marriage a joke.” 

Reuter identifies as genderfluid and non-binary, and often expresses himself through his poetry to display the daily frustrations that it can often bring. He believes that many people don’t take his identities seriously because he isn’t a very serious person by nature.

“Let people be their true selves,” he said. “Even if you don’t understand it, it does not make it any less real. Just respect how people identify and move on with your life.” 

Reuter is also an advocate for respecting those with mental health issues and disabilities due to his own struggles with them, and believes that Pace did not have enough resources to help him.

When a student is struggling with mental disorders at Pace, RA’s, advisors, professors, and peers all recommend going to the counseling center regularly. However, whether they were truly helpful or not is different for every student because each one has different needs.

When Reuter was recommended by students and staff to consider going to the counseling center, he had to miss class to make an appointment and was recommended to an outside resource that he did not have transportation for.

When his mental health and GPA hit an all-time low, his position with the Residence Hall Association (RHA) was taken away from him because he couldn’t meet the requirements.

“Pace stripped me of one of the only things that made me want to get out of bed and try to make positive changes,” Reuter said. 

Although Reuter would not recommend the counseling center, he recommends Pride at Pace and the LGBTQA Resource Center for students struggling with their gender or sexual identity, or students trying to learn more about it.

In the future, Reuter hopes to work with a non-profit organization and would like to advocate for more creativity for the youth because of how much his creative side has helped him.

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