When Trevor Hoppe came to UNC in August, he found a thriving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community -- but one that he said was not truly diverse.
But during the last few months, Hoppe said, that has changed because an unprecedented number of straight students have joined the LGBT community in its fight for equal rights.
This year, two campus organizations began recruiting straight students to act as allies for the LGBT community. SPECTRUM and the GLBT-Straight Alliance have been mobilizing straight students to support, educate and advocate for LGBT campus members.
"I've really personally been moved by this," Hoppe said. "The dynamics have changed -- before, everyone in the LGBT community just knew each other. I feel like we're a lot more together now."
Junior Alice Newton, founder of the alliance, said social movements often try to incorporate many types of people. "This is very typical of political movements," she said. "If you look at the feminist movement or racial segregation, you see that you need people from the other side to truly be powerful."
Carolina Alternative Meetings of Professional and Graduate Students President Glenn Grossman said that he thinks straight students were more involved in the past but that involvement decreased when the group Bisexuals, Gay men, Lesbians and Allies for Diversity changed its name to Queer Network for Change.
"When they changed the name to QNC, many straight people felt that that didn't include them," he said.