Ernesto Soto

The GERC helped me find acceptance in my sexual orientation, and now I know the greatest thing I can give to the world is myself and the acceptance I can bring.

“Despite my firm convictions, I have been always a man who tries to face facts, and to accept the reality of life as new experience and new knowledge unfolds it. I have always kept an open mind, which is necessary to the flexibility that must go hand in hand with every form of intelligent search for truth.” - Malcolm X

Pronouns – He, Him, His

Sexual Identity – Heteroromantic Gay Male


Like a rainbow on a gray day, Ernesto Soto came to UW-Superior to stand out, and UW-Superior has become a bit brighter with him on campus.

“I wanted to integrate myself in a community that was completely different from where I grew up,” Ernesto said. “I knew I could grow here exponentially because it was an unfamiliar place.”

As Ernesto was looking to learn more about himself, he dove head first into life here at UW-Superior.

“I’m very active on campus. I’m a mentor, I’m an athlete, I’m active in the cultural community and I’m active in the science community.” he said. “I’ve definitely taken as many opportunities available to me as possible.”

With every opportunity he’s had, Ernesto has always felt welcome on campus. Being included by everyone means a lot to him.

“UW-Superior is a place where anyone can show up and feel included regardless of age, sexual identity, race or religion and be advocated for by the entire campus,” he said. “Ivy Vainio, Gabriela Theis and the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) have made me well-rounded, helped me find my pride and have given me courage.”

Along with the OMA and his advisors, Ernesto can’t thank the Gender Equity Resource Center (GERC) enough for what they’ve done for him.

“The GERC helped me find acceptance in my sexual orientation, and now I know the greatest thing I can give to the world is myself and the acceptance I can bring,” said Ernesto.

Along with playing a big role in the campus community, Ernesto also plays a role in the Chemistry program.

“Without the guidance of Dr. Rios Mendoza, I wouldn’t have had five semesters of research lab experience and I would not have a Capstone,” he said. “The rigorous higher education I’ve gotten here has made me a better person and helped me grow with others.”

Besides academics, Ernesto plays a role in being a student-athlete.

"Coach Glen is an amazing coach and friend. He was the first individual to support me in my journey in accepting my identity. He gave me opportunities to come out to my teammates, and I am forever grateful."

From start to finish, Ernesto appreciates every experience he’s had at UW-Superior.

“I’m happy that I have spent time at this university. Students are going to love and hate this place,” he said. “Love it because of the people and hate it because of how little time you’re going to have to spend with them.”

Ernesto is planning on attending graduate school to further his future in the sciences. Whatever the future holds for him, he knows that he wouldn’t be who he is today without the people he’s encountered at UW-Superior.

The Gender Equity Resource Center (GERC) works to create a safe environment within the campus community and provides programs and resources that empower students of all genders and sexual identities to have a successful college experience. If you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community, contact them today to see how you can bring even more diversity to UW-Superior.