COLUMN: LGBTQA Center is the difference between life and death
A queer eye
Published: Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 02:10
When I first started writing this I planned on keeping it as generic as possible, because generic is “safe.” But I realized doing so wouldn’t convey the feelings I have about this topic.
When I began going to USU, I was terrified. As part of an often unknown and unwanted minority in a place with an unusually large majority population, I had every plan to avoid social interaction at any cost to stay “safe.”
My plan hasn’t exactly worked out. Instead, I was lucky enough to find something I never expected — support and safety.
I wish I could say the entire university has provided both of these completely, but like everything, USU has a long way to go. But even with the leaps and bounds USU has to go, we still manage to have some amazing opportunities for support.
Even before I was a student I started my search in the LGBTQA Center, which is part of the Access and Diversity Center. I didn’t know what I was looking for exactly, but I found a hand to lead me to another hand that ended up with me enrolled as a student.
From there I ended up at Counseling and Psychological Services, which led me to Allies training after much avoidance — avoidance in large part because I didn’t want to be seen as a member of the LGBTQ community. I wanted to stay safe and hidden.
Allies on Campus training is something I am extremely passionate about. I can’t even begin to go over how important it is in this particular column. Needless to say, I felt hope when I attended my first Allies training. There’s something truly special about seeing people meet to learn and share how to make USU a safer, more enlightened school.
After such a positive experience, I took the chance and attended my first LGBTQA Brown Bag hosted by CAPS, the LGBTQA Center and Access and Diversity Center. There, I found the support I never knew I needed. I heard others stories and people listened to my story.
I felt less alone.
The LGBTQA Center and the Access and Diversity Center that houses it have become a second home for me. It was my safe space and it still is, along with the entire third floor of the TSC. I cannot put into words how invaluable that feeling of safety and acceptance is.