Queers Are Here! Resource Center Coming out During Queer Weekcsudhbulletin October 11, 2018 0 COMMENTS
By Cindy Sepulveda
The California State University, Dominguez Hills Queer Culture and Resource Center (QCRC) is coming out. And to announce itself to the campus at large, the QCRC is hosting a week full of events to start the dialogue regarding queer Toros Oct. 15-18.
“Queer week is a chance for us as a campus to come out,” Karama Blackhorn, LGBTQAI2+ Resource Coordinator, said. “It’s like this [blessed] time right now. Stonewall was about coming out. We’re done, we’re not going to hide in the darkness anymore, we’re not going to take bullshit anymore, and we’re going to be proud of who we are. That happened 50 years ago and we’re doing that here now.”
The QCRC launched a month ago. It is designed to promote awareness and pride of queer culture on and off campus and came about because many LGBTQ+ students didn’t feel as though they were included in the conversation, Blackthorn said.
“There is not a lot of visibility about LGBTQ+ people, culture, new identity here,” she said. “Everybody that has talked to me has just shared a lot about how they felt whether they can be out and many people say that they don’t feel like they can be hired in leadership positions or be promoted if they’re out.”
The campus has taken steps toward becoming more inclusive and welcoming, such as creating the Safe Space program: a campus-wide network of allies who support the LGBTQ+ community.
But, Blackthorn believes it’s important to not stop there.
A 2015 survey published by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) found that “Schools nationwide are hostile environments for a distressing number of LGBTQ+ students, the overwhelming majority of whom routinely hear anti-LGBTQ+ language and experience victimization and discrimination at school.”
The vast majority of LGBTQ+ students (85.2 percent) experienced verbal harassment at school based on a personal characteristic, most commonly sexual orientation (70.8 percent of LGBTQ+ students) and gender expression (54.5 percent), according to the survey.
For Blackhorn, it is important to have someone full-time who can dedicate the time to build relationships that will change the LGBTQ+ culture and build pride on campus.
The QCRC is funded by Associated Students, Inc, under the umbrella of Multicultural Affairs. According to Blackhorn, a physical office space will be opening in Spring 2019.
Events are intersectional with other department sponsors and allies that cover different topics such as race and identity, education, cultural, building communities, what is LGBTQ+? Department allies like Women’s Resource Center and Male Success Alliance are also coming out in full support of QCRC and embracing the LGBTQ+ community.
QWEEK series consists of approximately 30 events, over the course of four days, in collaboration with other departments such as Women’s Resource Center and Rose Black Resource Center. The week-long event begins Oct. 15, 9-9:30 a.m., with QCoffee, Swag, & Info Drop-ins from 9-9:30 a.m., and concludes Oct. 18, 7:30-9 p.m., with Out! On Campus.
Food will be provided at the events. Admission is free; however, it is preferred that you R.S.V.P as space is limited.
To get more information on QCRC and QWEEK, visit Torolink.