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Pedro: Alright, good morning everyone. Hey good morning everybody, welcome to queerientation for Fall 2020. We are very excited that you are joining us today. We’re hoping that you can get connected with resources that we have on campus that will make sure that your year is successful. My name is Pedro Ramos, I am the Program Coordinator for the Pride Resource Center, and I will let my wonderful colleagues introduce themselves here shortly.
Maggie: Hi folks, my name is Maggie Hendrickson, I use they/them pronouns, and I am the Assistant Director of the Pride Resource Center.
Adam-Jon: Hi everybody, my name is Adam-Jon Aparicio, I use he/him/his pronouns, and i’m a counselor in counseling services, and I get to work with these amazing folks…i’m looking down at the boxes, by putting on programs around wellness, and I also work with your liaison who is Beit Gorski, and xe is also a counselor at counseling services.
Maggie: Alright, so we are gonna spend the next 20 minutes or so sharing an overview of the Pride Resource Center, this is our gay agenda for today. So we’ll talk about our mission, our programs, our services, get you all the information you need to know about Pride, we’ll talk a little bit about how to navigate campus as an LGBTQ student, we’ll show our website and how to navigate our different resources and tabs that we have on our webpage, and we will talk a little bit about what it’s like to be LGBTQ at CSU. So that is the plan for today. Let’s get into it.
So about the Pride Resource Center, we’ve been on campus for about 22 years, which is really exciting to be a part of that legacy. You can see on the screen, our mission statement is that we “provide programs and services to support the retention and thriving of LGBTQ+ students at CSU.” So we’re the main hub for all things LGBTQ, but also a space where anyone can come to learn about sexual orientation, romantic orientation, gender identity and gender expression. We focus on four different tenants I guess, which you can see on your screen too: “Community Building;” so things like our queer connections program, helping you find connection with folks who might identify similarly to you, we do events, we celebrate LGBTQ history month, different ways to build community and have pride in our community. We also focus on “Advocacy,” which is helping you all self advocate for yourselves and what you need on campus, but we also have positions, student rep positions, like representing LGBTQ students on our Trans Healthcare Committee, or through ASCSU, which is a student government. For “Resources,” we provide a connection point for financial resources, mental health resources, gender affirming garments like our binders are free, other garments folks might wear who are trans or non-binary. We try to connect you with any of the things you need to be happy and thriving on campus. And then “Education” is our last piece, which we focus on primarily for staff and faculty, trying to give them the training and education they need to make sure classrooms and other programs on campus are affirming and inclusive. So if you ever have problems that arise or bias incidents that happen on campus, we’re happy to support you through those things. So, our main goal is to help you retain, meaning get to graduation to get that degree so you can get that coin, and then also thrive. So basically being happy, being healthy, being mentally well, having friends, feeling sound in your identity, coming out in the ways that you want to. So lots of different ways to make you thrive as a happy, whole person, and that’s our goal at Pride, is to help you do that.
This is a photo of our center, we are located in the Lory Student Center, Room 232. It is next to El Centro and the Women and Gender Advocacy Center, and down the hallway from Sweet Sinsations coffee shop. This is a photo of what we look like on a typical year, on the corner to the left is a little lounge area with couches. Right now we look a little bit different; we have less furniture, and things have been spaced for social distancing practices. It is still an area where you can come in if you need a safe spot to land in between classes, or to print your homework; we have computers and free printing services, as well as a library of different resources to learn about LGBTQ experiences. We have sexual health products, period products, gender affirming garments, stickers, buttons, lots of different things you can check out. Right now our office hours for our physical drop into the center are Mondays through Wednesdays 9 am to 12 pm. Hopefully we’ll open our hours to be a little bit more extensive as this semester goes on, but we are always open virtually 8 am to 5 pm. Physical hours are a little bit different than our virtual hours right now. We encourage you to stop by to get a little quick tour of the center just to at least see the space, cause it hopefully will be home for you throughout the time you’re here at CSU.
These are just some of our community guidelines that we have for Pride, our center, and any of our virtual programming that we do. The first one is that we know “our community is always growing.” People recognize their identities at different points in their life, and so if you’re someone who’s a new student and you’re really excited to get plugged in, awesome! We can’t wait to welcome you, make space for you in our programs, whether it’s a zoom meeting or physically in the center, but if you’re someone that waits until your senior year to come and get involved, that’s cool too, we’ll always be here for you whenever you want to get connected. We want to “keep the center clean,” particularly now during COVID, to make sure that we’re taking care of our community, and we know LGBTQ folks can have some higher rates of COVID than others, based on a variety of factors, so we wanna make sure we’re keeping the center clean and being mindful of how much space and time we’re taking up in the center. “Feedback and accountability helps u thrive.” If there’s anything you need from us that we’re not giving you, we’d love to hear it! You can stop by mine and Pedro’s office hours, or give us an email if there’s something you need that you’re not seeing us provide. We want you to take care of yourselves as a part of taking care of our community.“We wanna “make sure that we are listening to each other through dialogue, that way we can act in solidarity.” We are part of Student Diversity Programs and Services, so six other offices focus on different identity groups, and we wanna make sure that we’re learning about other experiences that are different than our own. We’ll have events to help us do that throughout the year. And the last one is my favorite; “celebrating queer joy and queer love is an act of resistance and healing” We want you to find ways to celebrate your own queer joy, whether it’s alone in your room, with new friends and roommates, or with us in the center. We know that oftentimes we’re not able to celebrate joy and love in ways that aren’t shamed or kept private from other folks. We want you to be out and proud and celebrate in ways that feel good for you.
Pedro: Great, thanks Maggie. So, today i’m gonna talk to you a little bit about how you can find community, especially in this virtual setting. As Maggie mentioned, we’re mostly gonna be virtual, but that doesn’t mean that the connections aren’t gonna be there. So, starting this upcoming next week and the week after that, we have Queer Connections Week, where we’re really collecting all of our student orgs, meet up opportunity and support group opportunities in one spot, so that you can kinda shop around and see what fits best and what works best for the identities that you hold. So here at CSU we have about seven LGBTQ student orgs that are currently active, and it’s growing. If you’re interested in starting your own student org, come talk to me or Maggie, and we can get you set up with that. But, we serve anything from student organizations ranging and supporting LGBTQ students who are part of the STEM field, also students of color as well. And then, also another thing that we’re introducing for this upcoming fall is something called meetup, and basically a meetup is an informal space where you can connect with other students who share similar identities to you. So we’re planning on hosting a Bi, Pan and Fluid meetup, a first year student meet up, so if you’re like; a. Where can I meet other queer CSU first year students, you can go to that. If you’re interested in the schedule, it’s gonna be on our website beginning August 27th, as well as our Instagram as well. All in all, the cool thing about it is that there’s no commitment required. If you go and the vibes are off, that’s totally cool. And if you’re like, “the vibes are on,” then join it! You know, right? You can get someone’s email, get someone’s phone number, it’s really just a way to connect you all together. Another way that we’re finding community here at Pride is through our discord server; csulgbtq+, which you can find more information on our website. As we know, queer folk have always been prone to using virtual spaces to get to know one another and affirm one another and support one another as well. And so with this, we’re creating a space where you all can hand out, seek resources, because we know COVID and social distancing can be hard, especially on queer folks. So making sure that we connect with one another is key. Now i’m gonna pass it off to Adam-Jon, who will talk a little bit about what counseling services is doing for the fall semester.
Adam-Jon: Awesome, thanks y’all! So a couple of things to know. So counseling services for those folks who are new to our community, so it’s housed in the Health Network, or the Health and Medical Center, which is on the corner of college and prospect. However this semester we are only offering virtual services, but that doesnt mean that the fun stops, right? We have a great team of folks that work on Multicultural counseling initiatives, and we’ve come up with some really great programs over the last couple of years that we offer, as well as programs that are more focused on community building. The first ones that i’ll go over are our two group counseling opportunities. So this is actual confidential counseling over zoom that happens in groups. So if you are someone who is newly out, or wanna talk about what it might be like to come out to family or at work, whether you are coming out with your sexuality or gender, fluid, kind of, you’re questioning that you want to be your authentic self. You can come to the “Coming Out, Being Out” support group, which happens Mondays, 3 pm to 4:30, and it is via zoom. The “Trans and Genderfluid Support group” is another therapy group that we offer, and that happens every Wednesday from 3:30 to 5 pm. For folks who identify as trans who are perhaps questioning, wanting to talk to medical folks within the health network, since HRT, Hormone Replacement Therapy, is offered through our student insurance, and so you can have a community to talk more about what it might be like to transition with family, what it might be like to transition socially, so that’s another great group. We also have two really fun groups that are not therapy that are facilitated by counselors. So one of those is “Rainbros,” and that is a peer support group for queer, bi and gay men, and it’s hosted by moi. So you get to be on zoom with me and other queer, bi and gay men, and we talk about a lot of different topics. Whether it’s dating or friendship with other queer men, or even sex sometimes. So we have these real conversations, and it’s not necessarily counseling, but it is facilitated by folks who have more training in understanding emotional development, and we wanted to give easier access to you all. And then, “QTPOC Voices,” is a group for queer, trans People of Color, and that is another peer support group that we facilitate. It’s facilitated by one of our counselors Dr. Chloe Wright, who is also the liaison for Black African American Cultural Center, and it’s co-facilitated by me, and I also serve as the El Centro liaison. Part of this group is similar to “Rainbros,” is that we’re building community, talking about the experiences of being queer trans People of Color, especially with this upcoming election, and how our identities are on display, and often need to build more community around that. So again this is not therapy, and it is over zoom. For more information about any of these groups, whether it’s therapy or not, you can email myself or look to our Multicultural Counseling Services webpage, on counseling services. The last thing that i’ll go over is the Multicultural Counseling Drop-in Hours. So these are hours where you can meet with queer therapists to have conversations, whether about “how do I access counseling,” or, “I might be having a relationship issue, and I don’t really want counseling, but I want to talk to somebody in a confidential way.” These hours are weekly from Tuesdays to Thursdays from one to four, and then the second and fourth Fridays from two to five. And those folks who are on call, it’s myself, Chloe Wright, as well as Beit Gorski, who is the liaison for Pride Resource Center. If you have any questions you can always just email me, and you all are in great hands with Pedro and Maggie.
Pedro: Great, thanks Adam-Jon! Yeah, Adam-Jon kind of brought up, there’s a lot of great resources to make sure that you are feeling supported, and that your emotional and mental health are uplifted. So if you’re ever feeling like “hmm, damn. I’m feeling some type of way.” Feel free to talk to any of us and we can get you connected to something that will work for you. So, some upcoming events that we’re really excited about, and just, disclosure, this isn’t a rundown of everything that we’re gonna be providing this semester, but these are just the “high ticket” items that we’re really excited about. “Queer Connections Week,” make sure to add us on instagram if you havent yet, so, it’ll be great to get connected with all of our resources, and our events that we’re providing. Another one to look forward to is “LGBTQ History Month,” which is happening all of October. So, during that month, we’re gonna be celebrating “National Coming Out Day,” we’re planning on bringing a couple of keynotes out, and then also for this year, we’re collaborating with El Centro just next door, which is our Latinx cultural center here on campus. We’re bringing together a conversation that focuses on living within the borderlands, and if you haven’t heard that term before, what it really encompases is navigating the spaces of queerness and being Latinx, and other identities that are salient, and how does one even navigate those. So we’re really excited about that, and also another one that I wanted to bring up, we’re gonna have Netflix movie parties and some podcast listening parties as well to kinda bring up dialogues about current issues the LGBTQ community is facing at CSU. Also, another one for November, “Trans Awareness Week” begins November 16th, and so we’re planning a couple events within that week, including “Trans Day of Remembrance” as well. We wanna make sure that we’re paying our respects to our trans community, during that time. And honestly everyday as well. So, keep that in mind. And then for the spring, I know it seems far away, but it’ll be here before you know it, some of my favorite events, “Queer Prom” and “Lavendar Graduation,” it’s really the nice tie, nice bow on the box to the year, and making sure that we’re celebrating and that we’re encompassing what it means to really have queer joy. So, that’s it, um… and cool! There you go!
Maggie: Can you share your screen for me, since I’m recording this?
Maggie: Awesome! Or, I guess we could just leave that up. Let’s just leave that right there, and I can just talk through it. Could you hover over the “About Us,” just point to where it is on the screen, the “About Us” tab.
Pedro: Yeah yeah yeah. Let’s see…
Maggie: on the left.
Maggie: Oop, that’s ok. We’ll get there! Let’s go to the website. Cool. Alright, so we just wanna give you a quick little overview of our webpage, just so you all know how to use it. I think the first thing we will uplift is at the bottom right corner there is a “here to support you,” lil chatbox. So this is a way to live chat with anyone from the Pride Resource Center, between 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. As I said earlier, we’re virtually typical business hours, even when the center is not physically open. So if you have a quick question, or just wanna talk to somebody, or share a funny meme, whatever queer thing you wanna do, use the chat function, and someone from Pride will be able to chat with you live, right there. I think the next thing we wanna point out, is under the “About Us” tab, is a “Connect With Us,” page! That’s a great page to find out email, our instagram handle, our discord page, and subscribe to our newsletter. Our newsletter comes out every monday morning, and so if you scroll to the bottom of this page, you’ll be able to that newsletter, which is called our “What’s Happening” newsletter. It’s the best way to stay plugged into what’s happening in Pride. Back up at the top in the green bar… nope it’s white now… you’ll see some different tabs on the “Fall 2020 Plans” outline, what we’re doing for the semester, particularly with COVID-19 and social distancing. Our “Trans on Campus” tab, is a great one stop shop for all things about navigating campus as a trans or non-binary person, or intersex person. There’s a page where you can learn all about how to change your name, whether it’s your chosen name, or your legal name if you’ve changed your legal name or legal gender marker, you can change it on your ramweb account. We do our best to have preferred and chosen names show up on class rosters, residents hall rosters, anything where your eid is, it’s likely that your chosen name will show up, with a few exceptions that we can talk you through if you have questions about it. You can also see links to a map of our gender inclusive restrooms, our residents halls with gender inclusive rooms, our health network, where you can access trans healthcare. So, lots of different ways to learn about how to navigate campus as a trans person on that tab. Next tab is our “Finding Community” tab. It has links to all of our events, queer connections, student orgs, counseling and support groups, all things you need to know about programmatically how to find community and meet people, even in a virtual sense. Our training and workshops tab is more information about Safe Zone and Visible Voices, which are two of our programs to train other and educate other folks about LGBTQ experiences. So, if you have a professor, or roommate, or someone on campus who… needs to catch up on some of the language, or how to use pronouns appropriately, things like that; a. We’re totally here to help, and how to help you figure out how to navigate submitting a bias form or having a conversation with them, and you can just send them a link to a Safe Zone training, and we can have those difficult conversations with them. And then the last tab is our “Resources” tab, which includes different forms of financial support. We have two scholarships out of the Pride Resource Center, one that’s tuition based, and one that’s for more emergency situations if you’re suddenly in a tight spot with money, if your parents withdraw funding if you come out, things like that. We know money is challenging within our community so we have multiple forms of financial support, including links to food pantries, to the gender affirming garment free collection that we have, and things like that. And then other links like, other resources in the Colorado community, nonprofits in the area, frequently asked questions, different resources like that. So, we want y’all to get used to our website, check it out, because it’s full of really helpful information for y’all. Alright, and so we will wrap up today urging y’all to just stay connected with us, you can see our email on the screen; firstname.lastname@example.org, our website, our Instagram and Facebook, and then our weekly newsletter like we mentioned before. You can subscribe either through emailing us or signing up on our webpage. And so, we will be having some cool like, Pride rainbow masks we’ll be able to give away, and a few other items like that, so keep an eye on our instagram if you want some Pride swag, we’d love to connect you with it. So thank you for tuning into this like catch up version for queerientation, if you have any questions from things we’ve talked about, you’re welcome to contact the general Pride email, or email one of us individually. But we look forward to connecting with you this year!