GS’ queer community comes together at Rainbow Reception

Students connected with fellow LGBTQ+ staff and faculty at the Office of Multicultural Affairs’ (OMA) Rainbow Reception where they shared resources for the queer community.

“The fact that it’s specifically for the LGBT community, being a part of the community, I think, it not only makes you feel special, but it just makes you feel like someone cares about you, especially on campus,” said a sophomore Diversity Peer Educator, Alex Oxendine.

At the event, the OMA advertised a 12-week program titled “Here To Be Queer” for LGBTQ+ students struggling with their identity. The program is meant to unite LGBTQ+ students, tackle issues within the community, and build confidence in embracing one’s identity. The form to apply for the program is here.

“It’s very easy to imagine that there are no queer faculty and staff… like, to know that as a student, I think it’s a huge deal,” said administrative assistant of the College of Arts and Humanities, Suzanne Shurling.

Many of the students who did attend were freshmen who were grateful to have any sort of event for LGBTQ+ students.

“I think it was great,” said a freshman, Sierra Davidson, “Interacting with faculty, especially because at my high school… we were the first year to have a GSA, and that kind of sucked a little bit because faculty [and staff] weren’t really allowed to be involved.”

Fortunately, the Office of Multicultural Affairs was flexible in allowing others to advertise LGBTQ+ centered events such as Boro Pride—a pride event started in 2019 that typically happens in October. Though it is likely this event could be cancelled due to COVID-19, there are still some resources connected to Boro Pride that won’t be cancelled.

“We don’t just do the event, we have a trust fund,” said administrative assistant of the College of Arts and Humanities, Suzanne Shurling, “… if queer folks in the community have financial emergencies… we’ve helped folks that have been put out of their houses due to their sexual orientation and gender identity. We have helped folks that… couldn’t afford their hormones or couldn’t afford PrEP… it’s not just a party, we do actually have resources as well.”

In addition to that, the vice president of Georgia Southern’s Gay-Straight Alliance, Emilee Larson, attended and advertised the club which now has a virtual option and an on-campus option to attend. It occurs twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays—the upcoming meeting on Thursday will specifically welcome discussion of life on campus from QTPOC (Queer and Trans People of Color) students, though any student is welcome to attend. To join the club, email