LGBTQIA Resource Center establishes inclusive environment
National LGBT Center Awareness Day, held every year on Oct. 19, serves to commemorate the tireless work put in by community centers across the globe to secure a safer, more inclusive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual (LGBTQIA) individuals. On this day, the Editorial Board would like to recognize UC Davis’ LGBTQIA Resource Center for challenging widespread, systemic discrimination and bridging a diversity of identities and backgrounds to create unity and acceptance within the Davis community.
Our Resource Center actively strives to educate others about LGBTQIA identities by offering training on how to be an effective ally and championing an expansive, educational library with over 1,000 books. The staff is also dedicated to reaching out to high schools in Davis to broaden understanding, as well as creating visibility for lesser-known identities through programs like Intersex Awareness Week and Asexual Awareness Week. Progress is contingent on education and awareness, and we applaud the Center for taking these extra steps to establish a more equal environment for all people, regardless of their sexual or gender identities.
The LGBTQIA Resource Center is also committed to strengthening the mental, emotional and physical well-being of the community. A few of the resources offered include access to crisis hotlines and a community counselor, a wide range of support groups and free, anonymous HIV testing. These resources help people not only receive guidance from professionals, but also foster strong friendships and support systems within the community. By simply providing a physical space for LGBTQIA individuals to assemble and discuss their struggles, accomplishments and interests, the Center encourages and fortifies self-exploration in a place where students can feel safe, welcome and celebrated.
But the Resource Center does work beyond fostering self-acceptance and love. Most important to enacting true, lasting change, it’s also willing to engage in difficult conversations around how LGBTQIA identities intersect with other factors, such as race, socioeconomic status and religious or spiritual beliefs. This mission yields rich discussion and collaboration with other community centers at UC Davis, such as the AB540 and Undocumented Student Center, the Women’s Resources and Research Center and the Cross Cultural Center. As many of these identities are increasingly targeted by the current presidential administration, these partnerships ensure that each oppressed group stands strong in unity and solidarity with one another. The Editorial Board is proud to have such an active resource on campus that tackles multiple forms of oppression.
These three areas of concentration — education, communal support and intersectional discussion — come together to establish a foundation for LGBTQIA issues, both within the community and beyond.
The Editorial Board encourages students and other community members to get involved and utilize the vital resources available at the Center. Located on the first floor of the Student Community Center, the LGBTQIA Resource Center is open on Mondays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Written By: The Editorial Board