What to expect from the LGBT Resource Center this semester

Courtney Green, News Editor

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The LGBT Resource Center is ready to start this semester off with pride. Spinnaker sat down with Dwan Love-Dinkens, Program Coordinator for the LGBT Resource Center, to get the SWOOP on everything the Center has planned.

This fall, you can expect more of Drag Queen Story Hour with BB Deluxe and a return of the photo booth during Coming Out Week. However, there is a new, exciting addition to Coming Out Week: Pride Slide Pool Party, which is a rainbow water slide event to be held at the Clubhouse from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For a list of other events during Coming Out Week, click here.

Past events that you can expect to see again include Rapid HIV testing throughout the semester, the Rainbow Welcome (hosted today from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.) where you can stop by the Center and learn what they’re all about, and a button making party this Thursday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Aside from the events listed above, you can also expect to see a return of Queers and Cake.

“It’s our monthly excuse to eat cake,” Dwan explained.

Queers and Cake is for LGBT staff or faculty members to eat cake and discuss their experiences being LGBT on campus. These meetings are from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. on the first Wednesday of the month, with the exception of the October 16 meeting, which will coincide with International Pronoun Day.

It appears the Center has already done their homework for the Spring semester too.

“For Spring, we’re thinking about doing something different for our Pride-U-Cation,” Dwan shared. “We are thinking about bringing someone in to do fun events. I’m thinking about it, but I’m not certain so I can’t say.”

Also, if anyone has any ideas, the LGBT Resource Center is open to hearing them. Simply send them an email with your suggestion and they will take it under consideration. The role of the LGBT Resource Center is to provide a space for LGBT students, as well as to support them and all students, so you’re ideas are valuable regardless of your background.

“You don’t have to be LGBT to come to our events, use our programs, utilize any of our services such as HIV testing or to be trained or to be a panelist in our peer educator group. Whatever service we have is open to everyone. We are more than a hangout spot.”

The LGBT Resource Center is responsible for everything LGBT-related on campus, from Safe Space training to gender inclusive housing to the Preferred Name Policy. 

In case you’re wondering, the Preferred Name Policy means that if you want to change your name, you can fill out a form and turn it into One-Stop. However, it is a separate process if you need a legal name change.

In addition to the events planned for this semester, changes are also coming to the LGBT Resource Center. The Center is currently looking for a new director and will take up a search committee in the weeks to come. In addition, the Speakers Bureau program is changing its name to Outspoken Peer Educators. The program will have LGBT faculty and students visit classrooms and talk about their experiences.

“If anybody is interested in joining us, we are doing a training September 6, from noon to 2 p.m.”

Another addition at the Center is the Club Can-Do Mentoring Program, which is for LGBT students here at UNF where they are matched with a LGBT mentor in the community. Right now, we have more mentors than mentees, so if you would like to apply on our website.”

As a parting thought, Dwan shared a message of inclusivity. 

“Don’t be afraid to step in. It seems scary, it can be intimidating, but once you are in here, we do our best to make you feel like you’re at home. Like it’s a home away from home. If you’re nervous, you can always email the Center and we can meet you and just come talk to you. You know, baby steps to bring you in here.”

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