By Shawna Leader/The AS Review
Students looking for an opportunity to learn more about LGBT clubs, meet LGBT-identified students and allies and enjoy free ice cream will find a place to do all three from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2, in the VU Multipurpose Room.
The annual event, hosted by the AS Resource and Outreach Programs’ (ROP) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Alliance (LGBTA), provides a safe space for LGBT-identified students to meet each other and learn about the resources available to them, said LGBTA Coordinator Elle Peters.
The social is also the LGBT Club Summit and Western’s four LGBT clubs will be there to provide information about their organizations, Peters said. The clubs are Queer People of Color, Queer Women Educating and Supporting Together (QWEST), TransPort (a transgender and allies club) and Queers and Allies for Activism.
In addition to the free local ice cream, provided by Mallard, there will be free cake to celebrate the LGBTA’s 25th birthday. There will also be vegan ice cream available.
“We just want people to get together to have fun; we don’t want there to be a lot of pressure about anything,” Peters said. “We just want people to join us and hang out.”
One of Peters’ goals for the event is to educate people about the resources available to them and, by giving people the opportunity to get to know the LGBTA, create a community for LGBT students.
“We want people to get excited about we’re doing and we want people to get to know us because one of the biggest things that the LGBTA is, is a resource,” she said. “We want people to feel comfortable; we want ourselves to be more recognizable so people feel comfortable coming in and talking to us. We just want everyone who comes to know that we’re a resource and [to know] other resources on campus for LGBT students.”
The ice cream social is just the beginning of the several events the LGBTA plans to hold this year. One upcoming event is Coming Out Stories, which will take place in October (Oct. 11 is National Coming Out Day), where LGBT students hear others’ coming out experiences and share their own. Peters said she is looking forward to a new event: playing capture the rainbow flag, which will take place in October. Another event, in November, is the Queer Dating Game, which Peters calls, “a really big night of laughter.”
About the AS LGBTA
The LGBTA is a safe space for LGBT-identified students and allies. The office hosts several events throughout the year and provides resources such as community support and a library. It is located on the 5th floor of the Viking Union in room 515. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or (360) 650-6120.
LGBTA staff: Elle Peters, coordinator; Josh Foley, assistant coordinator; Kooper Wynkoop, programs coordinator.