March 23, 2019 | 36° F

Center hosts week for LGBTQ awareness

“Queer Sexuality Week” to help bring light to LGBTQ?issues

No matter how diverse a student body, students may have difficulty in coming to a new place and meeting new people who may or may not fully understand how diverse sexuality can be.

Jenny Kurtz, director of the Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities, said students sometimes face discrimination from others who are uncomfortable with their sexual preference.

“Some students have more unique issues that center around either coming out to themselves or to their families or friends, and there are issues of questioning identity,” Kurtz said.

Zaneta Rago, assistant director at the center, said the lack of awareness during early schooling greatly affects the students’ perspectives coming into the University.

“Often times in K-12 sex education, if you’re having any type of sex education that’s not abstinence only, it also does not include LGBTQ people,” Rago said. “So we’re basically just leveling the playing ground in a lot of ways.”

The Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities is hosting “Queer Sexuality Week” from Feb. 11-15. The week features various activities open to all with the purpose of bringing awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer issues to the University.

The message of “Queer Sexuality Week” is essentially to bring light to issues and raise the general awareness of University students to LGBTQ issues that some may not even be aware of, Kurtz said.

She said having “Queer Sexuality Week” is important to the entire student body.

“Sexuality is part of the human experience for a lot of human beings, and LGBTQ sexuality does not always get the recognition it deserves,” she said.

Kyle Hartmann, office manager for the center, said it is important to get the word out, particularly to students who do not consider themselves LGBTQ. Students can reach out to the center through almost any media outlet, he said.

“This [week] shows students who may not be part of the LGBT community that events like these are going on.  All students can come into our office at anytime [and] go through the materials that we have,” Hartmann said.

Despite the need to have students of all sexualities feel comfortable, Kurtz said that not everyone comes to the University unsure of who they are.

“Many students come to school, and they are already aware of their identity or have lots of support from their family and friends,” Kurtz said.

Alongside “Queer Sexuality Week,” the Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities offers programs to all students throughout the school year. Some of the services include counselors that are available for students to talk to.

By Carlett Spike

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