Org supports students during holiday season

Emily Lepkowski, News Editor

For some students, going home for the holidays means comfort and relaxation. But for others it may not be the case.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students (LGBT*) may have a difficult time celebrating the holiday season if families are not as accepting of their gender identities, expressions or if they have not come out to their families at home.

“I don’t think the majority of our LGBT* students are out at home,” LGBT* Coordinator Stephanie Selvick said. “And so they go home and they are not out in a variety of ways, and they have to hide that part of themselves and that is exhausting.”

IMPACT and the PRIDE Center give students an environment to be themselves as well as provide on campus support. “Winter holidays can be more isolated and it’s a challenge for those of us who do outreach to students who maybe don’t have support, It’s certainly a challenge,” Selvick said

IMPACT will be putting on a ‘Holigays” party on Dec. 13 with a gift exchange, music and holiday festivities.

IMPACT also hosts ‘Queersgiving’ every year, providing students an alternative to the traditional Thanksgiving

  “Most times, there’s gotta be somebody in your corner,” IMPACT president Megan Tickner said.  “I think finding them and relying on them in a time where maybe it’s hard to rely on yourself, I think it’s really important.”

Turning to digital communities for those who may be farther away from family and friends during the holidays is also a way for students to find support.

“I think for the LGBT* community, even though we go home for the winter break, people at IMPACT, we have our email and our Facebook page so if anyone needs anything, doesn’t mean you can’t reach out onto it,” Tickner said.

Selvick also started exploring other pride centers to see what kinds of solutions they offer, one of which she found, was a gay holiday movies watch list.

“I think it goes back to this idea of a digital community so you get to see yourself represented in this holiday that we often don’t see,” Selvick said.