The LGBTIA Resource Center at Tech provides safe spaces for members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
From safe havens for those questioning their identity, to providing spaces for those with similar experiences to form community, to providing trainings on how to be a good ally to the community, the resource center is there for all.
Biweekly, the center hosts a variety of Q Chats (short for queer chats) for different groups within the LGBTQIA+ community to facilitate community within the larger sphere of Tech’s campus.
These chats are hosted by student facilitators, each who also identify with the group that they are facilitating.
Skylar Kennett, third-year EE, is the facilitator for the Women’s Q Chat.
Kennett said, “there are several Q chats obviously and they all kind of have their own purpose. So the women’s Q chat is just for anyone who identifies the women, sometimes at least.”
The women’s Q chat meets Mondays from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Parker Alderman, first-year IA and ML is the facilitator for the Queer and Trans People of Color Q chat (QTPOC).
The QTPOC chat meets Mondays from 6 – 7 p.m..
When speaking on his experience with the center, Alderman said that “when I was doing my college search, it was actually a big requirement for me was that there was an active resource center on the campus and that they had, you know, gender inclusive housing and different things like that.”
He continued saying, “the Q+ chats are essentially these small groups of people that come from various communities within the LGBT community and so they’re able to connect and talk with each other about shared experiences and different things like that […] and so it’s just a way for people to connect with other minded people and just talk about stuff and make friends and just have a safe space to be.”
The topics of these chats range from specific news impacting the community to simply how each participants’ week has gone.
When discussing the group that he facilitates, Alderman said “we have a set topic each week but for the most part things derail and so it’s like we started one and then we hit a whole bunch of different others, so it’s just like
a big conversation.”
Kennett said that an example topic for her group would be “gender roles and how within women on women relationships
that affects them.”
She continued, “we’ve also talked about in the past things from like what show you’re watching right now to why aren’t there any good lesbian rom-coms.”
The central goal for the Q chats is to create “a way for queer people to just get together and be safe and have fun and without having to worry about a lot of the outside influences”, said Alderman.
The resource center hosts some events regularly, and a few special themed events throughout the semester.
Many of the special events focus on creating fun events for students within the LGBTQIA+ community to enjoy time with others they identify with.
When speaking about events the center has put on, Kennett said “my favorite so far has been Pride Prom, which was super cool. They [the center] gave us a shuttle to GSU and I think the theme was camp that you can kind of dress however you want.”
She continued, “I always get really excited to wear like because …I like to be feminine, but I also …love to wear suits.”
When describing his experience so far working with the LGBTQIA Resource Center, Alderman said “I also am really grateful that I’m able to be a part of the queer and trans people of color chat because I often in past experiences have felt like I’ve had to choose between being queer and being POC and so I feel like it’s nice to have a space where all of all facets of your identity is accepted.”
Both Kennett and Alderman encourage anyone who is interested to reach out to the center to get more involved.
“I would definitely say the easiest part is to just go to the center whenever you want to […] like it is very comfortable, it’s very safe and very welcoming, everybody in there is very fun and nice.” Alderman said.
He continued, “if you’re questioning if you want to talk to someone, of course we have our chats and the people that are over the resource center, William [Britto] and Tegra [Myanna] are extremely amazing, they would be extremely open to having a conversation with anybody who wanted to be more involved”
Kennett echoed this sentiment, “they have a lot of events and engage and you can get their instagram page @gt_lgbtqia and see what’s going on if you just want to get to know people better,” she said.
Alderman also encouraged allies to attend allyship trainings and support the community in that way.
He concluded “I would definitely say that the resource center is really amazing. I came from a school where being queer wasn’t exactly something I could be open about and so it was really nice to be able to come here and find a space where other people are, you know, feeling the same things I feel and doing the same things I do and identifying the same way” Alderman said.
The LGBTQIA Resource Center fills an important role on Georgia Tech’s campus.
It creates a safe community for students who identify with the LGBTQIA+ community, students who are questioning how they identify and provides training for outsiders to the community on how to help create a world that is better for everyone in it.