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MU LGBTQ programs offer safe options for students

Thursday, July 28, 2011 | 12:01 a.m. CDT
Chaz Freck, 10, and his mom Susan Freck and Jayme Aquino, 24, walk in the candlelight vigil for members of the LGBTQ community who committed suicide. LGBTQ youth led the supporters downtown to the United Methodist Church where they announced the names of those who had committed suicide the previous month, followed by a screening of the movie Bullied. An estimated 250 people attended, a number that far surpassed everyone's expectation, Megan Lee, the volunteer coordinator for The Center Project, said.

Over the past 16 years, LGBTQ resources and outlets have become more present across MU.

With a focus on more than just members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer community, the outlets and resources encourage an open mind and a welcoming spirit.

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OUTLETS

  • InsideOUT uses peers as resources to listen from a neutral standpoint. This outlet encourages people to share their experiences, whether they are members of the LGBTQ community or allies. All conversations are led by an LGBTQ Resource Center staff member.
  • OutReach is a panel of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or as a heterosexual ally. The panel shares experiences about being part of the LGBTQ community and also participates in a Q-and-A session with an audience. Overall, the panel aims to reduce homophobic or heterosexist attitudes by providing the public with open and honest conversation.
  • A black square featuring a purple triangle with a pink rectangle framing the words “Safe Space” decorates many windows and doors across campus. This sticker signifies an area where members of the LGBTQ community are completely free of discrimination and can speak openly. Anyone can sign up to be a Safe Space ally.
  • A free magazine produced by students, [sh]OUT Magazine is a voice for members of the MU LGBTQ community. The magazine can be found online or in print at the LGBTQ Resource Center. Produced solely by students, anyone interested in contributing can apply at shoutmizzou.com/volunteer.
  • Multiple groups, listservs and e-mail groups provide details about upcoming events and current issues. The MU LGBTQ Resource Center e-mail group, Triangle Coalition, [sh]OUT Magazine and the MU LesbiGay listserv can help students get acquainted with and involved in the LGBTQ community.
  • Support for transgender and questioning MU students can be found with Fluidity. This group uses guest speakers, rap sessions and videos to help students express themselves in a fun and confidential environment.

RESOURCES

  • Many of the outlets above are strongly supported by the LGBTQ Resource Center. The center provides movies, books and magazines about gay rights, hate crimes, religion, coming out and other LGBTQ topics. It is located at G225 in the Student Center.
  • Triangle Coalition is a student organization that encourages a positive environment for the LGBTQ community. The coalition has a strong network of support from other organizations such as Fluidity
  • Another student organization is Queer People of Color, which supports those who are a minority within a minority. This organization attempts to raise awareness about the struggles minorities in the LGBTQ community face.

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