Gallaudet LGBTQA Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the LGBTQA Resource Center located? Can students use this space?
The LGBTQA Resource Center is one of three units in the Office of Diversity and Equity for Students (ODES). The ODES Suite houses both the office of the Resource Center Coordinator, Dr. Cara Miller, and the LGBTQA Resource Center Lounge, The Hangout. Both are in Hall Memorial Building (HMB) South Wing Suite 141. Students are welcome to drop in to Dr. Miller's office during office hours to chat and seek consultation. Students, staff, and faculty are always welcome at the The Hangout - the space is for YOU to relax, study, enjoy coffee, and spend time with friends.

What ways are there to get involved with the LGBTQA Resource Center?
The LGBTQA Resource Center welcomes volunteers to assist with a variety of projects. Students can also serve on the LGBTQA Advisory Committee.

Do you have to identify as LGBTQ to attend programs, groups, and events? 
No. The majority of our programs and events are open to everyone. The more, the merrier! We value exchange of ideas and opinions and welcome opportunities to share and learn new information related to LGBTQA identities and experiences.

Who can check out the books and DVDs in the library? How long can you check them out for? 
Current Gallaudet students, faculty, and staff all have access to our library materials. Books may be borrowed for three weeks at a time and DVDs for one week. For more information, visit our Library page (coming soon).

What role can faculty/staff members have in the LGBTQA Resource Center? 
Faculty and Staff are welcomed and encouraged to become mentors and role models for LGBTQA students. During the academic year, the LGBTQA Resource Center offers programs where faculty, staff, and students may interact, such as Lavender Graduation. The Friday afternoon mixer is another opportunity for faculty and students to interact in an informal setting outside the classroom. Faculty and staff are also invited to serve on the Advisory Committee to the LGBTQA Resource Center. For more information about programs offered by LGBTQA Resource Center or to get more involved with the Center, email Coordinator Dr. Cara Miller at cara.miller@gallaudet.edu.

One of the most important programs the LGBTA Resource Center offers for faculty and staff is our Allies Network Program. Allies Network provides participants with an assortment of resources as well as useful tools for supporting and referring LGBTQA students to appropriate services. Although members of the LGBTQ community often have a leg-up when it comes to information about and resources for the community, each of us has areas we can work on. The Allies Network Program seeks to identify those areas and provide the tools necessary to support LGBTQ students and advocate for inclusion and equity across Gallaudet's campus. Email lgbtqa@gallaudet.edu to sign up yourself or your department or unit for the Allies Network Program.

Are there safe sex materials available at the LGBTQA Resource Center? 
Yes. The Hangout always has condoms, dental dams, and lube pillows in stock, well as informational pamphlets. For students interested in testing, DAWN provides free and confidential HIV testing services every Wednesday in ELI.

How do I get updates on what's happening at the LGBTQA Resource Center?
Our website will be updated regularly with information. We are also on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/gallylgbtqa. Email lgbtqa@gallaudet.edu to subscribe to the Gally LGBTQA Email List and receive updates on LGBTQA campus events & resources, as well as local events and activities.

What are the resources for trans* students that are starting to transition? 
At this time, Gallaudet student health insurance, administered by Student Health Programs, does not cover hormone therapy or reassignment surgery. However, for those with other insurance, Gallaudet Student Health Services and the Counseling and Psychological Services Center are available to provide referrals for health care providers.  The LGBTQA Resource Center Coordinator can also assist with researching LGBTQA-informed and culturally-sensitive health care providers.

What should I do if a Gallaudet student or faculty/staff member says or does something that is discriminatory?

To consult or receive support, contact the LGBTQA Resource Center Coordinator: cara.miller@gallaudet.edu. To seek support, contact Counseling and Psychological Services Center, or contact the Gallaudet Title IX Coordinator or Office of Equal Opportunity Programs. 

How large is the LGBTQ community at Gallaudet University? What is the climate like for out LGBT faculty, staff, and students? 
There is a sizeable number of out LGBTQ students, staff, and faculty on campus. Additionally, there are many openly out alumni. There are as many different experiences of being openly LGBTQ as there are LGBTQ people on campus.



COMING OUT QUESTIONS


What resources are there for questioning students and/or anyone considering coming out? 
The LGBTQA Resource Center has informational books, brochures, and online resources to help questioning students and those considering coming out. The LGBTQA Resource Center can also assist you in meeting other supportive students in the community. For immediate or serious concerns, visit Gallaudet Counseling and Psychological Services, located on the third floor of the Kellogg Conference Center.

Can students schedule time to meet with the LGBTQA Resource Center Coordinator?
Yes. Dr. Miller is available during office hours and for individual appointments. For serious issues, please contact Gallaudet Counseling and Psychological Services Center.

GENERAL QUESTIONS


What does LGBTQA stand for? 
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, and Asexual/Ally.


What does queer mean? Why do people use the word queer?
Queer is an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities that are not heterosexual or gender-binary. Some number of years ago, the term "queer" was pejorative; it has since been reappropriated by some groups as a communal and political term to describe those who reject binary gender identity and sexual orientation  models (binary = either/or; male OR female; gay OR straight). It is suggested that people not in the LGBTQA community not use the term "queer" unless instructed to do so by family and friends preferring to identify as such.

What does trans* mean? Why do you use it? 
Trans* is an umbrella term for anyone identifying outside of typical gender norms. While typically referring to "transgender," "trans*" with an asterisk refers to various identities including, but not limited to, transgender, transsexual, transvestite, cross-dressers, drag performers, intersex individuals, gender blenders, or gender queers. The term can also be used to include allies and partners to the community. We use the term "trans*" to be as inclusive as we can and avoid leaving out any identities in a list that tries to address everyone's experiences.

What resources exist for allies of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community?

Choosing to be an ally is one of the most important things a straight, cisgender person can do for the LGBTQ community. A lot of responsibility can come with being an ally, though. You are expected to know information that you may or may not be exposed to on a regular basis. You may also feel a lot of pressure to be perfect at all times.

Fortunately, the LGBTQA Resource Center also has resources for allies and is welcoming to all people. Like all other students, allies are welcome to make individual appointments with the LGBTQA Resource Center Coordinator. They also have access to all of our library resources and informational pamphlets specifically designed for allies. For allies wanting to learn more about the LGBTQ community and become better allies, Allies Network training is a good option to build upon the knowledge you already have.
Allies interested in becoming more active in the LGBTQ community are encouraged to contact Rainbow Society, Gallaudet University's LGBTQA student organization. Volunteer positions are also available at the LGBTQA Resource Center.

- Questions and answers adapted with thanks to Emory University's Office of LGBT Life -

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