The Pride Center at the University Student Union (USU) will host their second “QTPOC (Queer and Transgender People of Color) Conversations,” a meeting exclusively for queer and transgender people of color this Wednesday and will continue every Wednesday until November 9.
“QTPOC Conversations” encourages those who attend to engage in a conversation revolving around the intersection of LGBTQ and POC identities in a safe and welcoming environment.
“CSUN is such a diverse school, with a large minority population–many of which don’t have a safe place to open up about experiences or issues they deal with, which is why we began this meeting for queer and transgender people of color in particular,” said Volunteer Outreach Leader, Hedyeh Rezai.
This new exclusive meeting allows QTPOC students to build a small community, one in which they are surrounded by people who have shared similar experiences and understand one another.
“Students who identify as QTPOC needed a safe place to voice their opinions and their experiences,” said Rezai. “A place where they are surrounded by people who understand and a place where they can say: this is my culture, this is who I am and this is what I deal with.”
The Pride Center offers other open meetings to anyone who would like to attend, such as, “Tuesday Talks”, to give students the opportunity to discuss relevant issues, but “QTPOC Conversations” create a much more intimate environment for queer and transgender people of color.
“Tuesday Talks is open to anyone and everyone– I feel that students who identify as QTPOC may have difficulty opening up about issues such as white privilege or other topics that may offend other students if they are surrounded by people who cannot relate to them,” said Rezai.
There are resources that CSUN offers that may facilitate the needs of QTPOC students, such as counseling or academic counseling.
“I think that it is important that CSUN forms a multicultural center organization where people with different intersectionalities can have a space to voice their opinion,” said Rezai. “There are organizations that facilitate the needs of minority groups, but what about those who don’t identify as just one?”
The Pride Center’s main goal is to give students that identify as QTPOC, a safe and welcoming place to talk about the challenges they deal with on a day-to-day basis and to offer a space of healing.
“At the end of the meeting, we may not be able to come up with solutions for every challenge and issue that the participants face, but we hope to give them a sense of healing or a place to begin their healing process,” said Rezai.
All students who identify as queer or transgender people of color may attend “QTPOC Conversations” on Wednesdays from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Pride Center, located on the second floor of the Sol Center.