Pride Center adds new support group

Photo+Credit%2C+Pride+Center+Facebook
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Pride Center adds new support group

Photo Credit, Pride Center Facebook

Photo Credit, Pride Center Facebook

Photo Credit, Pride Center Facebook

Photo Credit, Pride Center Facebook

Laura Mendez

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CSUN’s pride center welcomes students to support transgender, non-binary and gender questioning students through T-Time.

“T-Time” sessions started spring 2014 in order to motivate individuals who identify, or question their identity as an LGBTQ person.

The hour and a half long discussion allow students to talk about issues and obstacles that they may face everyday.

As an effort to create a safe space, the sessions are conducted by student facilitators who similarly identify.

Tyler Neroes, a student facilitator, said that the group can help struggling students.

“I knew a few people that were struggling prior to the group,” Neroes said. “They didn’t know about the group at the time.”

Austin Sawyer, a mechanical engineer major who joined the group during the Fall 2016 semester, said it feels like a comfortable space.

“It’s a nice place to go if you’re not accepted anywhere else,” he said.

When compared to heterosexual students, LGBT students are at risk of suicide, depression, and violence, according to the 2013 GLSEN School Climate Survey.

According to the survey, “74.1 percent of LGBT students were verbally harassed (e.g., called names or threatened) in the past year because of their sexual orientation and 55.2 percent because of their gender expression.”

T-Time mainly aims to help the transgender, non-binary and gender questioning community feel welcomed by providing a safe space for them to go to.

Joseph Cayanan, Pride Center Supervisor, said the group was created to address the needs of transgender students on campus.

“Even before when we were by the VRC, trans students didn’t have anywhere to go to talk about their specific community,” Cayanan said. “There was so much of need that it needed its own group.”

Trans allies are welcome only if they are accompanying a trans student for support.

“If someone is not a trans ally it changes the feeling of the group,” Cayanan said.

Cayanan explained that for someone to become a trans ally, one must become knowledgeable about the community and provide emotional support.

“If someone is either questioning their gender or is trans then they can go to that group to further discover themselves,” Cayanan said. “They get support from each other. Just by being in the same group together, they slowly build a community.”

For more information, visit the Pride Center at the USU or call (818) 677-4355.