I have known I was different for a long time. Growing up, I was always the only boy who played with the girls. I was the only boy who did not want to play football. I was the only boy with a really high voice. Coming to the University of Illinois, I so looked forward to having a safe space where I could truly be me. After coming out during my sophomore year, I was ready to not only learn about who I am, but explore the resources that UIUC has for queer people.
LGBT Resource Center
The mission of the LGBTRC is to provide a safe, open, and inclusive environment for all members of the queer community. The LGTBRC features both the Queer Support Group and the Transgender Support Group. These support groups offer safe spaces where individuals can go to share their experiences, listen to others, and discuss their views. The Transgender Support Group specializes in discussing topics and experiences related to gender identity, whereas the Queer Support Group focuses on topic related to sexuality. The LGBTRC also offers a confidential forum where students can provide their opinions on how the university can be more inclusive!
The LGBT Resource Center also has a plethora of student affiliated groups where students can go to meet with other students who identify similarly to them. The Out in Chem, oSTEM, and Techfront groups are all safe spaces where queer Illini can go that have interests in chemistry, technology, and all science, engineering, and math fields. Out in Chem and Techfront are very social groups where you can chat and learn about the promotion of gay people in science. oSTEM offers many networking opportunities and the chance to meet with professionals in the STEM field.
Fuse and Trans of Color are both organizations that specialize in catering to queer Illini of color wanting to discuss intersectionality. There are also organizations that are great spaces for women, asexual Illini, and for international students on the queer spectrum!
Going to a school that has so many groups and resources for me and my queer peers is very reassuring. I know many of my queer peers who have found these organizations to be so important to them that it saved their life. Thank you, Illinois, for not making me feel different.