April 27, 2016
GUEST BLOG: Cardinal, Gold, and Rainbow: LGBT Life at USC
Howdy! My name is Michael Gorse, and my pronouns are he/him/his. I currently work as the graduate program manager at the LGBT Resource Center at USC, where we provide support services and programming/event opportunities for all LGBT and ally students. We work to create a more welcoming campus climate for all minorities and work closely with the three other cultural centers (Asian Pacific American Student Services (APASS), the Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs (CBCSA), and El Centro Chicano) to provide safe spaces for students to be themselves.
At USC, there are many ways for first-year students to get involved in the LGBT community! Through the LGBT Resource Center, you can join the Speakers Bureau to share your story with allies, you can be a mentee in our Peer Mentoring program, you can live on the Rainbow Floor, and you can attend our annual Queer Rising overnight off-campus retreat. Get involved with the LGBT first-year group, the Freshman Advocacy Board (FAB), to make friends, learn about important LGBT issues, and to begin your journey as a LGBTQ+ leader at USC. Join the Queer and Ally Student Assembly (QuASA) or any of their member organizations (e.g., OUTreach, Queer People of Color, Queer Cut, and many more). You should also consider the possibility of adding the LGBT Studies minor and/or taking LGBT-specific classes like HIST 302 Lesbians in History, SWMS 355 Transgender Studies, or SWMS 425 Queer Los Angeles. In addition, every October, we host the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Models of Pride conference here on campus, bringing in over 2,000 LGBT youth (12-24 years old) attendees and over 500 adults. This conference is great for educating yourself about specific LGBT topics and enjoying some great queer entertainment, and the best part is that the entire conference is FREE!
Here at the LGBT Resource Center in the Student Union (STU 202C), we recently opened our brand new “Lavender Lounge.” This new space aims to provide LGBT students with a safe and identity-affirming space for them to study, have lunch, watch LGBT films, drink coffee (from our purple Keurig), or use our student computers to do homework or print off assignments. Our Lavender Lounge currently is open 9:00am – 5:00pm Monday through Friday, but we’re hoping to extend our hours next year to stay open in the evening!
If you have any questions for me, feel free to email me and my coworkers at email@example.com, give us a call at 213-740-7619, or chat with us anonymously online on our website http://lgbtrc.usc.edu/. Welcome to the Trojan Family, and Fight On!
M.Ed. Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs Candidate
Executive Chair, Queer Graduate Alliance
Department Manager, LGBT Resource Center
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