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Director of the LGBTQ+ Center, Micah McCarey, welcomes students to the open house on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. McCarey explains what the LGBTQ+ Center does as he sets out more pronoun pins.

LGBT Center commences year with open house

The Division of Diversity and Inclusion at Ohio University hosted their annual LGBTQIA+ Open House this past Friday for new and returning students. The event allowed students to check out the LGBT Center’s new space, located in Baker 348, and meet the staff.

Additionally, the open house provided a space for students to connect with other LGBTQIA+ individuals and ally community members.

Many freshmen attended the event, interested to see what the LGBT Center looked like.

“I just wanted to check out the resources that they have, maybe meet people like me and like-minded people and honestly, just to find a safe space to hang out in case I need,” Kat Carlson, a freshman studying journalism, said. “I wasn't sure where it was before, and now I know, so I was going to go check it out.”

Meanwhile, other students were simply curious to see the resources offered in the center, as well as find new connections.

“It is to meet new people, meet new friends, to see what's available and the resources they have,” Eli Miesse, a freshman studying English, said. “It's always good to just check those out even if you don't need them, just to know that they exist.”

In regards to the turnout of the open house, Micah McCarey, director of the LGBT Center, was ecstatic to see a vast amount of new and familiar faces.

“The open house went great with more than 200 students coming through, coloring community art posters themed promoting the university’s goal to ‘Make Respect Visible,’ hanging out in our allyship room, grabbing free stickers, pronoun pins, wellness resources, and more,” McCarey said in an email.

With the first weeks of Fall Semester in full swing, the center recently co-sponsored Friday’s drag show alongside the University Program Council, and it has a list of events students can attend starting this upcoming week.

On Monday, the LGBT Center will be hosting a gathering for A-spec individuals from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The meetup will allow people who are on the asexual or aromantic spectrum or those who are questioning to find each other, build community and get to know one another.

The LGBT Center will also be supporting official student groups on campus, including groups such as the Trans Group and Shades. The Trans Group will meet at 7:30 p.m. on Mondays and Shades at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays, both in Baker 348.

The center is gearing up to provide a hybrid meetup on Sept. 7 for students to hear from student group leaders about what LGBTQIA+ organizations exist on campus, which ones are looking for new leadership and to help students find interest in joining a new organization on campus. It will be held in Baker 366.

Sarah Doherty, the assistant director of the LGBT Center, says that all these upcoming events are an opportunity for students to learn new things.

“It's college, it's an opportunity to learn things you haven't learned before, to connect with people in new ways and to figure out who is going to be in your corner as you navigate your own personal journey through the university,” Doherty said. “And who are folks who you can help along the way and how are you going to both work hard and also play hard and have fun?”

Doherty also says there will be an LGBTQIA+ identities workshop on Sept. 12 in the center.

“We’re part of the ‘Make Respect Visible’ initiative, as the whole campus is, and we're providing resources around gender and sexuality, diversity and inclusion and equity and also around helping people develop their own leadership in their own interests and learning about history and community,” Doherty said.

Additionally, The LGBT Center is aiming to host an hour-long sewing session for individuals to learn how to operate sewing machines, so that they can make and alter their clothes in gender-affirming, accessible and size-related ways later in September.

The center’s staff also urges students to be on the lookout for more LGBTQIA+ speakouts, where people will talk about their identities, as well as programming for Latinx and LGBTQIA+ History Month.

@grace_koe

gk011320@ohio.edu

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