The LGBT*QA Resource Center at Western Illinois University (WIU) is celebrating ten years of operation this week.
Sarah Daniels, a graduate assistant at the LGBT*QA Resource Center, said that before the center had its first physical home in Seal Hall (now in the Multicultural Center), there was just one week of programming in April to raise awareness for the LGTQ+ population. This year, as the center celebrates its 10th anniversary, there is a slate of activities scheduled throughout the month of April to celebrate Pride Month at WIU.
“I am excited to kick-off the first WIU Pride Month, beginning April 1, on the 10-year anniversary of the resource center,” Daniels added. “It is not without the resilience of the LGBTQ+ community at WIU and Macomb that we have so much to celebrate.”
Some of the initiatives by the center include:
Unity – While the origins of Unity, the LGBTQ student organization on campus, began before the founding of the center, graduate assistants in the center have served as graduate advisers to Unity since 2011. For anyone interested in learning more about Unity or joining, contact [email protected].
Afrocentric Queers – Afrocentric Queers is a new student organization that was formed out of the identified need for a space for queer and trans people of color to celebrate both of their identities. It began as an initiative in Fall 2020 and is advised by both the LGBT*QA Resource Center and the Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center. Anyone interested in joining the organization can fill out the interest form here.
The Lambda Lavender Honor Society – The Lambda Lavender Honor Society (LLHS) was developed from a lack of national recognition of LGBTQ academic excellence and leadership. Anyone interested in joining LLHS can apply for membership or visit the LLHS page on PurplePost for more information.
The Closet – The Closet (or Qloset) was developed in Spring 2019, and implemented in the Fall 2019. It was an initiative started by Unity and the LGBT*QA Resource Center graduate assistant at the time. The Closet is a completely donation-based project where students can take clothing, which is available at no cost, to help them match their gender expressions and identity. Anyone interested in making a donation to the Closet, contact the LGBT*QA Resource Center at [email protected].
gc2b Partnership – In December 2019, the LGBT*QA Resource Center began a partnership initiative with gc2b, one of a transitional apparel company, to provide masculinizing chest binders for the WIU and Macomb communities (including the Quad Cities campus), at no cost to the individuals in need. For more information about gc2b and the products they provide, go to https://www.gc2b.co. For individuals interested in receiving a chest binder, please fill out the interest form to set up a confidential appointment for sizing and care instructions.