Since I am part of the LGBTQIA+ community at RIT, I can attest that there are multiple clubs, organizations, and offices that are here to help you through anything that might come up. As someone who is transgender and pansexual, I wanted to talk about my experiences on campus and where you can find support when you need it.
The number one thing that helped me through my first year at RIT was the Q Center. If you’ve never heard of it, the Q Center is located on the A Level of the Student Alumni Union. They’ve got a great student lounge, a new mind spa (a very relaxing room that even includes aroma therapy), as well as an amazing library with many books written by and for queer people. My first semester at RIT, I stumbled upon this center. It’s a great place to meet other queer people, relax in between classes, get some books, plus it’s conveniently located near the RITZ Sports Zone (if you're hungry). You can even get free bracelets and pins there as well!
The Center for Women and Gender is also here to support LGBTQIA+ students. If you ever need to talk to anyone about how you’re doing, their counseling staff is equipped to help you deal with any issues you’re experiencing. They are an incredibly affirming and accepting organization, plus there is always free chocolate!
If you’ve visited the Q Center before, you may know that they have a list of all the LGBTQIA+ clubs on campus as well as their meeting times. I’m only going to discuss the clubs I’ve personally been involved with in depth. I’ll list the other club names so, if you would like to, you can check them out. First, we have Labrys which is a club for someone who identifies as any percent female or any percent queer. Enby is a club for non-binary folx and A-Space is a club for Aromantic/Asexual people.
Tangent is the first group I got involved with during my first fall semester. Tangent is a support group for non-binary, or transgender people. It’s a really great place to go and discuss any challenges you’ve faced that week or even something amazing that’s happened to you! It’s a great place to meet other people that have experienced some of the same situations as you. It was really comforting hearing other people say that they understood where I was coming from and sharing what they did to overcome those challenges. Tangent is a very safe environment for you to express yourself in and I definitely recommend it, even if you’re questioning and aren’t sure of your gender identity yet.
RITGA is RIT’s LGBTQIA+ alliance. It’s a great place to go and meet people from all different walks of life. RITGA normally has a lot of different events throughout the semester so keep an eye out. Recently, they just had Rainbow Week and some of those events included ice skating, brick painting, a bbq, and even a lock in! They meet every Wednesday night at 9 pm in Kate Gleason A500.
I hope you learned a little bit of what RIT has to offer in respect to LGBTQIA+ life on campus. Keep your eyes open for any flyers or emails about events on campus. Have an amazing week 4.