ISOSU Intersection of Identity
ISOSU had its first Intersection of Identity program in the IRC Monday night, and the attendance was…well, let’s just say somebody showed.
Although the event was not targeted specifically to international students, ISOSU’s intention was to create a safe environment for international students who identify themselves as LGBT (but haven’t necessarily come out) to attend and learn about the resources on campus.
The day after the event, I spoke to an international student about my dismay regarding the attendance. When I explained it was for international students, she laughed at me.
“International students aren’t going to come,” she said. And she posed an important question.
What if someone (in the student’s cultural community) recognizes the student and goes back to tell student’s family?
This was a good point.
While I emphasize that Intersection of Identity was held in a safe environment, I admit that it wasn’t a private environment. At Oregon State University, not even the CAPS department is “private.”
If you are an international (or domestic) student who wants to know more information, but you’re shy to attend the events, here is some info for you, provided by the organization reps:
Because the center is so close to the ILLC, reps understand if international students are uncomfortable walking in. However, there is a back door in which students can enter. There, students will find a space with similar people who listen. At the Pride Center, you can:
- Disclose your emotions (What’s said in the Pride Center, stays in the Pride Center)
- Drink coffee and chill in their living room (great way to relax during final’s week)
- Gain referrals (student health services, social programming, CAPS, etc.)
This is a safe space, and much like the Pride Center, what is said there, stays there. This is a group that meets Mondays and Wednesdays at 7:00 pm in the Memorial Union. Students facing similar struggles can come together and discuss personal issues, free of judgement.
What does it mean to be a minority and identify yourself as LGBT? SOL is a group of students that work to overcome these prejudices. A white man who identifies himself as LGBT may have problems, but none like a black woman who identifies herself as LGBT. SOL is conveniently stationed within the Pride Center.
ISOSU hopes this information is useful to those students who didn’t attend Intersection of Identity, but may have wanted to. Have a great long weekend!