Supporting LGBTQIA+ Communities
Our hearts break with the LGBTQIA+ community and the loved ones of those killed and injured this weekend in Saturday’s shooting in Colorado Springs.
The latest in far too many acts of violence against this community, the shooting fell on the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance — a time dedicated to acknowledging the people lost to anti-trans violence and hatred.
Pacific’s Center for Gender Equity will host a dedicated time for folks to process and create a community altar in memory of those affected by this act. Students, staff, faculty and allies are invited to stop by Pacific Hall 127 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesday for “Creating LGBTQ+ Sacred Space.”
The CGE also hosts its annual dinner and candlelight vigil Tuesday evening in honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance. There is still space available for those who want to register for dinner from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on the Forest Grove Campus. The vigil is from 8 to 8:30 p.m. in Trombley Square, and I know it will be all the more poignant following this weekend’s abhorrent tragedy.
It takes true courage to live as our authentic selves, and for those who feel the consequences may be violence like this weekend’s shooting, that courage can seem sometimes unattainable.
This weekend, and in the coming weeks, many will go home to celebrate holidays with families who may not be as supportive of their identities. Others will feel unable to go home and celebrate because of a lack of support.
Please know that I honor and appreciate you, for exactly who you are, wherever you are in your journey.
I truly hope that Pacific is a place that offers everyone a sense of safety, value and belonging. I invite you to reach out to me, or to the wonderful staff at the Center for Gender Equity, if there are ways that we can improve that sense of community.
If you need support, please consider the following resources at Pacific and elsewhere:
- The Student Counseling Center 24/7 Crisis Line at 503-352-2999
- Canopy Employee Assistance Program (free and confidential 24/7 support for employees and family members)
- The Trevor Project (the world’s largest suicide prevention and mental health organization for LGBTQ+ young people)
- Trans Life Line (run by and for trans people) at 877-565-8860
- Lines for Life at 988 (call or text)
The CGE also offers a wide variety of resources and support systems. “When there is violence against our community, it is more vital than ever to connect with safe people,” says Director V Martin.
“Be with your friends. Call or text a crisis line. Apply for an LGBTQ+ mentor with the CGE. It can also be healing to do volunteer work in your community as a way to channel anger and fear into something productive.”
“Remember, the LGBTQ+ community is the epitome of strength. We have survived plagues, thousands of years of violence, estrangement from society. We’re still here, and we always will be.”
On behalf of the Pacific community, we are here to support you and stand by you. You are not alone.