LGBTQ+ welcome reception kicks off the semester

Attendees+from+the+LGBTQ%2B+Welcome+Reception+browse+some+of+the+radical+books+from+the+book+swap+at+the+event.+Photo+credit%3A+Emily+Neria

Attendees from the LGBTQ+ Welcome Reception browse some of the radical books from the book swap at the event. Photo credit: Emily Neria

A book swap of radical literature, community resource information and free pastries drew students and faculty to the Gender and Sexuality Equity Coalition LGBTQ+ Welcome Reception on Friday.

The purpose of the event, according to queer program coordinator and Chico State pride president Drew Gonzalez, was to introduce members of Chico’s queer community to each other, particularly with other queer students and professors.

“We want students to have that feeling of belonging and to forge a desire in them to do things on campus,” Gonzalez said.

Another hope of the event was that it would raise awareness for the LGBTQ+ community’s on-campus needs. Gonzalez expressed a desire for better funding so that GSEC and clubs like it can put on more events and offer their members support and a truly safe space that they can hang out in or go to for help.

“How can Chico State say that they value diversity when the only queer space is a little half-sized room that we share with other people?” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez also explained that there’s a dedicated audience for these events and questioned why there isn’t more funding allocated to the growing group.

“We want to host the annual drag show,” he said. “Last year, the drag show sold out 600 seats. So where’s our funding?”

Tabling at the event presented attendees with many opportunities to get involved with the school and LGBTQ+ groups around campus. The groups included Catalyst for Domestic Violence, Students for Quality Education and Cross-Cultural Leadership Center along with several other groups and resources.

A person in a vagina costume handed out flyers for the GSEC table, while the Meriam Library table lured people in with a $100 prize in bookstore credit for the person who could most accurately guess the price of a stack of textbooks.

The GSEC office is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in MLIB 171. To learn more visit the GSEC website.

Emily Neria can be reached at [email protected]