BGSU communities offer support to LGBTQ+ students

Shyla Henry and Shyla Henry

For some, college is all about exploring who you are and finding ways to connect with others. For the LGBTQ+ community at BGSU, coming back to campus in the fall means a chance to join with people of similar interests or identities in a safe space. 

In addition to the LGBTQ+ Resource Center, located on the fourth floor of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union, the community has established various groups to explore interests and develop friendships. While some groups are new and some continuously developing, all strive to build an accepting community on BGSU’s campus.



Queer/Trans Student Union

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Purpose of group: To have a community and a space for queer folks to exist without worrying about being judged

Allies of the community can also enjoy the program. The group wants to combat prejudices within the queer community and educate outside of the classroom.

2018-2019 president: Jo Wilson, recent psychology and women’s, gender and sexuality studies graduate

Favorite part about organization: Queer prom during the second semester 

“It allows for inclusion, as well as a safe space for BG students and its community members,” Jo said.

What meetings look like:

“Meetings vary. Black Queer History month was in February so activities revolved around that. The group does research group work and fun nights like watching the show called ‘Queer Eye,’” Jo said.

Why did you join this organization?

“I joined QTSU because I wanted a queer org to go to. I was first in an acapella group, but then wanted something more toward what I identify with. I joined this organization because I thought, ‘I’m queer, and here’s the queer org,’” Jo said.

Future of organization: “To bridge the gap between those who just show up and those who do not like it. Another goal is to see what would make it safer in this space as well as how to fight against racism,” Jo said.



Honoring, Urging, and Empowering Queer and Trans People of Color (HUE)

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Purpose of group: The group is a space for queer individuals of color who are not yet comfortable talking about their identities or are looking for a safe space.

2018-2019 president: Ky Wilson, junior ethnic studies major  

Favorite part about organization:

“We do not always have the space for our voices to be heard. Seeing people appreciate and support the organization is also my favorite,” Ky said.

What meetings look like:

“This is more of a support group right now. We are trying to see what this group needs on campus. At the Valentine’s Day meeting, the group talked dating as a person of color and personal experiences with dating white people,” Ky said.

Why did you join this organization?

“I joined so people can have a voice and feel safe on this campus, as well as build a community where QTPOC (queer and trans people of color) feel safe,” Ky said.

Future of organization: To be bigger and bolder

“People have to be educated, but I know that’s not how everyone thinks, and I know everyone is different with their activist approach,” Ky said. 

Other information to know: “People should know that identity is intersectional. People should know we are combating racism in the queer community. It is also important for people to not rely on QTPOC regarding issues; it is not always our job to fix people’s ignorance. It is important to support queer/trans people of color and uplifting our voices,” Ky said. 



Queer Literature Club

Purpose of group: Provide primarily young adult literature that focuses on LGBTQ+ characters where members can see themselves represented 

2018-2019 president: Olivia Behm, senior adolescent to young adult integrated language arts education major

What meetings look like: At the first meeting of the month, the group discusses the first half of the book that is assigned at the end of the previous month. At the second meeting, the group discusses the book as a whole. The reading in QLC is completely optional, so there is no obligation to finish every book. Students are still welcome to come hang out and participate in the discussion.

Interested people can check out the books and read by themselves or come to the meetings.The books can be checked out from the LGBTQ+ Resource Center in BTSU 427. Books are assigned at the end of each month, and they are available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Favorite part about organization:

“I think my favorite thing about the organization is the community of it. We are related by our shared interested, like our love of literature, our identities and sometimes our majors. Anyone and everyone is welcome. Many people in the LGBTQ+ community don’t have the privilege of having the family that we were born into, so we make our own. I’m proud of the camaraderie of this group,” Behm said. 

Why did you create this organization?

“I’ve always loved literature, but when I was younger I rarely saw someone like me in the books I read. I distinctly remember feeling like I was broken, so when I found a community of people like me and books written by that community, I was overjoyed. I wanted to make a space where we read specifically LGBTQ+ lit because everyone deserves to see themselves represented and reflected in what they read,” Behm said.

Future of organization: The group wants to get out into the community and start off-campus chapters to get the local LGBTQ+ youth involved.

“It’s always healthy to see yourself represented in what you read and it’s even more important to see when you’re growing up,” Behm said.



Other LGBTQ+ or ally organizations:

Delta Lambda Phi social fraternity


To Write Love On Her Arms