Shaunda Brown helps LGBT community

For senior Shaunda Brown the transition to life at the University was effortless.

Brown is from Detroit— a drastic difference from the small city feel of Bowling Green— but when she transferred to the University from Western Michigan University her sophomore year, she made herself at home.

“BG is open and supportive of my identity and the fluidity of my sexual experiences,” Brown said.

Acknowledging herself as a triple jeopardy— a racial minority [African American], a minority in how she identifies her sexuality [lesbian] and a woman— she does not take her comfortable situation for granted.

She said the University has many initiatives and opportunities to raise awareness for those involved in and supporting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

“It’s always interesting to me when I go to a conference and interact with other students because things we take for granted such as the LGBT Resource Center, various LGBT student organizations, thriving LGBT inclusive environment,that they do not have,” Brown said.

She herself has made a mark on the University’s campus as a Student Leadership Assistant, LGBTQ student organization undergraduate adviser, HUE treasurer and an Ethnic Studies tutor.

“She is resiliently passionate about issues that others are afraid of,” said Claire Austin, graduate student intern in the Center for Leadership.

Austin works closely with Brown because she supervises the Student Leadership Assistant’s position in the Center for Leadership.

Tobias Spears, assistant director of LGBT resources in the Office of Multicultural Affairs Office, said Brown has had an important impact on campus.

“She is someone that personifies scholarship, student involvement and activism for larger underrepresented communities,” he said. “Students should want to be like her.”

For many students, college is a time to discover their passions and what they really want from life, but for those who struggle with identity problems, the experience is uneventful. Student organizations such as HUE— Honoring, Urging, Empowering Queer People of Color, as well as Vision serve as resources on campus for those looking for support with their identity.

With all the resources the University provides, Brown has found her place in it all.

“I want people to know I cared about this community, just as much as it cared about me,” Brown said.