Issue 20 – LGBTTIQA+ Space

There’s nothing too complex about the needs of the rainbow community. Like our cisgender, heterosexual friends, we like to be comfortable, feel safe, and have choices. So in an ideal world – what would a rainbow space on campus look like?

INCLUSIVE AND ACCESSIBLE

First, it would be visible on campus and everyone would know where it was (but there would be a sneaky side entrance for people who wanted it). All members of the rainbow community and allies would be welcome, whether gay, straight, pan, non-binary, asexual, or other gender or sexual identity. The one criterion for entry would be: don’t be a phobic fuck-nugget. Haters might be gonna hate, but not here. 

It needs to be friendly for mature rainbow students too. (We promise not to ask annoying questions or talk about our kids… much.)

Why this is important: 

Some members of the rainbow community feel unsure whether specifically “gay” spaces are for them. Bi or pan people currently dating someone of the opposite gender, for example, sometimes feel excluded by these labels and communities, as do asexual people. 

APPROPRIATE FACILITIES

I don’t know how many more times we need to say this. Gender-neutral toilets. Gender-neutral toilets. Gender-neutral toilets. I don’t understand why there are still so many places that stick gender labels on single-stall bathroom facilities or where the only gender-neutral option is the disability stall. And speaking of which, gendered language and labels will just not exist in this space.

Why this is important: 

Trans and non-binary people need to pee too. And if there aren’t facilities they feel comfortable using, it can turn a trip to the toilet into an anxiety-fueled nightmare. And let’s face it, the world right now is enough of an anxiety-fueled nightmare without adding a UTI to the mix. 

SOCIAL AND ANTI-SOCIAL SPACES

Some rainbow folk love nothing more than a noisy parade with more glitter, high-heels and hot pants than RuPaul’s walk-in wardrobe. However, there are also quite a few of us whose idea of a perfect Friday night involves pajama pants and Netflix or a great book.

Why this is important:

Having a rainbow space that includes areas to chat and hang out, as well as quiet corners to build a blanket fort would cater to all rainbow peeps, not just the noisy ones. 

RESOURCES AND SUPPORT SERVICES

First up, we need brochures, websites, and handy quick guides to explain key points about being queer. There are straight/cis people who still think it’s okay to ask a transgender person about their genitals, or want to know exactly how lesbians have sex, or want to talk for many many minutes about how they don’t have a problem with the gays, it’s just that Jesus is against the butt sex. Brochures help explain the basics so rainbow people don’t have to. 

Second, we need info about access to queer-friendly support services  – counselling, medical, etc – because they aren’t always easy to find. 

And thirdly, a library of books, DVDs and other stuff that include diverse characters that don’t resort to cliches or caricatures. 

Why this is important:

Because, much as the New Cuntservatives would hate to admit it, rainbow people exist and have rights. 

And that’s basically it – comfort, inclusion, accessibility and versatility. Fab! When do we move in?

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