This past month, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Campus Center (LGBT CC) celebrated its 25th year anniversary at UW-Madison, which also included celebrating National LGBTQ History Month.
For over two decades the LGBT Campus Center has assisted in providing education, outreach, advocacy, and other resources for UW-Madison students across the spectrum of gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation in order to improve campus climate and their daily intersectional experiences.
The month of October included many special events at the center including trainings, galleries, and films for the UW-Madison community.
“All of our events have been well-received, and we were so pleased to welcome over 150 to our birthday party and open house,” said Katherine Charek Briggs, the interim assistant dean and director of the LGBT Campus Center.
Celebrating the anniversary also included commemorating National Coming Out Day (NCOD), which occurs on October 11 of every year. Having its 25th anniversary fall in the same month of NCOD made it one of the more impactful and memorable celebrations at the center.
“Both are days of celebration, of looking back and looking forward. NCOD means different things to different people. We use it to recognize the complications and nuance of disclosure and to affirm the experiences of folks across all spectrums of identity,” Charek Briggs said.
After being founded in 1992, the center has served thousands of students and has certainly been a valuable resource for the campus community. Simone Williams, the leadership & program coordinator at the center, recommends that all students come stop by and take full advantage of the center’s resources.
“Whether you are looking for a place to come to chill out during the day or for discussion groups intended to hold space for specific identities, the LGBT CC has programming in place for a wide variety of folx and intersections of identities. We have drop-in hours with University Health Services (UHS) queer & trans staff, monthly events that almost always have free food, undergraduate studying & an amazing peer mentor program,” Williams included.
Despite celebrating the success and impact of the center on the UW-Madison community this past month, the year on campus and around the country have not been as welcoming as they could be. With a variety of campus and national issues arising throughout the year, Charek Briggs suggests that a support system and an inclusive environment will always be found at the center.
“We try to be as responsive as possible in local and national crises. We have offered public statements, mental health support via our ambassadors at UHS/MHS, community processing space, food and art supplies, lots of drop-in support, and also consultation with other staff and faculty who are trying to support their own students,” Charek Briggs said.
Certainly the center’s 25th year anniversary can be marked as a success and with more resources being offered at the center than ever before. The future looks bright.
For more information on the LGBT CC, please visit: https://lgbt.wisc.edu/.
By Matt Tragesser, Communications Intern