Students and faculty gathered at the seventh annual LGBTQ+ forum to discuss their coming out stories and what their experiences as a member of the LGBTQ+ community on campus was like.
The event was held in the Student Center on Oct., 12 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Attendees sat in small groups to get to know one another and to go over questions that guided the conversation for the event.
The topics discussed at the event included what it was like for attendees to come out, whether or not they consider Fullerton College to be a safe and inclusive environment and how members of the community can support each other.
Jose Romero, the president of Queer People of Color, or QPOC, organized the event with the help of the Cadena Cultural Center.
The theme of the event was based around sharing coming out stories as the event was held one day after National Coming Out Day.
Romero hopes that those who came to the event realized that there are others “going through the same things you’re going through.”
Jackie Ruffino, a film student, attended the event for networking purposes and to get involved with the LGBTQ community on campus.
“I feel like my school is just as important as my home is so I want to be able to show any support that I can as much as possible,” Ruffino said.
Ruffino enjoyed the event and said she liked that there “was a chance for us to give faculty a way of feedback.”
Various resources were announced to attendees about possible scholarships and representatives from The LGBT Center OC were present to make known what programs are available through their center.
Vincent White of the Cadena Cultural Center told attendees that “we want to make sure that you feel safe and welcome on this campus.”
Arnetta Smith, a professor and advisor to Queer People of Color, said the event “was a way for different students to connect with each other and also a way for them to get connected with the QPOC group.”
Smith said she appreciated the way the event brought faculty and students together to converse in a less formal environment.
These events are important to have in light of the transgender people who are being killed and because those in the LGBTQ+ community still face discrimination.
“Visibility and interaction matters,” Smith said. Which is why she would like to see more of these events “to normalize identities.”
“We definitely need to have more events like this where not only is it letting us become visible but also allowing us to interact with each other and get to know each other on a very basic human level versus just our sexuality being spotlighted,” she added.
Fullerton College President Dr. Greg Schulz stopped by the event to let the attendees know that staff will strive to continue a sense of togetherness on campus.
Schulz stressed the importance of making sure Fullerton College is welcome and inclusive for everyone.
For more information on QPOC please visit their facebook page.