Group offers safe space

A space where students that identify as LGBTQA, openly or not, can talk about their lives and problems without having to worry has officially been created at the University this semester.

Junior Suzanne Friedman said she came up with the idea of LGBTQuiet while she was browsing the UVM confessions page last spring. 

“There were a lot of posts from gay men, talking about how they don’t meet some sort of stereotype. Also lesbians,” she said. “They were having trouble finding other gay students.”

After reading multiple posts, Friedman decided she needed to take action. The name of the group is a hybrid of the LGBTQ acronym and Quiet, which symbolizes the confidential nature of the group as well silence that students who are LGBTQ can feel, she said.

Friedman then went to Becky Swem, the Interim Education & Outreach Coordinator for UVM’s LGBTQA Center with the proposal for the group. 

LGBTQuiet is for students of any identity, or students that are unsure of their identity, said Friedman. 

Students can talk and connect about any aspect of their lives and their sexuality, according to the University’s LGBTQA webpage.

The group’s main goal is to connect people of all identities and all stages of coming out, and to show them that they are not alone. 

LGBTQuiet stresses that students should only be as out as they are comfortable with, the page stated.

“I think a safe place on campus is a good thing,” said first-year Sarah Scott. “Any group that makes people feel more confortable is something we should have on campus.”

LGBTQuiet distinguishes itself from other campus LGBTQA groups by focusing on issues related to coming out and not being out, Friedman said.

“We welcome anyone in the process of discovering their sexuality and students that are out too,” she said.

So far there has only been one meeting, but more are in the process are being planned. 

Anyone interested can email [email protected] for meeting details.