Although the COVID-19 pandemic put many activities on hold, the Queer Straight Alliance at IUSB was revitalized this past spring semester, under the leadership of freshman Reagan Ayala. The club was inactive until February of this year, but has successfully rebuilt with an engaged group of core members who are ready to make an impact.
One of my focuses as president is to create a safe space on campus for people who are just a little different, explains Reagan. We are open to everyone. We even have a member who asked to join who is still in high school who found us and automatically I said yes.
June is Pride Month, and the QSA is working to raise awareness of LGBTQIA+ issues and build engagement with the campus community.
We want to educate people on the queer lifestyle, says Reagan. We are all human, despite the fact that we go by different pronouns or love different people or want to wear certain things.
In addition to attending events to celebrate Pride Month, Reagan also recommends using this time for introspection and reflection, especially for those who identify as straight.
Pride Month is a great time to reevaluate and question yourself, not just whether or not you’re an ally, but if people truly feel comfortable around you. This is kind of a hard thing to do at times, she says. For me, I don’t necessarily understand everything, but I make it a point to educate myself and make others feel comfortable.
Reagan and the members of QSA are looking forward to continuing to expand their outreach this fall semester. The club is working on putting together a clothing giveaway where anyone can get free items, especially for those who may not have the opportunity to buy clothing on their own that accurately reflects their gender identity.
For a lot of people who are binary or transgender, it’s hard to get clothes, especially in an unsafe environment, explains Reagan.
In the meantime, the QSA is focused on staying active this summer with opportunities for campus engagement. The QSA is hosting a virtual game night for Pride Month via Zoom on Friday, June 25, at 8 pm that is open to all. The meeting ID is 86097759256 and the password is qsagame.
To learn more about the QSA and their upcoming events, visit Titan Atlas or follow the club on social media on their official Instagram and Twitter accounts.