There are many resources available for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer (LGBTQ) students on campus and in the community. UW-Parkside has strived to be a safe place. Attitudes have gotten better towards LGBTQ students, but there is still room for improvement.
UW-Parkside has a LGBTQ Resource Center on campus in Wyllie Hall. The mission statement says, “The mission of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside LGBTQ Resource Center is to provide a safe, inclusive, and comfortable environment on campus for LGBTQ and Allied students, faculty, staff, and community.” It has books, movies, and informational material available. The center also hosts things like Queer Thanksgiving, Safe Zone Training, Lavender Celebration—which honors graduating members of the LGBTQ community—and educational events.
Safe Zone Training was created to reduce homophobia and heterosexism on campus. It is a series of training totaling approximately 4.5 hours. This training is a great way for faculty, staff and students leaders to show their support of the LGBTQ community.They are currently working on training dates for the Fall 2018 semester.
In addition to the LGBTQ Resource Center, Rainbow Alliance is a student-lead organization that advocates for supporting and educating about those whose sexuality, gender, romantic orientation and/ or gender expression does not conform to traditional norms. They provide educational events as well as social events. The meetings are every Wednesday at noon in the LGBTQ Resource Center.
LGBT of Southeastern (SE) Wisconsin is based out of Racine. They offer support groups and crisis services. As resources are available, they help with transportation, medical, senior, financial, pet, hotel, realty and more. Their address is 1456 Junction Ave Racine. Their number is (262) 664-4100. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
There is a whole list of hotlines available on the LGBT of SE Wisconsin page. Here are a few hotline numbers: LGBT National Hotline is 1-888-843-4564, Runaway Safeline is 1-800-786-2929 and Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.
There are even more resources held at Howard Brown Health in Chicago, Illinois, which is a trans and gender non-conforming health facility. The address is 4025 North Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL. The phone number is 773-388-1600. Their cost is on a sliding scale based on income. They offer hormone administering and monitoring, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) testing, specialized HIV medical care, breast cancer screens, gynecological care and pharmacy services. According to Howard Brown health, “We offer programs that address the unique barriers faced by trans and gender non-conforming client.”
There is a strong community out there with many resources. In the words of George Takei, “We should indeed keep calm in the face of difference and live our lives in a state of inclusion and wonder at the diversity of humanity.”