I’m Here, I’m Queer, I’m Ready to Lend an Ear

Hi! My name’s Oly, and I’ll be your confidant for the year. I’m here to answer questions, give as much advice as I can offer, and steer you through the challenges present for queer folk transitioning into a new part of their life. While your identities will remain anonymous to me, I want this to be a relationship built on trust, so here’s a little bit about me:

This selfie was taken in a bathroom and the fact that it turned out so well gives me hope.

I’m a 19 year old CHID major who is interested in the way beings interact with one another in the world and in new worlds they create. I work at the Q Center, I’m a volleyball coach, and when I’m home I’m usually mass-consuming some form of media, drawing, or using one of my roommates as a pillow.

I began to identify as asexual in eighth grade, and it’s lead me to take a very critical look at sexuality, how it’s taught, how we think about it, etc. I consider myself to be a sex-positive person and honestly, I know more about sex than my friends who actually want to have it.

I can’t place a date on when I came to terms with my non-normative gender identification, but when I was six years old I asked my mom when my hot dog would grow in, so she was never much surprised. I’ve struggled long and hard with how I want to express my gender, and have resolved into a state of pleasant feminine apathy.

I have spent a lot of my life exploring different aspects of myself, finding ways that my identities fit together, have shifted over time, have been rejected by me and those around me, etc. I’ve also spent a lot of my life talking other people through their developing understandings of self, and while I will try to make it continually clear that I am not a professional, that I make mistakes, that I still have a lot to learn about myself and the world around me, I think I do a pretty good job with it. I don’t have the answers to everything, but at the very least I want you to know that you’re not alone and that there are people here to help.

But that’s enough about me, I want to know about you. What do you need, and how can I help?

Welcome & Blog Info

Welcome to the Q Blog! We hope it is helpful, encouraging, and enlightening. Through this blog we hope to interact with our communities and provide educational materials for site viewers by entertaining questions, discussing news, and sharing stories. Viewers are able to comment on blog entries, send staff emails (if provided), and “contact us.” Please keep in mind that though this is a virtual space, we intend it to be a liberatory space.

To that end hateful exchanges will be eliminated from the blog. No hate speech. At all. Ever. Comments will be deleted and depending on our follow-up with the involved parties could result in the party(ies) being reported and/or blocked. Please mindfully and respectfully engage with this space and other site users. Remember: this site is a resource, grounded in liberatory/social justice values. This site is meant for anyone who needs it and this requires us to be responsible to ourselves and others.

If you would like for us to publish a blog post on our Student Blog, please fill out this form.

Enjoy the site! If you have any comments, questions, or concerns send us a message via the “contact us” tab above. :)

Also, if you want to leave a comment, you are asked for your name and email address. You can make up a name and put in any email address you want, it does not have to be a UW address.


Being a Queer Queer

TW: discussion of eating disorders, talk of dysphoria

I’ve been trying to accept myself as someone who is queer and know that that’s not a thing I can ever change. But hanging out in queer spaces make me feel like I’m being queer in the wrong way, that everyone has to be throwing out rainbow pride and explicitly say “I’M GAY” and because of it I feel invalidated. So I hang around my straight female friends who, despite accepting my sexuality fully, remind me that I will never be satisfied with the body I was born into and no matter how many surgeries I undergo, I will never be a cis masculine man. I guess my main question would be how do I get rid of this low self-worth?

Continue reading

[Nov. 22] Laura Jane Grace from Against Me! @ UW


Location: Husky Union Building (North Ballroom)
Date: 11.22.14 | 7PM

In collaboration with ASUW A&EASUW Queer Student Commission, and the Q Center at the University of Washington on November 22nd, lead singer and transgender-activist Laura Jane Grace of the band Against Me! will be speaking and performing an acoustic set at the University of Washington. As one of the first and most prominent rock musicians to come out as transgender, Laura Jane Grace is at the forefront of trans-activism. In 2012, Laura wrote an op-ed in Rolling Stone magazine, chronicling her journey over the past few years. And more recently the band Against Me! released the critically acclaimed album “Transgender Dysphoria Blues.” Against Me! is set to tour behind the new record in 2014 with an attitude perhaps best summed up by their lyrics: “No more troubled sleep. There’s a brave new world raging inside of me.”


Online: www.bit.ly/LJG_UW or at the HUB Front Desk.

• $8 UW w/ current ID
• $15 general admission
• 11.22.14 | 7PM @ North Ballroom of UW Hub



ASL interpreters and captioning are currently being organized. More details to come.

The building and ballroom are wheelchair accessible.

Bathrooms are on the same floor as the performance, and they will be made all-gender for the evening. Additionally, there is a universal restroom on the 3rd floor of the HUB (one floor above the ballroom) available for use.

We ask that you please be fragrance free. For the health and well being of community members with chemical sensitivity, please abstain from using scented cosmetics, clothing, etc. Baking soda will be provided. For more info:http://eastbaymeditation.org/accessibility/PDF/How-to-Be-Fragrance-Free-.pdf

To request another disability accommodation, contact the Disability Services Office at: 206.543.6450 (voice), 206.543.6452 (TTY), 206.685.7264 (fax), or email at dhhreq@uw.edu.

Student Spotlight (Fall 2014)

Meet our new and fabulously fierce student staff, and learn what they are working on this year!

Eliza, Dennis, and Natalie

Pictured: Eliza Wu, Dennis Coy Denman, and Natalie Yocum

Eliza Wu

Pronouns: she/her; they/them
Role @ Q Center: Outreach Coordinator, QPOCA member
Other involvement: Drama BA Council member, School of Drama Advisory Board member
Year/Major: Senior in English and drama
What are you excited to work on this year? I am so excited to be engaging with our UW Q community, seeing and bringing in new faces. I’m especially looking forward to planning more outreach events in the coming year.
What mythical, magical animal would you be? A mer-fairy. Think a mermaid… WITH WINGS.


Natalie Yocum

Pronouns: ze/hir/hirs or they/them/theirs
Role @ Q Center: Queer People of Color Advocate
Other Involvement: Facilitates Advo-QTs (queer and trans advocacy and activism), helps with QPOCA, Communications Director for the Young Democrats at the University of Washington, 499 student researcher on Project DART, Peer Health Educator, practices Aerial Silks
Year/Major: 2nd-year transfer student (junior), psychology major, GWSS/dance minors
What are you excited to work on this year? Open mics/events where we get to share stories, and kicking it with my awesome co-workers.
What mythical magical animal would you be? Maybe a dragon spirit?


Dennis Coy Denman

Pronouns: he/him
Role @ Q Center: Queer Mentoring Program Coordinator
Year/Degree: 1st-year master’s student in leadership in higher education program
What are you excited to work on this year? I’m excited about helping to share Q center resources with the campus partners and grad students.
What mythical, magical animal would you be? A fire-breathing dolphin.

An Evening with Janet Mock

Janet Mock and Q Center Director Jen Self

For more pics like these, follow us on Instagram @uwqcenter.

On October 14, the Q Center’s Director, Jen Self, moderated a discussion with Janet Mock, a writer, an advocate for trans women’s rights and the New York Times bestselling author of Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More. Janet spoke on a wide range of topics and answered students’ questions about her book, talked about living at the intersections of identities and provided commentary on pop culture and current events. The event packed Kane Hall and drew hundreds of viewers via the live web broadcast, resulting in the single largest event the Q Center has ever hosted!

The Q Center would like to extend a special thank you to our co-sponsors, Rainbow Grads and the Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center and Theater. For those who were unable to attend, the Q Center has a recording that can be viewed in the center or online here (a UW Net ID is required to access the video). Photos and comments from the night are also viewable online on Tagboard.

Welcome Back! The 11th Annual Welcome Luncheon

The Q Center Welcome Luncheon, held on Friday, October 3, welcomed students, faculty and staff members to the beginning of the academic school year. The Q Center, now in its 11th year at the UW, facilitates and enhances a brave, affirming, liberating and celebratory environment for students, faculty, staff and alumni of all sexual and gender orientation, identities and expressions.

Q Center Director Jen Self and Assistant Director Jaimée Marsh

Pictured: Jen Self (Director) and Jaimée Marsh (Assistant Director)

Every year, in collaboration with the ASUW Queer Student Commission, the luncheon kicks off with free food, dynamic speakers and fun for everyone. This year, more than 150 people attended, including first-year and returning undergraduates and graduate students, as well as members of the Queer Faculty and Staff Association. Our Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs, Dr. Ed Taylor, greeted everyone and we heard an inspirational keynote speech by the Q Center’s very own Assistant Director, Jaimée Marsh. She gave us life, she gave us hope and she celebrated the identities that make us all who we are. The food was great and the MC was hilarious! Q folks left with more than a free sandwich – they walked out of the HUB Lyceum equipped with the resources, knowledge, and supportive community to be successful this academic school year.


[Oct. 10] National Coming Out Day Open Mic

Where: HUB 315

When: Friday, Oct. 10, 2014

Do you want to be heard? Got too many words and too much music and too much dance for one person? Do you just have a lot of feelings about queerness? Well then come perform at our open mic! And if you’re not feeling the performance life, you are just as welcome to come watch and show support for your fellow queers!


Accessibility Statements:

- The HUB is wheelchair accessible through the main west entrance on the 1st floor. Once you enter, the elevtors are on the right.
- Please refrain from using scented products such as perfume, cologne and essential oils. The Q Center is scent-free in order to keep the space accessible for folks who are chemically injured and/or have MCS.

The University of Washington is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation contact the Disability Services Office at least ten days in advance at: 206.543.6450/V, 206.543.6452/TTY, 206.685.7264 (FAX), or e-mail at dso@u.washington.edu


Asexuality in Spades

Welcome to a collection of questions that are near and dear to my queer heart! Asexuality and its fifty shades of grey, how do you figure out whether or not you fall into the valley of asexuality? How do you navigate dating and weirdness if you’re asexual? How does it fit into questions of coming out? And something that, sadly, is a common question: am I asexual or just terrified of sex? Asexuality doesn’t get talked about a whole lot, so pardon me in advance for inevitably rambling on and on.

Continue reading


[Oct. 14] An Evening with Janet Mock @ the University of Washington

Join the Q Center for a discussion with Janet Mock moderated by Dr. Jen Self!

A book signing and meet and greet will follow the discussion. All meet & greet participants must have a copy of Janet Mock’s book, Redefining Realness. The Q Center is currently selling advance copies at a discounted price of $20 (cash or check). Please call the Q Center at 206-897-1430 for more info or stop by HUB 315 to purchase books.

Event Details:

Doors open @ 6:30pm; general admission & no tickets required. Event begins at 7pm in Kane Hall 120. Book signing begins in the Kane Hall lobby @ 8:30pm.

The event will also be live streamed with closed captioning beginning at 7pm onwww.uwtv.org.

Directions to Kane Hall 120: http://www.washington.edu/maps/.

Driving North: Heading north on Interstate 5, take the NE 45th Street exit. Turn right onto NE 45th Street and continue east to 15th Avenue NE. The UW campus begins at the corner of NE 45th Street and 15th Avenue NE.

Driving South: Heading south on Interstate 5, take the NE 45th Street exit. Turn left onto NE 45th Street and continue east to 15th Avenue NE. The UW campus begins at the corner of NE 45th Street and 15th Avenue NE.

The Central Parking Garage is the nearest parking lot to Kane Hall. Accessible parking is available. Please make parking arrangements at the gatehouse upon entering the garage or contact UW Commuter Services:http://www.washington.edu/facilities/transportation/commuterservices/parking. There may also be street parking surrounding the campus on 15th Ave and University Way NE.

Kane Hall’s front entrance and room 120 are wheelchair accessible, and room 120 is on the first floor.

An all-gender, accessible restroom is located on the basement level of Kane Hall.

Kane Hall is not kept scent-free, but we ask that you do not wear scented/frangranced/smoke exposed outerwear into the room in order to make the space more accessible to those with chemical injury or multiple chemical sensitivity. We will have baking soda available for folks to wash off scents.

Flash photography will be used during the event. Some shots of the crowd may be taken from a distance.

Kane Hall is a classroom space with overhead lighting. Because of the timing of the event and few windows, there will be minimal/no natural light.

If you have questions, concerns, or accessibility details that were not addressed here, please call 206-897-1430 or email Jaimee at jaimeem@uw.edu.

Janet Mock Event Poster