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Lavender Graduation

Have you heard about this big party that the Q Center, Student Life, and OMAD are throwing for all of our supremely quirky, talented, brilliant, awkward, out-of-this-world-talented, creative, graceful, bright & shiny, critically thinking, self-doubting, wondering-what-to-do-next, FIERCE queer and allied graduates?

Really? Haven’t heard about it? Not in in the 10 weekly countdown emails? Or in the evite? Or in the Facebook event? Or in the sky writing? What about the bathroom graffiti? My tweets? Well, the Q Center is hosting a huge party for YOU and you closest communities on June 5th in the UW Panopticon Tower on the Mezzanine Level Cafeteria. 6-8 p.m. People absolutely love this event.

Here are some of the things people have to say about Lavender Graduation: Vice President of Student Life Eric Godfrey: “It is just a great event. I mean, where else are you going to get a micro brew and a cupcake. It is just awesome.”

“I didn’t go to my high school or college graduation because I was gay, so I want to graduate here tonight because I really feel accepted by this audience.” Anonymous

Well…honestly, I wanted to tell you all how important this graduation ceremony is to me and to the mission of the Q Center. One of the primary ways that humans learn to understand ourselves as loved, loving, and loveable, as connected and as human is through mirroring. And part of mirroring is the celebration of who we are from the people who raise us, the friends around us, the stories we hear and see, and the way in which we then understand ourselves to be human, loved, worthy, whole, you know, fierce.

When mirroring is disrupted or warped through the multiple systems of marginalization and oppression at interpersonal, cultural, and systemic levels…then…well…we often fail to see ourselves without great struggle and reinvention. Lavender Graduation to me…is a celebration of all those ways we have reinvented, claimed, reclaimed, brought into being, whatever we have done to make ourselves legible to us, to you, to each other; to become human, loved, worthy, whole, you know, fierce. Oh yeah, and it is about a lot of really hard academic work too! See you on Tuesday!


10 Ways to Take a Soul Shower

10 Ways to Take a Soul Shower

Midterms got you down? Micro-aggressions eating away at your soul? Do you just want to take an extensive nap? Or eat cereal while not wearing pants? Do you need a refreshing practice to shake up your day?

Or do you ever feel so dirty and sweaty and tired and stressed that all you want is to take a long, steamy and calm shower? When you finally take that amazing shower, do you feel (perhaps temporarily) cleansed of your worries and INVINCIBLE and ready to boogie through life as a social justice super human?

As you might have guessed, all of these incredibly specific leading questions are getting at the idea that I believe showers can have a transformative effect on one’s day and mindset. Of course, everyone experiences showers differently so, if this isn’t your takeaway, that’s understandable.

But, it is this belief in showers that brings me to ask this question: What if you could take this experience and apply it to your… soul?

So, through a collaborative effort with Q Center staff, we brainstormed 10 ways to take a SOUL SHOWER!

  1. Dance really hard. Or move your body in whatever way feels good. It is recommended to get really sweaty. And possibly wear glitter. And try not to give a damn about how ‘silly’ you might look. Whether you are alone or in a crowded dancey setting, this can be an amazing soul shower. Then, pair it with a real shower to wash the sweat off.
  2. Laugh so hard that you:
    1. Pee your pants. Just a little.
    2. Squirt some liquid out of your nostrils.
    3. Your eyes water.
    4. My smiling muscles hurt.
  3. Spoon or snuggle or cuddle another being. This can take many forms. You can spoon a friend, a lover, a kitten, a pillow…and your cuddling can take many shapes!
  4. Write a poem, letter or a sketch. Then, if you feel like it:
    1. Throw it away
    2. Tear it up and keep the pieces in a envelope.
    3. Burn it (safely).
  5. Play or a throw in a coin (don’t forget to make a wish!) into a fountain.
  6. Try something new. Or do something alone. Sometimes being a little uncomfortable in a new space or activity can help you gain perspective.
  7. Cry and blow your nose in your favorite (preferably soft and cozy) shirt.
  8. Screaming super loud. Some ideal settings for this yell might be:
    1. In an elevator.
    2. In the middle of nowhere.
    3. On a bridge over the highway.
  9. Singing or listening to a song really loud. Some recommended songs:
    1. “Pour Some Sugar On Me” by Def Leppard.
    2. “Build Me Up Buttercup” by the Foundations.
    3. “American Girl” by Tom Petty.
    4. “Dancing On My Own” by Robyn.
    5. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell.
    6. “Don’t Stop Believing’” by Journey
  10. Go forth into nature:
    1. Relaxing & people watching in a park.
    2. Hiking.
    3. Jumping in a lake.
    4. Climbing a tree.
    5. Sunbathing.

We hope these suggestions are generative for your own processes of healing and rest!

If you have any more suggestions for soul shower or self-care activities, email smhand@uw.edu.


Resurrecting Bayard Rustin

Happy 100th birthday to a man whose expansive justice work across multiple sites of oppression, earned him a marginal place in history, Bayard Rustin, our “Lost Prophet.”

While we are on the topic of birthdays of awesome queer folk who have facilitated the arc of the moral universe in bending toward justice…Audre Lorde would have turned 78 on February 18th! Ellen had a birthday in January, so did Michael Stipe (R.E.M. anyone? anyone?)…eh hem.

Hey, I’ve got a birthday coming up in April and my partner’s was in March! We are all part of this bending the arc of the moral universe thing. So, shout out some names of people who you know are ok with having their names shouted out and celebrate them and their presence on this planet!

Happy birthday to us Two-Spirit people and trans* folks and queers and questioners and same-gender lovers and bois and queens and kings and everybody else who has other words that I do not know because I just do not know everything. Our very existence is resistance!

“When an individual is protesting society’s refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity on him.” Bayard Rustin


Shit Adults Say to Young People

shit adults say to young people

Shit adults say to young people

 

“Cause I Said So!”
How are the lives of young people controlled?
With the viral videos, “Shit… says,” many people have brought to light underlining issues of violence that many people are victims of, and examining those that they we may actually create. Such videos have been broad but enlightening such as, “Shit White Girls Say to Black Girls, and Shit Straight Girls Say to Gay Guys.” “Things like “lets go dancing, but not a gay bar,” or “not to sound racist but…” are micro-aggressions that impact the lives of minorities to cause real pain and suffering.
Many of the current examinations of the viral ads are critical to social movements movements and the general population. While we think about how straight people act to queer folks, we must also think about how ageism and
adult-ism pervade in our society and how it marginalizes the tail ends of our community. People experience marginalization by the abuse of power that takes advantage of, and makes decisions of both the young and the elderly. It is one of the only oppressions that everyone experiences, both as victims and as potential perpetrators. Decisions that impact the very livelihoods of these groups have been decided by those who “know better” and who can “take ownership” in the direction of the controlled human beings. This power dynamic dichotomy is evident in common vernacular with things like, “you don’t know better,” or “you are just a kid.” Policy is then crafted to restrict voting, medical decisions, personal autonomy, and employment opportunities based solely on age. Even the educational system creates rules that particularly impact homeless youth or young folks experiencing familial strain. It is all a form of social control by those who “know better.” Your parents financial information is usually required into the consideration in the cost of attendance, even if they do not support you. Why is it that you can be drafted into the military at 18 but you can not enter an establishment that serves alcohol? In particularly with the queer community, many public gathering spaces are very commonly crafted around 21+ establishments ie. queer bars, but with this restriction, where do queer youth go when they want to get to know each other? Not everything can be accomplished on the Internet.

Young people, and increasingly the elderly, have no public spaces to find solidarity, support, and personal connection. Many elderly folks voice that they have to go back into the “closet” as they grow older. Ageism affects the tail ends of society, and adultsm is how adults control, judge, and manipulate the autonomous rights of young people. Such isolation, must end because the everyone should have control of their own body.
We made a list of some of the things we have heard adults say to young people. These are all best read with a little bit of sass and some attitude.
Signed by,
Students at the University of Washington | Q Center

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I am more mature than you. How old are you? Oh my god, when I was your age… You know what would be so fun for you? Cause’ I said so! Oh that probably wouldn’t be fun for you. This is boring adult stuff. We have a youth advisory board, you should totally volunteer for us! You know you should really outreach for us – we really want to get more youth involved with… You just do not appreciate how easy you have it now, thanks to the struggles I had to go through You’re so articulate! You know, I had to wait until I was old enough to go to the bars too. Just get a fake ID… ‘All-Ages?’ why would I want to be somewhere with a bunch of kids! You’re really lucky that I’m your mentor! You are so smart and mature for your age! Oh my, she’s only 13 and she’s already talks about feminism. Oh, they are only 11 and they can sing and dance so well! You don’t understand… You don’t know what your doing.
Cause’ I said so! Why can’t you understand? What do you want to be when you grow up? You still have time to figure it out. I hope this is just a phase. You’re just going through a ‘_______’ phase. You’ll grow out of being a lesbian… What could you possibly be stressed out about at your age? Just wait until you have to pay your own bills! It get’s better! If you work hard enough, you can be ANYTHING you want to be. I wish I had ______________ when I was your age, you should totally ____________ You have it WAY better than when I was your age… It’s so easy being (gay, mixed, etc) these days, not like when I was… Just wait until you have to get a real job. I wish you’d stop growing up so fast! You should appreciate being so young. Cause’ I said so! Why can’t you act your age? You gain maturity with age. If I feed you and clothe you, then no, you don’t get to make your own decisions. You don’t get to make decisions about your own body at this age. That’s cute that you’re already so interested in ___! It’ll be great when you’re older and you can actually make a difference in the world. You kids are so spoiled with your technology these days, you don’t know what it’s like to have to work for anything. High school is the best time of your life! Can you help me (insert tech-related task here)? You shouldn’t be so easily influenced by others people’s opinions. You don’t need to follow what all your friends do. Your friends are a bad influence. Are you in a gang? I know better than you. Cause’ I said so! Your not gay its just a phase. Just don’t have sex. What do you need the pill for? Abstinence is sexy! Grow up! All adults are more mature than you. Do you know what to do with that. If you have sex you’ll get STIs. I pay the bills, you just live here. Ohh not in my house. If you live under my roof you have to follow my rules.
Feel inspired? Email us, and let’s keep the dialogue going!


10 Ways to Procrastinate Post Snowpocalypse

1. Think about vaginas
2. Check out Trans* Conferences!
3. Go stickering.
4. Get your friends together and plan to hit up some awesome local events coming up this month:
“Broken Bodies, PBP” & “Under 1 Nation: Zulu & Krip-Hop”
Sex Fair at UW 2012
ASUW’s 11th Annual “Vagina Monologues”
Annual ASUW Drag Show
5. Listen to a Gendercast podcast.
6. Do a photoshoot and send your pics to marilyn@fatso.com to stand, roll, and tumble against weight bullying.
7. Say the darndest things.
8. Sign up for a Bent class!
9. Deconstruct gender at gender discussion at the Q Center Tuesdays from 3pm-4pm!
10. Listen to Coyote Grace!


We Need Queer Youth Space

You might have heard, but queer youth from around the Seattle area have been organizing to create something new. Last year, queer young people came together around a three hour “Queer Youth Mutiny” to debate and construct a new vision for serving all queer youth. A new and innovative model was crafted by young people to center the experiences of youth. No longer would non-profits merely serve young people, but adults and young people would be partners, collaborators, and social change mentors to young people, and vice versa.

We decided to form a new non-profit, and we brought together young people and adult supporters to come together to work with other young people for personal wellness. We have designed a new way to challenge the frustrating symptoms of oppression and heteronormativity that young people face (THREE WINGS) and we have based young people as the leaders and the visionaries of a physical location. Thus, now as we are getting closer and closer to opening our location, and as our leasing negotiations continue, we need your help.

If you are interested in helping out the queer youth community, either as adults or as young people, see “Get Involved” Give this movement a hand with your skills and your ideas that you hold true.

warmly, kyle r (q center staff + qys rep)

info@queeryouthspace

To find out what we have been up to, check out our site.


Creating Community Engagement Committee for the Q Center

With five students, I am leading the University of Washington Q Center’s effort create a “Community Engagement Committee” (CEC) of Puget Sound citizens, organizational and student constituencies’ representatives. The committee’s purpose is to help community members engage, support, and invest in Q Center student constituencies’ goals. At its best, the committee can strategically unify the energies and resources from Seattle-area communities to serve the Q Center.

Potentially, the committee can help build a more resourceful and strategic UW Q Center. The committee’s goal is to create coherent student messages to the Seattle community welcoming their input and resources. The committee to work with community members to determine ways to invest financial and human resources to advance all our programs’ agendas.

Leoule’s role at the Q Center as a Research Assistant:

At the University of Washington, I work to create new learning communities. In teams, we develop strategies for new partnerships by merging organizational agendas. These teams implement ideas to promote student learning opportunities.

I use University of Washington’s social capital and networks to mobilize resources and create learning communities that merge students’ interests with organizational goals.

My work hopes to improve the quality of students’ relationship with the university and Puget Sound organizations.


Let’s Talk About “Coming Out.”

It’s National Coming Out Day, so you may expect to see a blog about all the reasons that coming out is awesome. You may expect to see me encouraging people to come out en masse. But I am not going to do that.

Things I think:

It’s fucked up that there is pressure on queer people to “come out” regardless of what circumstances they are facing in their lives.

It’s fucked up that people are outed without their consent.

It’s fucked up that there is this idea that there is a state of “being in the closet” and being “out” as if they are two starkly different positions. People are very rarely “out” to everyone in their lives, and so it’s hard to distinguish what “out” really means.

I think it’s fucked up that coming out has been built up into this mandatory step in queer peoples’ lives, as if they can’t truly be queer until they start telling people.

You do NOT need to “come out” to be queer. If you identify as queer or lesbian or gay or pansexual or any of those other identities, then you are. And telling other people about that does not automatically make it any more legitimate.

Some people feel awesome after coming out.

For some people, coming out is really important, and it can be liberating.

Life can get a lot harder for some people when they come out.

Sometimes coming out is not in a person’s best interest, either because it could jeopardize their job, family relationships, or safety.

It can be really encouraging to have people around you come out, whether they are friends, family, or even celebrities. And that can lead to more “acceptance” (whatever that means) of queer people. And if you come out, you can in turn inspire people around you.

Here is what I ultimately think: only you are an expert in your life, and so you are the only person who should have ultimate say in the whens, hows, and whos of coming out. Some people will say that coming out is the biggest moment of being queer. I strongly disagree. I think that you can come to terms with being queer, love yourself as a queer person, and never tell another living soul. It’s all about what feels right for you, and you shouldn’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

– Jessica


Queer Guide to Dawg Daze

queer guide to dawg daze eventsThe UW community welcomes its students back to campus with an annual week-long extravaganza of events, introductions, and workshops called Dawg Daze.  To new students this is an opportunity to embrace all that the campus has to offer- clubs, resources, student groups, academic programs, housing accommodations, and more.  This was how i found the Q center when i first came to campus- during the sexuality, gender, and treats information session- the rest is history.  As a returning student it is an opportunity to share what i have learned with new students and explore the campus in a new light, one with a year’s experience- that of having changed (potential) majors, of having been acquainted with new perspectives and goals, of inhabiting the truths of my true gender identity, and the need rediscover the campus with these changes in mind.  The events are designed as such- for all students.  This said, the Q Center, along side GBLTC, DLP, and CCSL has planned a week full of queer events!  Be sure to check them out for more information on queer resources on campus, how to get involved, and meet new friends!  Don’t be shy, come on by!

For questions, comments, concerns, accessibility accommodations, or more details email uwqcwebmaster@gmail.com






THIS IS YOUR QUEER GUIDE TO DAWG DAZE!
official dawg daze site

*Monday 9/26– Gay Bingo
2pm-3pm Mary Gates Hall 238

Come join the brothers of Delta Lambda Phi for five intense rounds of bingo and compete for fabulous prizes. The only fraternity for gay, bisexual, and progressive men will ensure that you have a good time, with ice breakers and complimentary refreshments. Feel free to come and go as you please, drop-ins are more than welcome.

Hosted By: Delta Lambda Phi

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*Tuesday 9/27– Sexuality, Gender, & Treats! OH MY!
10am-11am, 11am-12pm, 1pm-2pm Q center- 450 Schmitz Hall

Meet new people, get some info, and eat candy at the Q Center- 450 Schmitz Hall!

*Tuesday 9/27– Brown Bag it at the Q
12pm-1pm Q center- 450 Schmitz Hall

BYOF! Bring your lunch and hang out in the Q Center to meet new friends, catch up with old ones, and just generally queer it up! The Q Center is the UW’s gender and sexuality resource center and is located at 450 Schmitz Hall.

*Tuesday 9/27– Queer Social
3pm-5pm Q center- 450 Schmitz Hall

Come hang out at the Q Center- 450 Schmitz for a chance to have fun, play games, and meet other queer students. Treats will be provided!

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*Thursday 9/29– Ask the Sexpert Panel
5pm-6:30pm Mary Gates Hall 389

Brought to you by the Campus Coalition for Sexual Literacy, this is a whole new level up from your high school Sex Ed class! Ask the Sexpert is an open and respectful forum where all your questions about sexuality can be answered. We’ve got some sexuality professors and experts at your disposal. If you’ve got questions (no matter how “strange”) or if you’re interested in sexuality education and activism, check this event out! There will be free condoms!

Hosted By: Campus Coalition for Sexual Literacy

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*Friday 9/30– Welcome Luncheon
11:30am-1pm Walker Ames Room, Kane Hall

Kick of school year with a gathering of queer students, staff, faculty, and allies! A great way to meet people and get information on queer happenings and resources on campus over some free food!

*Friday 9/30– Queer Rollerskating
7pm-9pm IMA Gym A

Come cruise the IMA gym on your roller skates! Skate your way around Gym A to some fabulous roller disco music. Admission is free for currently enrolled students and faculty/staff, and spouse/same sex domestic partner IMA members. There is a $7.00 fee for guests (16 yrs of age or older). All equipment is provided. Skate rentals are free w/Husky Card, faculty/staff ID, or spouse/same sex domestic partner IMA membership card. There is a $1.00 skate rental fee for guests (16 yrs of age or older). Faculty/staff without an IMA membership pay the IMA single use fee of $5.00

Hosted By:
ASUW Gay, Bisexual, Lesbian, Transgender Commission (ASUW GBLTC), the Q Center