For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Oct 17 2015
by Sandy Gooen

10 Things LGBTQIA+ First-years Learn Within the First Month of College

By Sandy Gooen - Oct 17 2015

1. Pronouns

 Some people are going to respect them. Others... will not. Sometimes people will unintentionally make a mistake. Just politely remind them, and just let them know to remember next time. Hopefully people are trying.

2. Tinder/Grindr

You're in college now. The bigger the campus size equals more people showing up on your online dating platforms. You're going to run into some people with whom you may or may not have been having a personal conversation with in an effort to have your first college hookup.

3. Clubs

 Maybe you've visited a few clubs, or a lot of clubs; or maybe you haven't felt like feeling out the queer scene on campus. But more likely than not, there are places on campus for queer folks. 

4. The OTHER Kind of Clubs

If you live in a city or place with lots of queer people for college, perhaps you've frequented a local LGBTQIA+ nightlife business. You should know: never go alone. Safety in numbers.

5. Intersectional Identities

You may be under the queer umbrella, but that isn't all you are. Make sure that people respect that there is more than one part to your identity. Some schools have organizations for QPOC (Queer People of Color), Queer people with disabilities, Queer people of faith, and other specific groups. Even if there aren't, you should feel comfortable being vocal about your perspectives and issues you face because of your personal background. Identities are completely individual.

6. The A Does NOT Stand for Ally

It stands for Asexual. They are part of the queer community too.

7. ... But Allies are Wonderful, and Helpful, Especially in a New Place

 There are plenty of upsides to meeting new people, including those who are different from you. They know it and you know it. Diversity and mutual respect make the world go round. Allies: we love you. Speak with us, not for us. This goes for allies of any group.

8. Labels and Names

 Some people fit into a label, other people don't. Don't pick for them. Also, if someone has a preferred name, use it.  Mine's Sandy. It's that simple.

9. Coming out is chill, outing other people is not

When coming to college, some people may feel more ready to discuss their queer identities with other queer people, but not the entire school, or even just a few friends rather than a larger group. Some people may be out at school, but not to their family. Do not. Make people. Come out.

10. Be Yourself

Whether you've got it all figured out, or you're still questioning. Don't let other people tell you who to be, and do what makes you comfortable. <3

Also make sure to check out my recent YouTube video about coming out:

Lead Image Credit: LGBTQA

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Sandy Gooen - Barnard College

Sandy Gooen is a first-year at Barnard College studying neuroscience and music. She loves rugby, writing and performing. She’s best known for spontaneous jump-splits. She once took her cello, Tawny, to banquet as her date. You can check her out on Facebook as herself or on as Di Gaon!

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