Hannah Pederson, Senior Online Reporter
At noon on Nov. 16 in the Connection Café of the College Center, the GSA hosted Ask A Gay, an event intended to answer any questions students may have about the LGBT+ community.
Eight members of the GSA sat on a panel and answered anonymous audience questions in the first of a series of events the club has been planning since last spring, aimed at informing the students of Pierce College Puyallup about the LGBT+ community and the issues they face.
“We came up with our goals and mission statement in spring and decided we need to plan events around these goals, that could correlate directly to them,” President of the GSA Rhiannon Webber said. “I think today’s panel was mostly around supporting the queer community within Pierce by spreading awareness and advocating for change.”
Webber and other club members answered questions ranging from their experience realizing their identities to whether or not they liked cats or dogs.
“The questions were tamer than I expected, normally when you give people anonymity they can get mean or at least vaguely offensive,” Webber said. “But no questions are off limits.”
Students sat in the Connection Café sofas arranged in front of the tables, which were covered big, bright LGBT+ community flags, and took plates of vegetable wraps and brownies from the Lancer Catering table.
Student Rebekah Edgbert was among the small audience, and says she came to learn about the panel member’s experiences.
“I really wanted to know about other people’s experiences and how they live their lives,” Edgbert said.
Since the event was hosted in the Café, which is a public area, some students found it difficult to hear what the panel was saying over the noise coming from the dining commons and the rest of the CTR.
Webber and the club officers had been working all fall quarter to finish the paperwork, and didn’t end up being able to turn it in until two weeks before the event, which didn’t leave enough time for the Office of Student Life to find them an appropriate space.
The next event in the series, Gender 101, will take place Nov. 30 and in the Café as well.
Beginning winter quarter, the panels will move to a classroom or the multipurpose room, and be more information based instead of purely question and answer.
Webber said future events in the series could be myths and misconceptions about the community, coming out stories, marginalized communities within the larger community such as the asexual and bisexual communities and home life and support systems.
“I hope people will be interested, I hope people care enough to come and learn,” Webber said. “Don’t be afraid to ask questions, don’t be afraid to learn.”
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