Austin Kelly, The Black Bear – MSU’s Student Activities Council recently hosted a panel for the LGBTQ+ community at the Plaster Student Union.
Members from Spectrum and Advocates answered questions asked by the students and the facilitator, Matthew Banks, a staff member of the Multicultural Resource Center on campus.
The idea for the panel was brought up by a member of the SAC after their friend was going through personal issues and needed help.
The event had a small turnout but those who came enjoyed it.
“It was awesome,” Noah Pagan, a freshman majoring in anthropology, said. “Very informative and I liked the interaction with the audience.”
He said he really liked the judgement free interaction when asking questions.
The panel answered questions about being a part of the LGBTQ+ community and how it affected their daily lives, such as what it was like “coming out”, and how it affected their families and friends.
They discussed some of the different sexualities within the community and explained them in more detail as well like explaining what all the letters in LGBTQ+ meant.
They discussed how their sexualities were treated on campus and within Springfield, saying that it was not completely flexible in learning the etiquette. The campus is, however, starting to try to learn the pronouns and recognize the differences of people in the LGBTQ+ community.
The panel was also opened for audience members to anonymously ask questions on pieces of paper and give them to the panelists.
At the end, they discussed learning the etiquette and how to educate others on properly addressing the LGBTQ+ community. They talked about encouraging others to respect each other and the way they choose to live and encouraging the audience to do what they love and to be good to others.
Afterwards, the audience was allowed to talk personally to the panelists and members of the SAC staff.
“The panel was pretty good,” Sadie Carrillo, a junior majoring in social work, said. “It was nice to talk to people and to be able to give my end of the story.”