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Ask the Queer Resource Center!

By Readers of The Hoot

Section: Arts

January 30, 2009

diverse-city-1-30-09_final_page_3_image_0002Do you have questions about gender, sexuality, diversity, or acceptance?

Would you like anonymous advice from friendly peer counselors?

Check out the Queer Resource Center, the educational branch of Triskelion, the Brandeis LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual/ally) group. We provide free, confidential peer counseling to people of all identities in Shapiro Campus Center room 328, Mondays through Fridays from 1 to 5 p.m.

Now you can have your questions answered anonymously in print! Submit a question to “Ask the QRC” at qrc@brandeis.edu. Put “Hoot” in the subject line, and you’ll see your question addressed anonymously in next week’s paper!

Dear QRC,

I am interested in counseling and queer issues. Can I become a QRC counselor? Do I have to be queer? How do I apply?

Sincerely,

Excited

Dear Excited,

Thank you for expressing interest in joining our Resource Center! The Queer Resource Center accepts new applications every spring, and don’t worry. There will be ample time and notice before any application deadlines! After the QRC announces that this year’s applications are ready, you can download one off the website or pick up a paper copy from our office, SCC 328! Once you’ve finished it, just bring it back to the office or email it to a staffer. Check back in this column or around campus for official dates.

The Queer Resource Center accepts applications from people of all genders and sexualities; you don’t need to be queer to apply, just open-minded and ready to learn!

Love,

The QRC

Dear QRC,

I am a heterosexual girl who had a good gay male friend in high school, and he would often use the term “fag hag” to describe me. But now, at Brandeis, I’ve encountered some people who are not okay with that term. I used to identify as a “fag hag,” but now I don’t want to offend anyone. What can I do?

Sincerely,

Still a Hag?

Dear Hag,

As in many other communities that face discrimination, the queer community, or at least factions of it, have been at work reclaiming words that have been used to put them down, like “queer” and “fag.” While many still find these terms offensive, it is up to individuals to decide for themselves the relationships that they want to have with the terms and if they are comfortable with a term as an identity label. You may want to feel out those around to see if they are comfortable with the term, but you are taking on the identity, and if you are comfortable with it, then it is okay for you. Just be careful using the term in relation to others who may find the term either offensive, inaccurate or both.

Sincerely,

The QRC

Dear QRC,

In the brochure we received last week for housing selection there was a section that included Gender Neutral Housing. What is Gender Neutral Housing, who’s using it, and why do we need it?

Sincerely,

Skeptical

Dear Skeptical,

Gender Neutral Housing is essentially gender blind housing. This means that, during room selection, if you choose Gender Neutral Housing neither you nor your roommates’ genders will be taken into consideration by Res Life. This means that on the appropriate floors of East, Castle, and in certain suites, you may choose to share a room with anyone, regardless of gender.

Anyone can elect to live in Gender Neutral Housing, and students can choose GNH for a variety of reasons, none of which have to be declared to Res Life. However, GNH is specifically designed to create safer spaces for students who do not feel comfortable living with a roommate of the same biological sex. All students should have the opportunity to live in a healthy, nurturing environment; providing gender neutral housing to students on campus is taking a large step closer to that goal.

Love,

The QRC

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