Quỳnh Hương Nguyễn is one of the many smiling faces students see when they walk through the doors at the Gender and Sexuality Center. Located on the second floor of the William C. Powers building (WCP, room 2.112), the center provides a wealth of resources and services for women and the LGBTQ+ community as well as a space where students can relax and find a place to call home on this sprawling campus.
Read on to learn more about Nguyễn’s good work at the center, where they lead a number of programs and activities including Allie in Action, Peers for Pride and the newly created Lotus Project.
What are you looking forward to the most this fall?
I’m looking forward to seeing the faces we weren’t able to see during the pandemic. Connecting with students in person is something we miss a lot. I’m also looking forward to having more conversations about the Lotus Project, a student-run project that creates awareness about individuals who identify as Asian, queer, trans and/or woman.
Will there be any changes to the center’s operations this semester?
Things at the GSC will be a little different this year. We’re probably going to have a max-capacity (limited to 10 people) for the space. Also, we’ll have contactless pickup tables set outside the GSC for those who don’t feel comfortable coming into the space to pick up the free resources we provide such as condoms, dental dams, pads and tampons. In addition, we will continue to schedule any meeting via online, in-person (with masks on) and outside for safety reasons.
What other new developments are in the works this fall?
The GSC will soon be launching Asian masculinity programming, which will spark some conversations that we don’t commonly have here on campus. A lot of folks who identify as men don’t have the space to talk about different forms of masculinity and what it means to have intersectional identities. We want to create a space for them to learn how to promote healthy masculinity, especially within the context of the AAPI identities. We’re planning on bringing in guest speakers and providing facilitators who can lead these discussions that men don’t commonly have. Go to this Facebook event page to get information on some upcoming TIGER (Thoughtful Identity Gender Exploration & Reflection) events happening on campus in September though December.
What else would you like students to know about the GSC?
The GSC, is a center for women and the LGBTQIA+ community, but it’s not limited to just those folks. We serve people of many different identities, and we are here to provide a place for learning and connecting. We also do our best to provide innovative programs that amplify our students’ voices. Students, if you are interested in getting involved, or if you have ideas on how to improve our space, we want your feedback. We are always learning—and we want to learn together. At the end of the day, we are just a small center with a big heart. Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our contact page.
What message would you like to give to students?
In the midst of the pandemic, it’s OK to show up the way you want to. It is OK to be imperfect during this time as we are all still trying to figure things out along the way. If you are seeking help, please check out these resources listed on our webpage.
Watch GSC Director Liz Elsen sharing a warm welcome to students as they return to campus this fall.