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Center offers support for LGBTQ+ community

The Eric Rofes Multicultural Queer Resource Center provides a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community

At Humboldt State the Eric Rofes Multicultural Queer Resource in the Warren House, room 53 provides a safe space, support and information for all students who are members of the LGBTQ+ communities.

A safe space is a place or environment in which a person or category of people can feel confident that they will not be exposed to discrimination, criticism, harassment or any other emotional or physical harm.

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A welcome sign taken from inside the Eric Rofes Multicultural Queer Resource Center located in Warren House 53. | Photo by Maia Wood

The ERC was founded 10 years ago in honor of late HIV activist and professor Eric Rofes.

Student and ERC Event Coordinator Kelsey Young said the center got its inspiration for its name from Rofes.

“We are not just called the LGBT Center,” Young said. “We have large focus on intersectionality and inclusivity.”

The ERC is an associated student-funded organization that relies on the dedication of four students to put on the events and activities for the LGBTQ+ students on campus.

“We have this because of students,” Tai Parker, the ERC’s volunteer resource director said.

The center is running as a club with hours that are centered around the student directors’ schedules.

“We are very student driven,” Young said. “The university is slow on what LGBT needs are.”

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Safe Sex Resources and other materials that are available for all students to use in the ERC. | Photo by Maia Wood

HSU doesn’t provide enough resources for LGBTQ+ students because there isn’t an accurate numerical representation in the school.

While people can label their sexuality, there is not one set scale because sexuality is a spectrum. There’s also the issue of safety. Not every student can express themselves openly because of the dangerous world we live in.

“We get many people who come to our events,” Parker said. “But we can’t force people to sign things because of safety and privacy of the participants.”

Despite limited resources, the student directors work with other programs on campus and in the community like Open Door, the health center and the multicultural centers to provide the most resources and support possible.

April 22, kicks off the start of Queer Fest (aka Q-Fest) which is a week-long festival highlighting and celebrating everything Queer. Neesh Wells, the ERC’s publicity and outreach director.

“Originally Q-Fest started as a film festival featuring different LGBTQ+ centered films,” Wells said. “This year’s focus is Taking Up Space, being queer folks and being comfortable in the spaces that we live in and building communities in those spaces.”

During this week students can participate in focused discussions and activities surrounding the topic of taking up space. There will also be art exhibits displaying work from LGBTQ+ artists.

The goal of Eric Rofes Multicultural Queer Resources Center is to create spaces for Humboldt States LGBTQ+ students and allies to be seen. The ERC hosts events and provides support groups, safe sex resources, information, a library and a safe space for all students. They are always looking for ideas for events.

“Whenever the door is open anyone is welcome to come in and we will do whatever we can to help them,” Young said.

For more information on Q-Fest, the center hours, support group resources and much more visit their website.

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