The CSULB Queers and Allies Club is an organization on campus that provides a safe and inclusive space for all individuals to promote and encourage acceptance of those in the LGBTQ+ community.
The organization strives to ensure that all members feel comfortable to confide in one another and that they don’t have a fear of private information being shared or being outed, members said.
“We try to make it a safe community space, we are open to all identities, and anyone can come,” Sky Na, Vice President of the club, said.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the club had to meet virtually and has continued to do so during this fall semester.
This semester they have continued to hold bi-weekly online meetings on alternating days, from 4 to 5 p.m. Board members wanted to make sure that they were considerate of club members’ concerns with meeting in person, especially in a large group setting.
At their meetings, members participate in game night activities to connect and create a bond over recreational fun. Such games include Jackbox, a party game where players join on their phones, computers or other devices to play games, including charades or “Trivia Murder Party”.
Na started weekly game nights with the club last school year as a way to connect with other people during their first year at CSULB.
“The Discord server for the club was very helpful for me to meet other students who identify similarly,” they said. “It’s where I found most of my friends that I have now.”
Future plans for the club are to hold more meetings and panels where CSULB students can hold healthy discussions that further explore LGBTQ+ experiences or issues. For example, the club participated in a discussion about coming out to friends and family, and how to navigate and set boundaries for yourself in that situation. They would also like to hold other casual events like movie nights, where people can connect and bond more.
All of these activities are the club’s way of continuing to build connections and cultivate an inclusive community for LGBTQ+ members and allies amid a pandemic. Connecting virtually has been a way to accomplish this.
“I think it’s really awesome that those of us who talked a lot in the server didn’t know each other, but we just connected and spent a lot of time together,” Na said. “Depending on each other even though we were living through a very alienating point in our life.”
To learn more about the CSULB Queers and Allies club, visit their Instagram @csulb.qanda.