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May 19, 2022

Hope Harris

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5 Tips for LGBTQ Advocates in College

May 19, 2022
Hope Harris

This year, hundreds of homophobic, transphobic, and anti-LGBTQ bills have been proposed and adopted as law in states around the country, making student LGBTQ advocacy more important than ever. If you're ready to start advocating for LGBTQ equity on campus, Point scholars and student advocates Kilin Tang, Yingyi Wang, Alán Cruz, Andreas Copes shared five essential tips.

1. Find (or Build!) your LGBTQ Community

Kilin Tang (He/They)
Point BIPOC Scholar
Swarthmore College
Politics, Philosophy & Economics

"Connect with other LGBTQ individuals. If you’re in high school or college, you might have an LGBTQ group. Consider attending their meetings and meeting LGBTQ folks. They’re the community I currently rely on for support, especially during this time. If an LGBTQ group doesn’t exist, consider starting one! You can find a guide to doing so if you’re interested here."

Yingyi Wang (she/her)
Point Flagship Scholar
Kevin Hummer Scholarship
v ersity of Washington
Feminist Studiesophy & Economics

"LGBTQ folks: celebrate your existence every day, be proud of yourself and every little achievement!"

2. Volunteer

"Get involved in LGBTQ activism. The longstanding adage 'united we stand, divided we fall' rings true now more than ever. Feel free to scan this map of organizations advocating for LGBTQ rights and find one or two that most interest you. Find out if they’re looking for any volunteer or paid work. You can make a difference in today’s world—no matter how young you are."

- Kilin Tang

Alán Cruz (he/him & they/them)
Point Flagship Scholar
Criminal Justice/Law
University of Nevada Las Vegas

"At my University, I’ve been working with my peers as a student senator and through our club, People Power, a civil rights and advocacy organization on campus, to plan and host a health resource fair on campus [...] We have worked to invite several organizations, especially LGBTQ+ organizations, that can offer culturally responsive and inclusive resources that serve community members who are specifically part of the LGBTQ+ community. With the current state of the political climate, we thought it would be helpful to have resources and services available related to mental and sexual health so that folks have the means to be able to take care of themselves with resources and services that exist both on campus and within the Las Vegas community."

3. Remember to listen to the community you're serving

"Learn about the local and indigenous histories of those who you want to advocate for, never try to represent anyone without knowing the particular needs and concerns of that community. Listen more and learn how to use your privilege in a positive way, this refers to people of higher class/caste, white, able-bodied and cisgender, who has more privilege than racialized, disabled LGBTQ people"

- Yingyi Wang

4. VOTE!

Andreas Copes (they/them)
Temple University
Communication and Journalism Studies

"Vote, and vote out of self-respect. Also, make sure to vote ESPECIALLY in local and state elections."

"In addition to having resources and services available [at our student health fair], we will also have organizations offering voter registration to increase civic engagement among students and community members."

- Alán Cruz

5. Take a Break

"Take a break from social media for a day. At times, I’ve been personally overwhelmed by the news, and I find it helpful to disconnect and decompress by taking a break from social media. That way, I get to choose when and how I engage with the news."

- Kilin Tang

"When feelings become overwhelming, I make sure to spend some time with my dogs. I will take them for a walk or we just snuggle under a blanket and watch RuPaul's Drag Race. Cuz 'If you can't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?'"

- Andreas Copes

This blog features Point Flagship Scholars Andreas Copes, Yingyi Wang and Alán Cruz, and Point BIPOC Scholar Kilin Tang. Learn more about Point's $1 million commitment to fight LGBTQ oppression.

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