Editor’s Note: In this article, the pronoun “they” is used for Delfin Bautista.
The LGBT Center is hosting the Bobcat Queer Meet and Greet on Sept. 10 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Bobcat Lounge, which is located on Baker University Center first floor.
Events like the Bobcat Queer Meet and Greet cater to one who doesn’t fit into the social norm according to his or her sexuality. Athens, Ohio, holds gatherings across the spectrum to accommodate Ohio University’s diverse campus of over 30,000 students.
For the event and the LGBT Center’s role on campus, the director of the LGBT Center, Delfin Bautista, has four goals in mind:
- To increase the visibility of the LGBT Center
- To serve faculty and students
- To connect pupils and educators with resources
- To reach out as a resource to the community
Those goals help to combat oppression of LGBTQIAP+ individuals in the community of Athens and even communities beyond.
In fact, the LGBT Center has been a major resource to other communities in southeastern Ohio. Colleges, such as Marietta, Hocking and Shawnee, have reached out to the LGBT Center for information and resources.
“I strive to be a mentor for neighboring communities and colleges,” Delfin said.
They hope to combat homophobia in culture and society, and raise awareness of LGBTQIAP+ issues. The LGBT Center is the only center of its nature in southeastern Ohio, and the only center in Ohio all together. For some queer individuals and allies, its existence has created relationships and connections that may last a lifetime.
Delfin is there if one ever needs to vent. Delfin is a self-proclaimed “good Google searcher,” which means that if they do not immediately know the answer to something, they will try their best to find it.
No matter what gender, sex, race, sexual orientation, religion, class or minority, the LGBT Center is there to assist. They provide individuals with an environment rich in intersectionality. They want to open the community’s perspective on what it means to be queer, too.
Delfin said that the goal of the center, “ultimately [is] for folks to know they are not alone”.
The education coordinator for the LGBT Center, Nelli Herman, plans on attending the event, as well. Although he was not directly involved in organizing the event, he believes students should attend the event.
“It is a great place for first years and transfer students to meet other gay and trans students,” Herman said.
Events like the Bobcat Queer Meet and Greet are a safe haven and space for any individual with a unique identity and perspective on sexuality.
“I think that the center and the meet will provide one with an atmosphere that is full of students and student groups willing to help,” Herman said.
Bobcat students may feel alone in the Athens community, but there is potential help just around the corner. The LGBT Center is an outlet for queer and trans individuals if they ever feel that they do not belong. Decorated in colors of the rainbow, the center is a welcoming and warm environment.
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