October is LGBTQIA+ History Month, and Orange Coast College is recognizing it through online events during its final week.
The last week of October is also the Undocumented Student Action Week. California Community Colleges recognize this week to support undocumented students pursuing a higher education. OCC decided to focus on the overlap of LGBTQIA+ History Month and the Undocumented Student Action week by hosting “Viewing and Discussion: Exploring Undocumented and Queer Identities in Media.”
The event will take place on Oct. 20 from 3 - 4 p.m via Zoom. Students must pre-register online.
It will be co-hosted by Student Equity Specialist, Connie Oh, and Undocumented Students Professional Expert, Mextli Lopez. During the event, attendees will watch a film called “Undocutales” by Armando Ibañez and videos by Jose Antonio Vargas, a Filipino American Journalist. After watching the videos, Oh and Lopez will hold an open discussion where students can share about their “UndocuQueer” identities. The Zoom event will be a safe space for peers and allies.
“We thought it was a really good opportunity to collaborate together on events, and talk about intersectionality,” Oh said. “We find that both identities have this parallel because they are identities that are not immediately recognizable in the way that you look, so people often have to hide it until they feel safe to disclose it.”
Another event, taking place on Oct. 21 from 4 to 5 p.m., is “LGBTQIA+ Mental Health and Self Care.” After pre-registering for the event, students and allies will learn about how to take time for self-care and will be given mental health resources. Mental Health Counselor and Student Equity Peer Mentors will be there to lead this event.
October is not only LGBTQIA+ History Month, but also Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The “Green Dot Bystander Training,” taking place on Oct. 28 from 1 to 3 p.m., will teach participants about warning signs and how to take action by using reactive and proactive green dots. Green dots are a strategy that work to prevent violence by encouraging bystanders to speak up. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence states that “LGBTQ members fall victim to domestic violence at equal or even higher rates compared to their heterosexual counterparts.” Students must register online.
“Student SafeZone LGBTQIA+ Ally Training '' will be the closing event on Oct. 29 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. This training event will teach students how to be an ally for the LGBTQIA+ community. After participating in this event, each student will receive a SafeZone Ally certificate and sticker. Due to limited spots, students should register as soon as possible.
“A lot of LGBTQ students might live in communities or with families that are not super accepting of their identities,” Oh said. “Campus can be a location where students can feel free to explore with a little bit of distance from where they grew up.”