For our inaugural newsletter, we wanted to highlight the phenomenal work student groups do to build sustainable change on Penn’s campus. As Queer & Asian (Q&A) is one of our larger and more active groups, we reached out to their Board to pitch the idea of submitting a blurb about their work, mission, and goals. Q&A graciously declined the offer, citing that many of the members are not out to everyone, and no one in the group felt comfortable submitting a photo. In saying, “no” the staff at the Center wanted to take this moment to acknowledge two critical things publicly:
- Saying “no” and setting your boundaries is one of the best things a person or group can do for themselves. At Penn, so often, we become conditioned to say “yes” to every possibility. We do this in the hopes to build more connections, add another thing to our resume, or attempt to wipe away the feelings we associate with imposter syndrome. Saying “yes” too frequently means we have to say “no” to our personal needs more often. What we often forget is that saying “no” allows us to say “yes” to ourselves. We applaud Q&A for naming their wants and needs and strive to live by their example.
- Even in 2019 not everyone feels comfortable sharing their gender or sexual orientation journey with others. We can refer to many pieces of legislation, Supreme Court decisions, public attitudes, and perceptions that have shifted significant components of the United States’ culture, opinions, and beliefs. Yet, there are still many pockets and realities of Philadelphia, the United States, and the world where safety must be prioritized over visibility. There is so much more work to be done, and the Center is committed to engage in this work.
Please tune in to our next newsletter as we reconfigure and assess what visibility on this platform can look like for Penn’s LGBTQ+ students. With consent, we will share what is happening within our student groups at the LGBT Center.