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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

What the LGBTQIA2S+ Resource Program is doing to take care of its community

Fullerton College’s LGBTQIA2S+ Resource Program hosted a fair dedicated to spreading the word on local programs and support resources for LGBTQIA2S+ members on campus.
Eli Young
Students grab their respective pride flags offered by VROC.

“We’re all here on this planet to help each other,” said Orange County LGBTQ Center’s Kalei Lehua. A message that was a prominent theme for the LGBTQIA2S+ Resource Fair, which helped to teach students about the resources and programs offered by Fullerton College and the community around it.

October is LGBTQIA2S+ History Month and, along with the previous month’s social mixer, Wednesday’s fair proved to be another display of the many ways Fullerton College uplifts its queer students.

Ariel Gentalen, the LGBTQIA2S+ Resource Program’s projects lead said, “We want to make sure that students know that there are resources available to them on campus and off campus as well and really bring to them a moment for community and to honor our history”

Alize Adams-Pugh stops to learn more about the non-profit organization VROC. (Eli Young)

Fullerton College’s LGBTQIA2S+ community therapist Yanel Bueno said, “For our queer and trans students, that’s something really important for them to feel like they fit in, to feel like they’re welcome in spaces.”

Bueno, whose main work on campus centers around providing mental health services, understands the value of a designated space for students to avoid worrying over protecting their identity.

According to a study done by LGBTQIA2S+ suicide prevention service the Trevor Project, almost half of all LGBTQIA2S+ college students with no access to resource programs seriously considered suicide.

To Bueno, this is a place that, “offers a lot of someone’s self esteem and ability to discover who they are.”

Yanel Bueno (right) gives information about the mental health services on campus to Lesa Arriola (left). (Eli Young)

Lady Gaga and Beyoncé’s “Telephone” blasted across the area, and each tent in that corner of the quad was decorated with pride flags of all orientations. Attendees slowly filled with color as they too received flags that they identified with, hanging them off of their clothes and bags throughout the course of the event. Decorated in oranges, pinks, blues, and more, attendees created their own living rainbow.

Just a sliver of the local LGBTQIA2S+ community’s scene was present at each booth, designed for guests to experience each stand. From sister school Cypress College’s QSA support group, to Orange County’s LGBTQ Center, to Vietnamese OC grassroots organization VROC, the event drew organizations from all over the county.

Fullerton College’s own community was not missing, of course. The Gender-Sexuality Alliance Club and Queer Book Club both handed out stickers and smiles while advertising upcoming meetings with selected LGBTQIA2S+ authors. Along with connection to Mellow into Midterms and the Food Bank, volunteers hand out fresh produce to those who passed by.

Information goes hand in hand with the utilization of resources. Available flyers included resources for gender-affirming care, mental health support, and community-based activities like TWIG: Transgender, Women, Intersex, and Gender-Nonconforming bicycling group all the way from Santa Ana.

Pounce Jollineau (left) signs up for the Bicycle Tree with Dorian Romero (right). (Eli Young)

“Everyone deserves an equal chance at information… that’s going to benefit their life,” said Lehua. “Part of providing resources is providing access to not just information, but medical services such as health testing and transgender care.

Under tents decorated with waving colors, people linger to speak with exhibitors, and participate in the various activities. Between personal button making at one station, stickers, and even Care-Bear Hair Dye, the event brought the best of information and entertainment.

The month has only just begun, and the LGBTQIA2S+ Resource Program has more in store to honor the history of their community. For more information on upcoming events and resources from the LGBTQIA2S+ Resource Program, visit their website.

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About the Contributors
Bela Penn
Bela Penn, Staff Reporter
Bela Penn is a staff reporter in her first semester at The Hornet. She enjoys reading, live music, and playing with her cat Ellie Blue. She hopes to one day become a published author.
Eli Young
Eli Young, Photo Editor
Eli is pursuing two associate degrees, one in journalism and the other in photography, to add onto their business management degree. In their free time, they like playing Dungeons and Dragons with their friends, reading romance novels, and learning about herbalism. They want to become a freelance photojournalist or a teacher. Their ultimate goal is to open an art gallery in their hometown, Compton. 

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