LGBTQ+ Club Provides Support and Safe Space

Anthony Ventrone, Staff Writer

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The LGBTQ+ club at Brookdale Community College is a safe space for students. Every week, students get a chance to express themselves. The club welcomes allies as well as members of the LGBTQ+ community. Breeding compassion is a pillar of the organization.

The purpose of the club is to bring together students and help them share their stories, to create friendships and make connections with those who may be struggling with their identity.

The meetings take place in the Performing Arts Center at 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Club member Mel Adelman explains the purpose of the club. “It’s basically just a place for people to feel safe if they’re  not publicly out or if they’re not accepted by people and their family or even just in general. It’s really education based, we’ll talk about celebrities in the LGBTQ community, the history of the LGBTQ community. We talk about sex education and how to have safe sex.”

During club meetings everyone introduces themselves and their pronouns. Members will have an open discussion about their experiences. Members will open up about experiences they’ve had on campus, whether positive or negative. Throughout the meetings, students will also talk about their academic journey. Each meeting, members will choose a topic pertaining to the discussion and watch videos online and have a discussion about what they watched.

Facilitating a safe environment is a top priority for the LGBTQ+ club. “We have a thing called Battle Scars that we do the last meeting before breaks or the semester ends. We just vent about how we are feeling and if we are scared for our family members because we may be around a family member that may or may not accept us. We vent about that and have a counselor come in from the school, and we get in a circle, and it is very secluded. If someone breaks a rule, laughs at someone or talks over somebody, we kick them out,” Adelman said, “It’s a very serious time. What happens in the room and what is said in the room stays in this room.”

The club is like a family. Members are always there for each other. “I can remember a time when the club helped me. I was already out to my mom, but I was just trying to get her to understand that I needed acceptance. I needed to be set free and just OK with myself.”

“I told her that I needed surgery. Me and my therapist made a plan to write a letter to my mom instead of saying it out loud. So I showed my letter to everybody, and I’m like does this look OK, and they helped me tweak a few things. This really helped the letter be stronger, and from there, the session went beautifully,” Adelman said.

“I think because of the people in here, that’s why my relationship with my mom is amazing,” Adelman said.

The LGBTQ+ club creates community through bonding over the joys and struggles of LGBTQ+ students’ experiences. Students sharing their pain creates joy and heals souls. This is not just a club; this is a family. Making connections and sharing experiences helps foster a community of love, acceptance and pledge. The club has meetings Nov. 26 and Dec. 3, 10 and 12.

The club advisor is Professor Robert Gant and you can contact him [email protected].