A home of love, support and activism for the LGBTQ+ community and beyond
Cece Hampton ’24
Wondering where all the chalk artwork on the Long Walk came from a few weeks ago? In honor of October being LGBTQ+ History Month, Trinity College’s Queer Resource Center (QRC) continued its annual 25-year tradition of on-campus chalk drawing. The Tripod sat down with three QRC members to learn more about the center and its role on campus. We spoke with Aaron Kowals ’25, Nora Bryda ’25 and Amber Gray ’26.
Nora described the QRC as “a safe space for queer students and queer allies on campus.” They aim to work with queer community partners, clubs and other organizations in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) departments to foster relationships between different minorities. The center is located at 114 Crescent Street and offers a library, kitchen and “safe room” for people living in extenuating housing conditions. The QRC also provides basic sex education such as STD prevention, and staff work hours. Additionally, the center hosts events like brunches, community talks to spread education and awareness, partnerships with queer and trans NPOC faculty on campus, and they always offer a reception with food afterwards. Aaron said, “We’re a space for everyone and we love nurturing everyone.” Additionally, the QRC partners with other on-campus groups like Hillel House, hosting events like “Rainbow Shabbat”, which is a gay-oriented Shabbat where they bake rainbow challah bread. All of these events are open to everyone, not just gay students.
As a participant in the National Campus Climate Assessment for LGBTQ+ Life, Trinity currently has a Campus Climate Score of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Some of the contributing factors to this high score are access from freshmen to gender-neutral housing, the insurance scheme offered by the college that covers gender-affirming health care such as gender therapy and queer counselling, and relationships with staff from many different backgrounds , including an “out in STEM” chapter. Aaron highlighted the importance of Trinity’s progress in creating an inclusive environment, especially given issues that may not necessarily affect the majority of students. Aaron and Amber agreed that being in an environment like this is a “culture shock” compared to what they’re used to back home, Oklahoma and Delaware, respectively, calling the atmosphere here “refreshing “.
Connecticut is considered a “trans haven” and one of the safest states for transgender people. Despite this, Aaron, Amber and Nora all recognize that Trinity still has a lot of work to do to improve the quality of life on campus for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Nora explained that “not all students fit into the algorithm used by the school”. Problems remain with housing options, as students can only identify as male or female on the housing portal. Additionally, when Trinity emails people about housing or financial aid, the email includes a student’s parents, who can “check out” students who have not yet checked out. with their parents. Overall, in order for Trinity to improve its support for members of the LGBTQ+ community and other minorities on campus, the QRC believes that we need to replace existing infrastructure to be more accommodating to them and for these changes to be made more quickly. . Nora explained, “We’re the algorithm’s guinea pigs right now, and we’re the group it’s being tested on. It sucks now, but in the next 5 years gay students coming to campus will have a better experience thanks to the changes we are making now.
The QRC encourages all students to visit its center on campus, not just gay students. Aaron said, “We want this space to be used,” Nora adding, “It’s meant to be for gays and allies.” Amber concluded by saying, “Think of QRC as your grandma who will always nurture you but is also very gay.”