For many, going home for the holidays comes with a huge sigh of relief as they revel in the joy of a concluded stressful semester. For LGBTQA+ students, this relief can be challenged by the anxiety of returning to non-affirming homes and uneasiness about the holiday season before them.
On Nov. 12, in partnership with Counseling and Psychological Services, the LGBTQA+ Resource Center will hold a discussion called When A House Is Not A Home. The discussion will be held via Zoom from noon to 1 p.m. The confidential and judgment-free space will aim to help students returning to non-affirming households get through the holiday season.
According to Andrea Seldomridge,a therapist at CAPS, one of the main stressors LGBTQA+ individuals face when returning home is leaving behind the community they have at college.
“Sometimes they just need assistance getting through the holidays,” Seldomridge said. “They leave behind their support system here at the university and go home to where they don’t have as strong of a support system. Sometimes going home doesn’t feel a whole lot like home.”
Seldomridge will facilitate the event and lead the discussion. She believes involving CAPS in the event allows for trained professionals to help LGBTQA+ students in the best way possible.
“I think it’s important to have CAPS help facilitate this event,” Seldomridge said. “We want this event to be as therapeutic as possible for the students, and having a therapist involved is the best way to make that happen.”
One of the creators of this event, assistant director of the LGBTQA+ Resource Center JD McCown said they agree with Seldomridge and believe that partnering with CAPS adds value to the event.
“It is a place where people are bringing up a lot of struggles and issues that they are going through,” McCown said. “With that, we need someone who's a trained professional to talk about these things with them to provide that support.”
Both McCown and Seldomridge are hoping to receive a larger turnout at this event so they can continue to host events like this to help LGBTQA+ students with more issues that may arise next semester.
Students who are interested in attending can access the Zoom link by emailing Seldomridge at email@example.com.
McCown said they believe having this opportunity to receive additional support is vital for LGBTQA+ students this year as opposed to past years since students will be home for an additional month due to the lengthened winter break.
“When LGBTQA+ folks head home for prolonged periods of time, if they’re not in a situation where they can be out and be themselves it can potentially cause a lot of harm,” McCown said. “Especially this break, two months is quite a bit of time to not be able to be around the support systems that they would normally be around that affirm their identities."