The Center for Diversity and Intercultural Affairs hosted their second annual Lavender Mixer on Tuesday January 25th, to provide food, games, and a support system for SHSU’s LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersexual, asexual and allies) community.
Coordinator of Center for Diversity and Intercultural Affairs Jordan Chang decided these events would be beneficial for LGBTQIA community after receiving a large crowd and positive feedback from last semester’s mixer.
“The lavender mixer is specifically for the students, staff, and faculty that identify as LGBTQIA to make sure that everyone feels welcomed and included,” Chang said. “We provide these mixers during welcome week because it’s the first week of the semester, so students who identify with this population can meet with other incoming students.”
Chang believes this event is more than just a social event, but is a chance to make a lasting, positive impact on students.
“In actuality, studies have shown people are able to do better in classes and stay in school when you’re able to identify with others who are close to you, or share something in common with,” Chang said. “An event like a lavender mixer, where you are able to meet someone that identifies as the same gender identity, is beneficial in the long run here at SHSU.”
Junior psychology student Keira Tademy also believes that identifying with like-minded people is essential for optimum mental, physical, and emotional health.
“This program makes it easier to get by in college because you need a support system for different parts of yourself,” Tademy said. “If one part of you doesn’t have a support system, then the whole system will collapse.”
First time attender junior theater student Zachary Ramon was surprised by how easygoing, yet high class the event was.
“This wasn’t what I was really expecting because I’ve never even been inside this building before,” Ramon said. “I was expecting a desk and maybe a few chairs, but I come in and see nice high tables, and really, really amazing food. It’s nice.”
Second time attender Shelby Semands, a sophomore theatre student, decided to come back because of the ambience, activities, and the possibility of forming friendships.
“I think it’s a good way to touch base with other queer people in the area because sometimes it’s hard for us to actually have a safe place together, especially now with the political climate,” Semands said. “I enjoy it because we’re all on the same playing field looking for people who are like minded to share experiences with, and get some cool facts about our history.”
After students served themselves, there was a series of icebreaker games to help students come out of their shell and learn about each other. The evening then concluded with a trivia game about the history of the LGBTQIA community with prizes such as water bottles and tee shirts.