To our LGBTQ+ Community at George Mason University,
This weekend, on the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance, a mass shooting occurred at LGBTQ nightclub Club Q in Colorado Springs. We mourn the loss of five individuals. We uplift hopes of healing for the twenty-five individuals injured. We hold all those affected by the ripples of emotional and spiritual trauma as a result of facing great loss and targeted violence.
We are all fighting. Every time we put on clothes that make us feel like ourselves, every time we experience love and connection, every heartbeat and every breath that solidifies that we are still here, still alive—we resist those that wish for us to assimilate, to change, to disappear. To fight, every day, every moment, is tiring. Exhausting. We find communities, we carve spaces, we gather to scream and laugh and cry and to remind ourselves and each other that we are here, we are alive, we are not alone. And to be faced, once again, with an act of violence and horror that destroys the spaces we have carved out for ourselves is a pain unlike any other. We are scared. We are hurt. We are tired.
We are not alone.
Community is our strength. Community is our healing. We hold each other in our grief, uplift each other in our joy. In our understanding of the complexities of identity, we find power in nuance, in our ability to link arms and carry all our victories and tragedies at once, a terrible and beautiful shape that no one person can wrap their arms around but as a group we can hold in firm and gentle embrace.
Resistance takes many forms. It is outrage, and protests, and letters to the governor against anti-Trans bills, and voting against politicians who seek to silence and destroy us. It is also joy, and healing, and laughing together around a shared meal, and allowing ourselves to cry.
We don’t know what comes next. We don’t know when the next strike against our rights or our safety will be. What we do know is that we will be here. In the LGBTQ+ Resources Center, the Women and Gender Studies Center, the LGBTQ+ Faculty Staff Alliance; in student, faculty, and staff government and organizations; in offices, classrooms, and residence halls on every campus; on Zoom and on Teams. We are here.
We are here, feeling the pain of this most recent tragedy that compounds our trauma, we are here.
We are here, the week after mourning over 375 (known) deaths of trans and non-binary siblings worldwide for International Transgender Day of Remembrance, we are here.
We are here, months after the rollback on the rights of queer, trans, non-binary, and questioning youth in Virginia schools, we are here.
We are here, years after the Pulse Massacre, we are here.
We are here, decades after HIV/AIDS’s decimation of our elders, we are here.
We are here, holding on to each other because it is an act of resistance to be ourselves.
We are here.
We are here.
We are here.
In light of these events, we offer up spaces, places, and people in which to find community and support
Spaces (Fairfax Campus)
The LGBTQ+ Resources Center cultivates the success and well-being of queer, trans, non-binary, and questioning students, staff, and faculty. Our work is deeply collaborative and rooted in intersectional justice. We build identity affirming programs, develop leaders, provide critical resources, and foster a culture of equity and allyship, at Mason. Join us on Mason 360 to learn more about our events.
Our center, located in SUB I Suite 2200, is open 12-5pm during the week until the University closes for Winter Break after December 16. Please stop by to be in community and/or use our resources, like our Trans Clothing Closet, TV, microwave, refrigerator, couch, or study table. Follow us on social media for the most up to date information about our center @lgbtq.mason and join our Queer Buddy System Discord to stay connected even when the University is closed.
The Women and Gender Studies Program and Center are dedicated to supporting the LGBTQ+ community at Mason and beyond. We recognize that this is an overwhelming, exhausting, and painful time for queer students, faculty, staff, and individuals who are processing the harm against our community.
We aim for our events and programs to be spaces where queer lives are lifted up and celebrated. To stay connected to our events, programs, and opportunities for connectivity visit our website events page or follow us on social media (@Mason_wgst). If you want to stop by and be in good company, our center is on the 2nd floor of the Johnson Center (behind the study abroad offices)– we have tea and comfortable space for relaxing.
Virtual Processing Spaces
LGBTQ+ Faculty/Staff Alliance Processing Space – Tuesday (11/22), 12pm, Zoom
The LGBTQ+ Faculty/Staff Alliance welcomes all faculty, staff, and graduate students within the Mason community to be in community while processing the recent tragedy and ongoing challenges within our community. Join us on zoom:
LGBTQ+ Student Processing Space – Tuesday (11/22), 6pm, Zoom
Please join the LGBTQ+ Resources Center to pause and process together in virtual space. This space is specifically for LGBTQ+ students who are looking to connect and be in community around the recent tragedy at the Q Club in Colorado Springs. Here’s the Zoom link:
Friendsgiving 11/21 6-8pm in the Hanover Kitchen & MPR (in person, Fairfax Campus)
The LGBTQ+ Resources Center, LGBTQ+ LC, and LGBTQ+ Mentoring Program had scheduled our Friendsgiving for tonight. We would like to open this event to any queer, trans, non-binary, and questioning folks who would like to join us, to find and be in community during this exhausting time. It’d be helpful for us to know that you are coming, but if you don’t, there is nothing wrong with just showing up. Register here: https://cglink.me/2d7/r1894670
Gratitude Identity “Night” 11/22 12-1:30pm in the LGBTQ+ Resources Center (in person, Fairfax Campus)
While the LGBTQ+ Resources Center often holds Identity Nights, we had shifted our usual model of highlighting particular intersections of identity to focusing on what we like about our identities and ourselves, what we like about our communities, and to take some time to sit in gratitude of those aspects of our lives. Similar to Friendsgiving, we would like to open this event to any queer, trans, non-binary, and questioning folks who would like to join us, to find and be in community during this exhausting time. It’d be helpful for us to know that you are coming, but if you don’t, there is nothing wrong with just showing up. Register here: https://cglink.me/2d7/r1922523
In solidarity, strength, and healing,
The LGBTQ+ Faculty/Staff Alliance
The LGBTQ+ Resources Center
The Women and Gender Studies Center