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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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MSSC opens LGBTQ+ resource room in student center

Caroline Moore | Photographer
A pride flag and other decorative items adorn the wall of the MSSC’s new LGBTQ+ resource room.

Officials opened a room with clothing and health resources for LGBTQ+ students in the Multicultural Student Services Center last week.

About 15 students affiliated with various LGBTQ+ organizations attended the launch of the resource room Tuesday — which includes a gender-affirming wardrobe of free clothes and health resources like Plan B — hosted by the MSSC and Campus Living and Residential Education. The room will serve as a place for students to receive free gender-affirming care, one of the first spaces of its kind on campus.

The room holds a closet that contains racks and drawers of clothing and footwear options to allow people to find clothing that affirms their gender identity. The closet also includes TransTape — a chest-binding tape —  and contraceptives like Plan B and other sexual health resources. Shelves with progress pride flag pins, artwork and pamphlets about Descovy — a prevention drug for people at risk for developing HIV — adorned the room’s walls, along with a poster displaying messages of support to transgender students.

The room also contains frames of the logos of LGBTQ+ organizations on campus, like Allied in Pride and the Business Pride Network.

Mitchell Foster, an assistant director in CLRE, said AJ King, the former assistant director of the LGBTQIA+ Resource Center, began planning the new room last year and inspired the collection of feedback regarding a future LGBTQ+ affinity living space. Foster said they began conducting small focus groups with students last semester about a potential affinity space for LGBTQ+ students in fall 2024 and hoped to further those conversations at this launch.

“In my conversations with AJ, I was really inspired by his vision and his intention for such a resource, space or resource room to exist,” Foster said. “That also catalyzed conversations about if this resource room exists, how can we also make our residence halls more inclusive, especially to LGBTQ+ identifying students on campus.”

Foster said officials primarily intended for the event to introduce students to the resources available in the room so they would feel comfortable continually using the space in the future.  

“That’s why I’m here tonight, so I could figure out if there’s interest for it and also get to know from the students what would they like in an affinity space, what would a comfortable and safe community look like for them,” Foster said.

First-year Kaylee Allen said she wished resources for LGBTQ+ students were mentioned in her mandatory First-Year Experience course. She said she had to seek out organizations herself but is glad to have found various communities to connect with during her first year.

“I’m looking forward to the collectiveness and connecting with everyone else in the community,” Allen said. “I think that’s going to be really important because you have to stick together and meet new people.”

First-year Pragya Natarajan said the space is smaller than she imagined but was impressed by its abundance of resources.

“I wish that it was a bit bigger, but it’s pretty cozy,” Natarajan said. “I do like the variety of resources there, for sure. They did not skimp on things, so you can go in there and feel like they did dedicate good time and effort on this.”

Jennifer Igbonoba contributed reporting.

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