By: Jasper Scelsi, Columnist
The quarantine resulting from the coronavirus pandemic has affected many people in many ways, making life more difficult for some. It has particularly affected many in the LGBTQ community.
The campus is a sanctuary to some, and the only place they can be out in their identities and be around others in their community. For many, this was their first semester in college. Some lived in dorms and were able to be called by their correct name and pronouns all the time. Now, they are with people that may not accept their identities, or even know them.
I know many people in the LGBTQ community who left an inclusive campus environment to be back home to unaccepting family members. I even know one who had been kicked out by her family and became homeless when she lost her dorm.
Another student was enjoying his first semester as a college student and living in a dorm. People called him by his correct name and pronouns, and he felt comfortable. He was so excited to be in school, only to be sent back home after two months to a homophobic and transphobic family. It’s one thing to be stuck with family members that may annoy you, it’s another thing entirely to be with family members who would hate you if they knew the real you.
For one student, the support systems they had in school are no longer there. This included their friends who use their correct name and pronouns. Without these people, they are suffering from massive dysphoria.
It isn’t safe for them to come out to their family, because their family took so long to be accepting of their sexuality, and they treated their older sister so poorly when she came out. It especially wouldn’t be safe for them to come out now, seeing as they’re all stuck in the same house together.
This whole experience has been very defeating, because it made their independence take a massive step back that they were not expecting, and they don’t have control over this. All in all, they are taking things little by little because this happening in the background of everyday life takes a massive toll on their emotional wellbeing.
Many agree that life on campus was better for them. For most, it was safer. This pandemic has caused undesirable situations for many in the queer community and there is a widespread desire for the quarantine to end soon and allow us all to return to our everyday life and the people that accept us as we are. But for now, it’s best to be patient. Things will return to normal. Keep up appearances, you may have to hide your rainbow for a while. Try to keep your friends close, and talk to others in similar situations – at least one campus LGBTQ group, the Queer Student Union, is still doing online meetings where you can be “around” other queer students. There are also many groups online, such as Facebook groups and Discord servers. Best of luck in navigating these difficult times.