By: Emily Baily | Contributing Writer
On Saturday, Nov. 23, Spectrum held their Queersgiving Potluck. The event was held at the president’s, Roe Van Derwood, house and was filled with impromptu games, good food, and tons of laughter. It gave students who are a part of the LGBT+ community an opportunity to celebrate the holidays among friends and not have to worry about if they are accepted by those around them.
“It’s not a secret that a lot of queer folks don’t have super healthy family environments, and the holidays put a lot of pressure on us to have a good time or to think about the relationship that we wish we had with our family,” says Roe Van Derwood, the president of Spectrum. “So we have Queersgiving as a way to allow people to have that moment with their found-family where everything is affectionate and calm.”
Spectrum’s goal is to create a place for LGBT+ students to feel free to express themselves without fear of ridicule or judgment.
Along with Queersgiving, Spectrum also hosts Hug A Queer on Valentine’s Day and Pride Prom every spring to let LGBT+ folks have the chance to redo prom. They also host sleepovers and other social events for their members to help build a sense of community and family.
“The environment I came into as a freshman is one that I’ve been trying to maintain and foster,” says Van Derwood. “We make sure everybody has a network that they can come back to.”