As a freshman I would rarely ever stop by the center. I believed that it didn't have much to offer me aside from a couch to power nap in between to classes on. However, as one of my good friends kept dragging me along to the LGBT Center's events (as it was then called), I began to realize that there was much I could gain from the Center. And so, I've compiled a short sweet list of reasons to come visit the CSGD (and me when I'm working).
1. Discussion Groups! The center provides discussion groups lead by students for students that want a space to discuss topics that we don't talk about in every day life, from sex and relationships to local and international news that affect our communities. Man to Man is a discussion group for men who like men, Women Loving Women is the female equivalent, Spectrum provides a space for trans men and women, and Athlete Ally provides forum for athletes and their allies to discuss issues that affect them. All these group welcome questioning individuals, and provide a safe, discreet space to openly discuss issues that affect us all.
2. Profiles in Sexuality and Keynote speakers! The CSGD is constantly on the look out for speakers to come in and talk about their research related to the queer community. In the past we've invited Nanette Gartrell who spoke about her research on Lesbian families, and Hudson Taylor the founder of athlete ally! These speakers provide resources in fields of study and activism that help to enrich the lives of our community.
3. Kickback Fridays! Previously, known as Fab Friday, is a social event every Friday that gives students the opportunity not only to meet others in the community but also allies and potential mentors. The social events range from Holiday themes to simple board games in order to provide unstructured, casual opportunity to meet others in an open environment.
4. Monthly Events! The CSGD provides the opportunity for students to get involved and give back to the community. Every semester brings along new opportunities to participate in events such as the Annual NC Pride Parade, National Coming Out Day, Trans Day of Remembrance, AIDS Awareness Day, Women's History Month, Lavender Graduation, and Ally Week! The Center works hard year round to plan for these events but ultimately it is through student participation that makes these events successful.
5. Building Community! The CSGD's new and more visible space is great place to interact with others in the Duke Community, queer or not. A great number of students stop by the center every day, whether it is to each their lunch, study, nap, in search of resources, or even simply to come in and talk to our staff. The student assistants are more than happy to answer questions or simply strike up a conversation. I encourage everyone to stop by in between classes or during your more free time to come hang out and explore the CSGD."