LGBTQ Students

Finding a path to coming out, or finding your place in the LGBTQ community, while also managing your emotional health along with the demands of a social life, school and work can feel overwhelming. One of the best resources on campus for finding community and support is the Spectrum Center, which focuses on student-centered education, outreach, advocacy and support within the framework of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Located in the Michigan Union and open Monday-Friday from 9am-6pm, the Spectrum Center serves as a key resource to the U-M community. Visit their website to find information on events, support groups, educational outreach, volunteer opportunities, and LGBTQ friendly housing.

Coming Out

Coming Out can be a scary, yet liberating experience. It’s not uncommon for LGBTQ students to struggle with decisions around who to be open with, how, where and when to come out.

Coming Out Groups at the Spectrum Center:

  • Coming Out Guidance Perspective Support (GPS): GPS is a tool for LGBTQ and similarly-identified students to use as they are navigating their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression identities. The GPS Program provides students with Guidance to helpful information and resources,; Perspective of a fellow student who has experience navigating their identities; and Support in that navigation.
  • OUTlist: The OUTlist helps foster professional relationships and mentoring opportunities between LGBTQ faculty, staff, students, and alumni. It is an online profile database where University LGBTQ community members can connect and support one another.

Feelings of Isolation

Feelings of isolation can contribute to symptoms of depression or anxiety. Connecting with others is an important way to take care of your emotional health. Here are some things you can do to connect with others:

Join a student organization: Joining a student group can help you develop a support system and connect with other students who share your interests.

  • To find a group with similar interests as your own, visit Maize Pages, or attend the LGBTQ Welcome Festival and Graduate Student Welcome, Festifall, or Northfest: large events held each year to showcase student groups on campus.
  • Here you’ll find a list of LGBTQ and ally student groups, including graduate student groups, through the Spectrum Center.

Take Advantage of Support Programs:

Additional Resources

If you are struggling, you are not alone. It is important that you tell someone about your symptoms.

  • Counseling and Psychological Services
    • Provides free counseling services for enrolled U-M students. At a counseling session, you have the chance to talk about your concerns with someone in a safe, friendly, and culturally sensitive environment.
    • Don’t get discouraged if there is a long wait time for an appointment. You can always speak with a CAPS Counselor-on-Duty (734-764-8312) for urgent matters, and there are many free support groups that can help you to manage your mood while you wait for your appointment.
    • If you find that you aren’t connecting with your counselor, don’t be afraid to talk to them about it or ask to see someone else. For treatment to work, you need to feel comfortable sharing information. Some people find that it takes a few tries to find the provider that is the right ‘fit.’ Find other tips for making the most out of your appointment here.
  • Find transgender specific resources from the Spectrum Center.
  • Attend the free Campus Mind Works drop-in education and support groups. Held twice monthly, these groups aim to provide an extra layer of support for students with depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. They begin with a presentation on topics which impact student mental health, followed by a facilitated support group session to discuss challenges faced when coping with depression, anxiety, and mood swings; share successful strategies for managing illness in the context of college life; and connect with other students who may have similar experiences.
  • Check out the self-care section of this website for tips and tools to help you track and manage your physical and emotional health.
  • Request housing in a gender neutral environment. Housing opportunities with fellow LGBTQ-identified students can also be arranged through the Spectrum Center.
  • If you have experienced a hate crime, report it directly to DPSS (734-763-1131) or Ann Arbor Police (734-994-2911). You can also report it online, by phone (734-615-2427), or in person at any designated reporting area. Information may be submitted anonymously and is considered confidential to the extent permitted by law and/or consistent with the University’s mission.
  • Jim Toy, the founder of the Spectrum Center, created the Jim Toy Community Center as a resource for the LGBTQ and allied residents of Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and greater Washtenaw County. Located in the Kerrytown neighborhood, it is a resource center that exists to provide information, education, social events, advocacy and welcomes all who support its mission to participate in its activities.
  • The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.
  • pridesource.com is a popular website for Michigan’s LGBTQ online community, featuring an interactive calendar of events, resources, and Between The Lines, Michigan’s only weekly newspaper for the LGBTQ market.
  • The Common Language Bookstore sells LGBTQ themed books and is located at 317 Braun Ct in downtown Ann Arbor, nearby the Jim Toy Community Center.

 

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