Queer Peer Program
The Mission of the Queer Peer Program is to promote the success of UW Oshkosh students of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, including but not limited to asexual, bisexual, demisexual, gay, genderqueer, intersex, lesbian, pansexual, polyamourous, queer, questioning, transgender, and two spirit. This program helps students expand their potential as individuals and connect with other LGBTQ+ students at UW Oshkosh in a friendly and confidential setting.
The Queer Peer Program is designed for...
- Upper classman
- International students
- Transfer students
- Nontraditional students
- Students living off campus
- Incoming first year students
- Students living on campus
Peers are here to talk about...
- Career development questions
- Coming out
- Culture, ethnicity, and LGBTQ+
- Getting acquainted with campus
- How academic and LGBTQ+ influence one another
- LGBTQ+ History
- Myths and stereotypes
- New relationships
- Specific questions that need specific answers
How do I come out without making my parents think I am trying to fit in or this is just a phase?
- This is such an important question that so many of us have asked in our journeys. And there is no one easy answer. Each of us would have a different answer, and you need the one that allows you to be true to you. I found that telling my parents I loved them and being consistent and serious in my discussions with them about my queerness worked overtime. And then finding support in other ways–through counseling, through groups of people going through similar experiences. It also makes a difference if you are still living with your parents or not. The LGBTQ Resource Center on campus is a place you can come and be you, but I also know that many see it as too public. We have a good LGBTQIA+ library and books can be checked out through email and arranging a safe place to get them.
How can I get a good chest binder on a low budget?
The LGBTQ Resource Center has a great solution for getting chest binders on a low budget. Through a program called Gender Outfitters, the Resource Center is able to order binders confidentially and have them shipped right there so that even if you are living at home or are in a situation where you may not be able to order your own, it can be there for you. Beyond the confidentiality, Gender Outfitters exists in order to help transgender and gender non-conforming individuals who may not be able to cover the costs of gender-affirming clothing, such as a binder, on their own. If your budget is quite low, one can even be provided at no cost to you. While the program is relatively new, it will soon also provide the ability to try on different sized binders privately to find out what suits you best.
How do I know if I'm ready for a mentor?
I believe someone knows that they are ready when they start asking the question of whether or not they are. For me, I had a mentor really late in life. I wish that I could have found a support network sooner but the one I have found is just as amazing. The earlier you are at trying to figure out yourself, the more time you have to figure everything out. If you do decide to have a mentor, it doesn’t mean you have to identify a certain way. It can be your “testing out the waters of information” time.
How do you figure out your gender identity and pronouns?
How should I come out to my roommate?
There are a few things to consider when you’re thinking about coming out to your roommate. If you feel safe around them, let them know that you have something important to talk about and that they should set aside time for the two of you to speak. Once you’re together, just let them know how you identify. Explain your identity and allow them to ask questions. The best way to avoid your roommate being awkward or uncomfortable is to educate them. Let them know that just because you identify as XYZ doesn’t mean that you’re going to be hitting on them or staring at them while they change. If you’re not out on campus, ask them to keep it between the two of you until you’re ready to come out on a large scale. The main thing to keep in mind when coming out to anyone is to do it on your terms. If you feel uncomfortable or not ready, take time and practice coming out. Think over what you want to say and what you want the outcome to be. Mentors would always be willing to sit with you and help you practice as well.
What other resources are there on campus?
There are many great LGBTQ+ resources on campus. The LGBTQ Resource Center has lots of information. The student organization, Rainbow Alliance for H.O.P.E. is another great resource on campus. They meet Monday evenings. The Counseling Center is a great place to go if you have questions or concerns as well as the Women’s Center.