It all depends on your specific situation; everyone’s experiences are different. The Housing and Residence Education staff goes through diversity training and is familiar with LGBTQ+ topics. However, some LGBTQ+ students may feel uncomfortable in the same-sex living arrangements that the residence halls offer, while others might not be bothered by it. Also, the lack of gender-neutral bathrooms can be a stressor for LGBTQ+ students. If you feel uncomfortable and/or would like to talk to someone in your residence hall about this, we recommend that you discuss your feelings with either your Resident Assistant or your hall’s Graduate Hall Director (Community Resource Assistant) or Residence Life Coordinator (Residence Director).
If you are being harassed for being LGBTQ+ or an ally, it is not your fault. Try not to let the negativity and hate get to you. Be sure to contact the University Police Department at (352) 392-1111, if you are hurt, worried for your safety, and/or interested in creating a police report. You may also want to issue a report through the STOP Bias program from the RESPECT Team at:https://respect.ufsa.ufl.edu/. Reports are anonymous, and you are able to report both bias incidents and hate crimes. Additionally, you should contact the Dean of Student’s Office at (352) 392-1261, and your Resident Assistant, Graduate Hall Director, and/or Residence Life Coordinator if you live on campus. Also, please contact our office at (352) 392-1217. You are not alone.
The University of Florida offers undergraduate and graduate programs in Women’s Studies and Gender Research. Students can get an undergraduate major in Women’s Studies or undergraduate minors in Women’s Studies or Theories and Politics of Sexuality. There are also thesis and non-thesis options for a Master of Arts in Women’s Studies, along with a Women’s Studies PhD concentration
National Coming Out Day is a celebration of LGBTQQIAAP identities that we host an event for every year on October 11. National Coming Out Day is celebrated on October 11 because it is the anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. It is a day to raise awareness of LGBT rights and inequalities, and also to encourage LGBT individuals to live honest and open lives.
No, allies and non-queer people are almost always welcome at LGBTQ+ Affairs events and simply attending an event will not automatically deem you as “out.” Some people might choose to assume that your support for the LGBTQ+ community and its events means that you are queer, but ultimately, you are able to self-identify as whatever you please, and that is what is important.
The University of Florida has multiple student organizations specifically for LGBTQA students. One of the largest is Pride Student Union, an organization devoted to educating and empowering members of the queer community. Additionally, we have QTPOC Colective, which is an organization designed to suit the needs of queer and trans people of color. There is also Subtext, UF’s LGBTQ literary magazine, which has positions for students. Another option is working as a volunteer or work study student for the office of LGBTQ+ Affairs.
Allies are people who confront homophobia, heterosexism, and heterosexual privilege in themselves and in others out of their own self-interest. Allies show a concern for the wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, and a belief that heterosexism is a social justice issue. Allies can be queer, straight, or anything in between.
The Office of LGBTQ+ Affairs has a safe space for LGBTQ+ folks and their supporters called the Rainbow Room. It is Room 2210 on the 2nd floor of Reitz Union. The Rainbow Room is a great place to socialize, do homework, and it houses the Tamara Cohen LGBTQ+ Resource Library. Additionally, the Civic Media Center and the Pride Community Center of North Central Florida are very LGBTQ+ friendly.
GatorWell provides free and confidential HIV testing, for UF students by appointment only, at their office located in the Counseling and Wellness Center. For more information about the STD and HIV testing options, go to https://gatorwell.ufsa.ufl.edu/services/hiv-testing/
Free condoms, dental dams, and safe sex information can be found in the Rainbow Room (407 Peabody Hall), at the GatorWell Health Promotions office located in the Counseling and Wellness Center, the GatorWell satellite offices in Jennings Hall and the Springs Residential Complex, and the Student Health Care Center. You can also research safe sex information on the GatorWell website at http://gatorwell.ufsa.ufl.edu/.
The University of Florida’s Counseling and Wellness Center (CWC) offers an LGBT Empowerment Group, which gives LGBT students a chance to discuss their experiences in a safe environment with trained staff members. Additionally, the CWC offers individual psychological and psychiatric counseling sessions. Check out http://www.counseling.ufl.edu or call (352)392-1575 if you would like more information. Also, if you are in an emergency/crisis situation, please don’t hesitate to call the Alachua County Crisis Center at (352) 264-6789, the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-Suicide (1-800-784-2433) and/or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). Another option is to call the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386, which is a 24/7 hotline devoted to helping people who are having trouble with coming out, their sexual orientation, their gender identity, depression, suicide, etc.
Discrimination is never acceptable, and you have every right to take a stand against it. If you are being discriminated against for your LGBTQA identity, please contact Tiffany Richards, the Director of LGBTQ+ Affairs at, email@example.com and the Dean of Students Office at (352) 392-1261.
You can go to the GatorWell Health Promotion Services office, which is located in the Counseling and Wellness Center. They can help you manage these concerns and seek further treatment or assistance. You can also go to the Student Health Care Center and/or Counseling and Wellness Center. There are many options available to help you get better and be happier.
The gender marker can only be changed on your Florida driver’s license if you submit a physician certificate with your application that validates whether your gender transition is in progress or complete.
If someone comes out to you, this shows that they trust you and are willing to put themselves in a vulnerable place in order to be honest and open with you. It is important to be as supportive as possible in this situation. First, you can thank them for trusting you enough to open up to you. Then, you can let them talk and express their thoughts. Throughout the entire conversation, do your best to show that you support them and that you are still there for them. It is very possible that they feel nervous, embarrassed, and/or afraid that you will not want to stay friends with them. Try to alleviate these fears. It might be a very new situation for you, and you might not react perfectly, but the most important thing to do is show that you support them and are willing to listen. It is okay to ask questions, but be sensitive.
No, questioning your sexuality is simply a part of figuring out who you are. Questioning who you are can be somewhat unsettling, but in the end it will give you a greater sense of self, no matter what your conclusions end up being.
Coming out is a very personal process and can be different for everyone. Some people find coming out to be extremely empowering while others find it really scary. It can really vary depending on the attitudes of those that you are coming out to. If you are thinking about coming out or have already come out and would like to discuss it, feel free to stop by the Office of LGBT Affairs. We will do our best to support you.
Being outed without your consent can be scary, uncomfortable, and might lead you to feel like you cannot trust others. Please know that the person who disclosed your orientation/identity without your permission is in the wrong here. You have every right to feel violated and upset. Consider bringing along a neutral friend and telling the person who outed you how that made you feel. Explain why/how what they did affected you personally. Be sure to take your own safety into consideration if you choose to confront the person.
No. While some religious communities are less tolerant of the LGBTQ community than others, you can still choose to be religious even if you self-identify as queer. Add the info on the inclusive faith communities in town.
LGBTQQIAAP stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Ally, and Pansexual. These letters together make up a majority of the non-straight, non cisgender identities. Each group within this acronym has their own unique set of challenges, cultural differences, and privileges. Some choose to refer to the LGBTQQIAAP community as simply, the queer community.
“Queer” used to be considered a derogatory term but it has been reclaimed by the LGBTQ community as a term to signify empowerment and simply as a term to describe the LGBTQQIAAP community. Add: “It still may be used as in a derogatory way, depending on the way it is being used. But queer is used by many in an empowering way.
Heteronormativity is the assumption that heterosexuality is the norm, and that anything outside of heterosexuality is not normal. It is the societal construction that men should be “masculine” and women should be “feminine” without exceptions or consideration of the gender, sexuality, and identity spectrums. Heteronormativity enforces traditional gender roles.