Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Inaugurated LGBTQ event for Cerritos College students

Referring to Queer Coffee as a “Mad-Hatter tea party,” Ayocatlcincin Rojas, English major, appreciated the setting and the rainbow decorations spread across the table, as well as the people who were present.

Queer Coffee, a monthly event co-sponsored by Safe Zone and the Human Resources Office of Diversity, Compliance and Title IX, offers an informal setting in which LGBTQ+ staff, faculty, students and allies have the chance to connect and meet new friends over free coffee and sweets.

Fall 2018 is the first semester that the Cerritos College campus is hosting the event, allowing students two more opportunities to attend in October and November.

Monica Acuna, staff development assistant for the Human Resources department, expressed her joy in being able to provide a space for students where they do not feel like they have to hide any part of themselves.

“We have Safe Zone ally training, so we wanted to expand that. That’s where Queer Coffee came from.

“We wanted some [place] where the students and staff from campus can kind of hang out and get to know each other, so that the students know that there is a supportive community here within the campus,” said Acuna.

Jennifer Lizarraga, program facilitator for student success center, mentioned the lack of queer-centered events within community colleges.

“[We] haven’t seen [many] queer events at community colleges,” said Lizarraga.

She said such events are usually found within universities that have more funding.

According to Alexis Cervantes, animation major, these kind of spaces have always existed to work as an outlet to people who cannot always express who they are.

If people just want to make friends who share similarities, whatever they classify as, they will be there for them, she said.

“It’s just kind of nice to be able to share that aspect of yourself with people with similar stories and [backgrounds],” said Cervantes, “I think the setting plays a larger role… it’s definitely easier to talk [here] as opposed to like casually bringing it up to a stranger.”

Rojas felt the event causes less stress because sometimes people are not fully comfortable or out, and so, people can be involved without actually having to come out.

Freddie Frausto, accounting major and also minoring in gender studies, made it known that he is attending the next two Queer Coffee events, already having them scheduled in his calendar.

Acuna looks forward to more successful meetings.

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Inaugurated LGBTQ event for Cerritos College students