EMU provides LGBT students support options

Eastern Michigan University lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students joined together for Coming Out Being Out (COBO), Wednesday afternoon in the Student Center. The group provided students with a place they can discuss various topics and concerns.

Dr. Sharon Carney, psychologist at Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), said COBO is a collaboration between the LGBT Resource Center and CAPS. Carney said the LGBT Resource Center helps spread the word about the group and has been a huge support and resource for making this happen.

“The purpose of the group is to provide a safe space and confidential space to LGBTQ students,” Carney said. “We are also supportive of anyone, whether they are coming out or already have been out.”

Carney said the group gets together to talk about coming out, being out and LGBT issues in general. She said this is where students can support each other.

EMU junior Ricky Hurston said he heard about COBO when he first started attending the university. He said he has been to a few of the group meetings.

“It’s sort of like one big community. They all support each other. They all help each other. They all, you know, [are] just there for each other,” said Hurston.

According to Hurston, the group talks about interesting topics such as the whole coming out process, the things that some people go through when they do come out, some of the struggles and some of the positives too. Hurston said it’s great the university has resources like COBO. He said EMU is one of the top LGBT friendly universities in the nation.

An EMU junior, who wished to stay anonymous, said he has been attending COBO for a while.

“My roommate last year, he introduced me to it,” the student said. “I’ve been going since fall of 2013.”

The EMU junior said he enjoys going to COBO and hearing different people’s stories.

“You never know how you can help other people by telling your story,” the student said. “It is really fun, you do meet interesting people. You hear great stories.”

EMU senior Jierson Robinson said he thinks COBO is a great resource where students can talk to each other and share insight on what they’re going through.

“An event like this where somebody probably did deal with the same situation, can talk to you about: how they dealt with it, how they got through it, how you can get through it and stuff like that,” said Robinson.

Robinson said attending groups like COBO could be very eye opening.

“For me it’s like oh, this could have happened? It makes me appreciate my family more,” Robinson said. “Sometimes I hear people on campus or in life in general tell their coming out story and it’s like the complete opposite of mine.”

Robinson said he thinks COBO is a good support group that EMU has every year for students.

“I think it’s a good thing having someone to talk to that can relate or even console you,” said Robinson. “And to network and make friends.” 

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