Queer Unity for Eastern Students (QUEST) held its second Speed Friending event of the school year on Jan. 25. The event was one of many held each week connecting the LBGT community at EMU campus.
In addition, Quest also holds weekly meetings in room 352 of the Student Center. QUEST meetings are open to all students, allies, those questioning their sexuality, or gender identity, and members of the LBGTQ+ community, are all welcome to attend.
The event focused on connecting members of the LBGTQ+ community. Set up similarly to that of speed dating, members chatted for a four-minute block of time before switching to talk with the next person in the circle. With conversation, laughter and new people to meet, the event focused on creating friendships with people who have common interest as well a building a greater community.
Meeting several different people in a number of minutes, allowed the QUEST Members to talk with people that they may see in the meetings but maybe wouldn’t normally talk with, allowing them to get to know a more people in the community.
“If you don’t know each other it is not much of a community," QUEST Board Member and secretary, Carra Peerbolte, said.
Events like Speed Friending put on by groups such as Quest and the LBGT Resource Center gather people within the community to meet and build valuable ties to not only one and other but to the LBGTQ+ community.
A member of QUEST explained that there is a lack of other LBGT support groups, like QUEST, and that the LBGT community on campus is the only support people have to “Express their sexuality openly without being afraid of it.” To many in the LBGT community, Quest is a place to be truly who they are.
“I think a strong LBGT community on campus is important because most people didn’t have it in high school and don’t have LBGT support at home. For some people this is the only place they can be themselves," Carra Peerbolte said.
In addition to friendship building activities like speed friending, QUEST also works towards LGBT activism on campus, through campaigns such as the Positivity Posters, happening later this month. QUEST works to promote a positive message about the LBGT community and gender identity positivity.
Up coming LBGT events happening in February and March include the“Gayme” night on February 15, Clothing Swap on March 1 and the Pride Prom on March 8.