LGBQ Lunch today at noon

Sarah HaynerAssociate Producer

Emily Vankirk, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s program specialist, will lead the presentation and discussion at the LGBQ lunch.
Photo by Sarah Hayner.

An LGBQ Lunch will be held Thursday, Sept. 19 at noon in Legacy Hall. This is a lunch hosted by the Diversity, Inclusion, and International Programs, and there will be a presentation by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s Program Specialist, Emily Vankirk, and a discussion to talk about sexuality and learn more about the LGBQ+ community.

“LGBQ+ 101 and Trans 101 are both programs intended to educate individuals about LGBTQ terminology, culture and just general knowledge within that kind of realm,” Vankirk said. “I notice that a lot of people want to learn more about queer communities but aren’t necessarily ready to invest in a whole allyship position, so we developed these programs to address these questions in an environment in which it’s about the learning process then it is developing an identify as an ally.”

On Tarleton’s website, the event is advertised as a “lunch and learn.” Vankirk wishes this event existed during her time as a student.

“I am a queer person, I’m non-binary, I use them/they pronouns,” Vankirk said. “As a queer person at Tarleton, it was always really difficult finding people who didn’t have just a thousand questions about it, or people who already knew things about it. What it means to me, is that I am able to provide something for people that I wish would’ve been present when I was in school.”

This lunch is open to the Tarleton public. Vankirk hopes the program will reach out to people who wish to acquire information on the LGBQ+ community.

“It means a lot to me to be broadening the scope, and to be reaching out to folks who aren’t just naturally self-selecting to be an ally, but who are learning more…for the sake of learning,” Vankirk said.

The hope is that people leave the lunch with more knowledge than when they walked into it.

“I am hopeful that they will take away from the program an idea of what kinds of questions are good questions to ask your queer friends, and what kinds of questions are good ones to ask Google or me,” Vankirk said. “I’m hoping that they’ll learn a little bit about some terminology, and it’ll give them a good starting place, but I’m mostly hoping that they’ll learn how to approach these topics in dialogue a little bit more tactfully.”

There will be a follow up lunch Oct. 3 called Trans 101 at noon in Heritage Hall. If you can’t make the lunches, e-mail vankirk@tarleton.edu to request a speaker at your sorority, student organization or department event.

“If you want to talk about queer things, just email me and I will make one happen for you,” Vankirk said.

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