QTPOC

CWU's new club hopes to provide a safe space for minorities

Alex Palacios, Scene Reporter

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Safety and familiarity are the two things that Justin Guzman focused on when he considered starting his new club.

Guzman,a senior at CWU studying psychology, is one of the founding members of Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC).

He serves as the  club’s president, but he shares the work with fellow founders– who were unavailable for an interview.

Although Guzman said there were few reasons for forming the club but the main one, he said was “I just wanted to make sure that people of our demographic had a safe space”.

Guzman mentioned that even if it was just one time a week, it was important for gays and people of color to be together.

The meetings are pretty simple. They meet up, ask how everyone’s doing and just go from there.

“We just want our members to have a place to go and share what’s on their minds,” Guzman said.

Currently, QTPOC does not have any events planned, as they are not actively working on community engagement and shifting the public’s perception. Right now, they hope to gain some traction and get some new members coming to their club.

When asked why they chose to break away from other focused organizations on campus, Guzman said, “some members of QTPOC didn’t feel represented as well as queers who were white.”

Guzman made it clear that, while QTPOC does basically stand opposed to other Equity and Services Council (ESC) clubs they did not intend to cause friction or drama.

The ESC  helps organize clubs such as: the Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan (Mecha), the Filipino American Student Association (FASA) and Equality through Queers and Allies (Equal).

“There’s a huge difference between being queer, and being queer and having a different ethnicity than what is common. We either get misrepresented for being a different color or because of your queerness,” Guzman said.

To spread the word, QTPOC heavily relies on word of mouth and club posters hung around the school and in Residence Halls.

The meetings are fairly small right now, but Guzman isn’t concerned with the attendance.

“I had no real expectations for the club, but I just wanted to make sure that for now, we (QTPOC members) had a place to go.”

QTPOC meets in Black Hall room 225-30A at 6 PM every Wednesday.

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