GIESORC helping LGBT community

Matthew Jeffries, GIESORC Sexual Health Awareness Week Director | Guest commentary

While all students are served through Health and Wellness Services on campus and other area resources, access can sometimes be difficult for LGBT students.

Questions that students are asked by medical professionals can be uncomfortable to answer for any student, especially about their sexual history.

Sexually active lesbian, gay, bisexual, and questioning students may need to disclose that they have had a same-sex partner in order to receive the best medical attention. This concern hinders their access to medical assistance because they may not feel comfortable sharing their identity due to possible judgment.

A sexual health concern for transgender students who are transitioning from male to female or female to male is that in order to receive proper treatment, they must disclose all the details of their transitional process to medical professionals. This disclosure could be met with questions or comments, which may be perceived as insensitive or disrespectful to the individual.

The most important thing for students to remember is to get tested often if they are sexually active no matter their gender or sexual orientation. Anyone can stop by the Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center (GIESORC) in CUB 401 for free condoms. Additionally, GIESORC staff members in addition to members from the Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) and Students Working with Intellect & Pride for Excellence (SWIPE) will host Sexual Health Awareness Week from March 24 to 28.

Sexual Health Awareness Week truly focuses on getting out the word about promoting safer sex. The main event for Sexual Health Awareness Week will table from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the CUB. The table will have free safer-sex kits available for students. Another event will be Condom Bingo hosted at noon on Tuesday in CUB 406.

Overall, these issues are important to the staff at GIESORC and to the many students we serve throughout the campus community. We continue to advocate on behalf of students and their individual needs. We advocate for not only medical professionals to continue to educate themselves about the LGBT community, but for all WSU students, staff, and faculty members. Monthly ALLY trainings are held to help members of the WSU community learn more about the LGBT community. More information can be found on our website

-The opinions expressed in this commentary are not necessarily those of the staff of The Daily Evergreen or those of Student Publications.