Story by Hilary Broman,
Senior Staff Reporter
Efforts to reestablish the LGBTQ support group at CNM are currently underway, said group adviser, Mark Danley.
The group is intended to be a place where people who were lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered or questioning can safely meet, and provide emotional support for each other and educate each other in a friendly, peer-centered environment.
“I’d like to see those roles continued and possibly expanded with outreach, community service and coordination with other organizations in the Albuquerque area,” Danley said.
Interested students can contact Danley directly through his email address, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The group needs to meet the minimum number of eight members in order re-form the organization, he said.
So far, only five students have expressed interest in becoming a part of the group.
Danley thinks that it is important to have an active LGBTQ support group at CNM because right now is a scary time for LGBTQ people, he said.
“The current political environment of the country is pretty adversarial to people who don’t fit into a preconceived notion of “normal.” Trans people have been singled out recently as “boogie-men” of sorts because their gender identification does not match the gender of their birth certificate.”
Danley believes that there has been an upswing in domestic acts of terrorism and violence committed by people who support the authoritarian tone being expressed by the current presidential administration, he said.
“I think that many people are concerned about their personal safety and well-being as well as those of others.”
The group was active about a year ago under the advisement of Philip Lister, but the group fell into inactivity.
This year Lister’s schedule doesn’t allow him the time to facilitate the group so he asked Danley to take over.
“It would be great to see the group become active again,” Lister said.
Danley said that he wants to help the students in the group accomplish what they’d like to do.
“As an advisor, I don’t see my role as being the leader who makes the plans for the group. I’d prefer that the students organize and plan their activities and the direction of the group themselves,” he said.
CNM does provide designated safe space areas around the campuses for LGBTQ students such as: The Office of the Dean of Students, the Disabilities Resource Center and the Connect Centers, Danley said.
Although a specific counselor for LGBTQ students is not an official position, there are people at the Connect centers who will provide support resources.
“The goal of re-forming is not to supplant the work of these offices, but rather to act as a synergist to expand ways in which LGBTQ students may engage with the CNM Community as well as other organizations in Albuquerque and New Mexico,” he said.
Featured content graphic at the top of the post is by by Heather Hay.