This is (Booty) Brandon with SHEP and I’m here to tell you about my community project that I’m planning for this semester! I’m looking to work with an on campus student organization known as Cal Queer and Asian (a.k.a. Cal Q&A), which is comprised of about 30 members. They’re a great organization that provides a safe and fun environment for anyone who identifies with the queer and Asian community (any non-queer or non-Asians are also welcome!). The students meet weekly to talk about a wide variety of topics, ranging from coming out to porn, while also engaging in activities like Karaoke or board games. There’s a great sense of community and respect among the members, and I highly recommend that you attend their meetings, it’s a lot of fun!
Cal Q&A really was my first introduction/exposure to the queer community, and it really appealed to me because I was able to comfortably be open and be myself for the first time among my peers. I was really intimidated about being open and about my own sexuality, but this was the first place where I was told that it was perfectly okay to be who I am.
I haven’t been able to attend meetings since my schedule has gotten busier, but I wanted to go back to Cal Q&A to host my workshops as kind of a way of giving back to the community that accepted me with open arms when I was a timid and shy freshman. Over the remainder of this semester, I’m planning to host about three workshops with a slight emphasis on HIV and safer sex, but I’m also planning to vary my topics a bit. I really want to cover HIV and safer sex because I’ve noticed that Asian families typically don’t discuss the importance of sexual health and this would be a great way to spread awareness, especially toward newer students who haven’t had much of this exposure. Other than those topics, I may also do a workshop on sexual debuts (to talk about how each person can define their own sexual experiences) and another on sexual pleasure (this one just seems pretty fun J). Regarding publicity, Cal Q&A often sends weekly emails to inform members about what upcoming meetings will be about, and so I’m planning to utilize this to get the word out about my workshops. Also, they have a Tumblr and Twitter page, which will be useful in publicizing my events.
I’m looking forward to working with this community and I hope to really have a great time at my workshops!