Story and photo by
Jerick E. LeBlanc/Staff writer/@jerickjake
Labels are cast out the door with Queer Space, an LBCC group that allows students who doesn’t identify as the “norm” to come together and have a voice.
Sociology major Ravanna Cantrall, 22, founded Queer Space in the Fall 2015 to provide a safe haven of sorts for students and to give the LGBTQ+ community a visual representation.
“I saw the lack of resources on campus and we didn’t have any clubs for students to go to,” Cantrall said. “I saw a need for it so that we can be represented in the community and I’m really happy with what we have going so far.”
Participation in the club is strictly anonymous unless a student is okay with letting members know their orientation. According to Daisy Rose, 18, a sociology and human development major, “As vice president of the group, I help oversee group discussion and any miscellaneous team building exercises we may participate in throughout the semester.”
Queer Space would like students to know that the clubs mission is to advance the queer community through advocacy, education, community building and to build a sustainable safe space for LGBTQ+ identified students and their allies.
“A typical day in our club meetings opens with a laid-back game of our choice,” Rose said. “It allows us to relax and break away from our very rigid college student façade. We really get to know each other during these times.”
The clubs aim is to walk the members through educational workshops on a variety of topics such as gender identity, LBGTQ+ homelessness and types of relationship among others.
Nursing major Kammie Sicklick, 20, is glad that such a club exists on campus. “I’m happy to be here and feel very comfortable to be included with this group,” she said. “People change their identity all the time and here there’s no social expectation and anyone can be their whole self instead of pretend.”
This month, Queer Space will join LBCC with a float they can ride in the Long Beach Pride festival. Students are invited to show up to committee meetings to help design the float.
The clubs main advisor Rena Pheng, a financial aid accounting tech, is very proud of what the students have achieved in the short time that it has been open.
“I’m all about the people, gay, straight, everyone. I identify as human,” Pheng said. “As an advisor I sit and listen but they are on top of it. My role is to support and to give advice.”
Volunteer hours are available to students who are interested in helping assemble the float. Meetings take place in the Valhalla room on Mondays from 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Rose said that students interested may contact her personally by email at email@example.com. “We learn from each other constantly. I couldn’t imagine myself happier anywhere else on campus.”