university college of cork

Why College LGBTQ+ Societies are Important: A Shitpost

((Sidenote: I’m heavily involved in my college’s society, so call me biased if you want, I don’t really care))

So I am currently about to enter my second year in college, and I am also heavily involved with my colleges LGBTQ+ society. When I tell queer people this, I get a mixture of opinions and statements about how “they’re irrelevant” or “they’re not for me”. Or even my personal favourite, “Oh, you’re one of THOSE gays”. And it’s gotten me thinking as to why people view these societies like this and why I believe that they’re wrong for viewing societies like that.

Firstly, they do a very good job at protecting your community on a college level. As a group, your college LGBTQ+ society are often indirectly involved in how queer life is on campus. They often run initiatives that tackle issues like homophobia and transphobia, being a good ally and issues regarding race, gender, etc. are often brought to the forefront. Also, they get heavily involved in national movements. I know for a fact that here in Ireland, without the help that 3rd level institutions and LGBTQ+ societies gave, the marriage equality referendum would have been a lot closer, or we could have possibly lost it.

Even today, LGBTQ+ societies are doing their best to extend rights to all students. For example, my college has just recently introduced gender-neutral bathrooms, after two years of close work between our Student Union and society. We raise funds for HIV charities, we are working on tackling the blood ban, we are doing important work which benefits the lives of all students, members of the community as well as allies. Further afield, this year we have been heading to Northern Ireland to help protest for marriage equality all over the Ireland.

However, it’s not just politics. You find people that you become friends with, that you will work with, go on nights out with possibly even date. It’s an excuse for you to meet people, both in the community and allies, while having a laugh. And it’s not all just sitting in a room talking about Drag Race, if that’s not your thing. I’ve discussed everything from sport, politics, music, film, the list goes on. It’s a diverse group of people and you’re bound to find someone with similar interests.

This is why it frustrates me when people view members of their LGBTQ+ societies as just a group of people who sit in a room just screaming “YAAAAS” at each other until the cows come home. That’s not me. I love GAA. I won an award in school for Construction Studies. I am involved in other college societies. But regardless of this, I still make time to get involved with my LGBTQ+ society because they have educated me and made me a better overall person. And I found a family in a new city because of it.

So if you are either in 3rd level or are about to enter, I beg you that you actually check out your college’s LGBTQ+ society and join them. You don’t even have to go to events if you don’t want to, but give them your support. Who knows, you might even make friends or learn something!

Finding the Perfect Desk vs. Making the Perfect Desk

So after receiving my undergraduate degree I entered straight into my Masters program.  Since the program I enrolled in is only offered completely online, I had to find the perfect desk and for cheap.  I like to have a lot of space to spread out my work and all of the desks I found that were the size I wanted were extremely expensive.  If you find yourself in this dilemma, I have the best piece of advice for you. 

Buy a table!  Seriously a kitchen table.  I went to a discount furniture liquidator that sells new furniture that was overstock in the expensive stores.  I purchased a kitchen table made out of real wood for just $100.  Think about it, in libraries they use tables and not desks. 

Because tables don’t have storage I simply bought one of those cheap plastic stacked three drawer things from walmart and boom, storage!  I have uploaded a picture below to show you as well.  The long thing on the back of my desk is just some $5 cubby thing that I bought at an antique store where I’m from. 

You don’t have to spend big bucks to get a massive “desk”.  Plus by buying a table and then adding onto it with cheap piece, you can design your perfect desk to fit your personal study needs (and wants).

 

I also have four “cork boards” on the right hand side wall.  All I did was take four framed canvases from Hobby Lobby and wrapped them in fabric and stapled them along the back frame.  You can tack stuff on them and if you don’t happen to have anything tacked to them, they just look like art.

**PS: I don’t normally have that many post-it notes or highlighters, they were just on sale really cheap so I stocked up.

Happy Studying,  TheOrganizedCoyote

I held my boyfriend’s hand the other day. I caught it and held it until we reached the main gates of University College Cork, as I usually do on campus, only this time I didn’t let go after we’d passed through. We moved along the Western Road, toward Washington Street, and as we reached the innards of Cork City, something strange lingered over me.

I had become anxious, and soon I wasn’t speaking. I was afraid.

In my silence, I shot glances around, searching for anyone who might do us harm. I felt an unease as cars slowed down next to us. I wondered whether they would shout “Faggot!” or “Queer!” at us, as they had done before when I had been in previous relationships or had otherwise felt like showing my love and affection through the simple act of hand holding. I wanted to keep holding because it was cold, and my boyfriend’s hand felt so comforting, but I did not want to put him through the hurt and pain that words can cause. It was then that, having consulted my conscience, I almost let go.

But something very different happened. I felt a torrent of anger at the world. I felt angry at society for making me feel this way, for telling me that I can’t hold my boyfriend’s hand without feeling fear, without feeling trepidation, without feeling a niggling sense of shame. And I felt angry at myself for even entertaining the idea that this was not something that I should be doing. Suddenly I felt proud, and yet despite the fact that no one had yelled slurs at us, I still felt like it could happen any minute.

That day I felt so scared that I became angry at the homophobia that I had ignored since my teens, and I felt so angry that I couldn’t let go. I held my boyfriend’s hand all the way to Paul Street in the center of the city. I felt defiant, and elated that it felt normal to me, but I still felt afraid. I still felt anxious. I still felt homophobia.

—  The Day I Held My Boyfriend’s Hand | Olan Harrington for the Huffington Post Gay Voices