Queer Solidarity at Butte College

Two students’ perspective: does Butte College welcome queer students?
Flag flown in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.
Flag flown in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.
Raphael Renter @raphi_rawr via Unsplash

College is more than just a place of learning; it’s a place of connection, self-exploration, and discovery. For many, it’s a time of coming to terms with who they really are and learning to love and accept themselves for that. However, this journey can be particularly daunting for those who identify as LGBTQ+.

Being gay in college can be scary and filled with uncertainty, and it’s crucial to be understanding of the unique experiences and challenges faced by queer individuals.

Galen Wahl, a sophomore studying mathematics at Butte College, reflects on his experiences with enthusiasm. When asked if he’s ever had a bad experience because of his sexuality he responded: “Oh no, never! The people here at Butte have been amazing.” He added, “Every teacher has been super nice.”

Queer students often find peace in the acceptance and warmth they receive from their professors. It’s not uncommon to discover that some instructors, too, are queer, providing a deep well of empathy and understanding. Galen touched on this by saying, “Quite a few of them (teachers) are queer themselves, which just makes me feel really seen.”

These positive interactions with faculty members not only enhance the academic experience but also nurture the emotional well-being of queer students, helping them thrive in their academic pursuits. Justin Stock, a freshman who has most of his classes online but frequents the Chico campus twice a week, touches on this by saying, “I only have one in-person class, and in the introduction, the teacher made sure to let us know he is an ally; the professors make sure to let us know it’s an inclusive space.”

One of the most remarkable aspects of Butte College is the visibility of the queer community. It’s not unusual to spot rainbow flags, pins, and other signs of LGBTQ+ pride displayed proudly throughout the campus. When explaining why it’s nice to have so many signs of pride everywhere, Galen Wahl said, “It’s really nice, both because it’s supportive, and also because I find them pretty.”

The presence of queer students throughout the campus contributes to a profound sense of belonging and solidarity among the LGBTQ+ community at Butte. Galen talks about this by saying, “There are a lot of openly and visibly queer people here at Butte, which is just really nice because I feel like I’m not that alone or singled out anymore.”

Butte College takes its commitment to its LGBTQ+ students a step further with its Queer Resource Center. The center offers resources, support and a welcoming atmosphere, creating an environment where queer students can flourish.

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