UTA alumnus Joel Sauceda said LGBTQ students who haven’t come out sometimes can’t be themselves around their families, and it’s especially difficult around the holidays.

On Thursday, the LGBTQ+ Program hosted Queersgiving, a Thanksgiving event for LGBTQ students, to give them a support system that they may not have at home.

Events like these are important because they provide a space for LGBTQ students and allies to support each other, said Jessica Sanchez, assistant director for the Relationship Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention and LGBTQ+ programs. They are also meant to celebrate LGBTQ students.

“It’s extending that [invitation] and letting students know that we care and that we’re here for them,” Sanchez said.

Sometimes families will reject a LGBTQ person because of their sexuality, and a student could find themselves homeless or bullied. Sauceda said events such as Queersgiving provide a safe space for students to be themselves, which is especially important before the holidays.

“You have a place where you get to go and meet other people who are just like you,” he said. “You get to meet people you can relate to or someone that you can talk to, without having to have that fear that they’re going to reject you.”

Erick Lopez, photography senior and pride peer, said the event was important because it helps educate people who aren’t part of the LGBTQ community. It's also an opportunity to connect with others and share.

“I don’t know exactly what they go through, but I am willing to put myself in their shoes and try to understand exactly what they’re going through,” Lopez said.

@SpencerBrewer10

news-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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