Tea at the G is where everyone is welcome to come and listen to a discussion topic about gender and sexuality.
Held weekly at 1 p.m. on Thursday in the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center in Reed Library, students drink tea and share stories.
Nancy Stoffer, the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center director, works with interns to decide on a discussion topic for each meeting. The Fort Lewis College community can also suggest a discussion topic.
“It’s a way for the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, which is primarily a safe-space/hangout for the LGBTQ community and allies, and the conversations that often happen in that space to be shared with the greater community,” Stoffer said.
Sometimes, a discussion topic will line up with a current event. For example, when Trump announced his transgender military ban, Tea at the G had a transgender related discussion topic, Brandon Castle, Gender and Sexuality Resource Center intern, said.
Typically, the intern or person responsible for the discussion topic idea will lead the meeting. However, sometimes the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center will target a person they believe to be knowledgeable and ask them to lead.
Stoffer works to ensure that a balance of students and staff will lead. She also likes to ask people outside the Fort Lewis College community to lead.
Tea at the G first started in 2015 when Stoffer and interns wanted something fun to do. They also knew that there were conversations about gender and sexuality that the community needed to have.
For Castle, Tea at the G is important because he learns lessons he never even knew he needed to learn, he said.
“I think it’s super important to have these kinds of discussions, stepping outside our comfort zones,” he said.
Stoffer said, for her, some of the most memorable conversations are coming out stories. She also loves the discussion topics that her interns have led.
This week, Kaidee Akullo lead the discussion topic about colorism.
Colorism is discrimination against those with darker skin. Akullo spoke to her experience as a black woman and the discrimination she has seen against black women with dark-skin as opposed to black women with light-skin.
In addition to colorism in the media, Akullo talked about the role that colorism plays in sex and relationships.
Students of all racial, gender and sexual identities shared emotional stories of colorism in their lives and others.
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