Being a college student is an exciting time in your life. It is a time to learn, to grow, to make new friends, and to have new experiences. Increasingly, LGBT students are becoming visible and making positive contributions in all aspects of college life.
Although societal norms are changing bringing about more acceptance of sexual diversity, LGBT students still face many more pressures than do their peers at college. Ordinary college pressures (roommates, academics, finances) can be exacerbated by the stress of coming out; lack of experience in dating, being sexual, and achieving intimacy; and the process of developing both an authentic gender and sexual identity. Many college students are in the early stages of coming out to themselves, and when they do come out, they may fear being rejected by those they love. Students who grew up in an unsupportive atmosphere may have internalized society's homophobic messages causing them to feel negatively about themselves and rejected. This could lead to anxiety, depression, and inability to accept who they are. This may create difficulty in navigating the university experience, including interactions with straight classmates. Although this coming out journey can be arduous, it can also be exciting and rewarding.
If you are going through any of these issues, you don't have to do it alone. You can reach out to supportive people and LGBT-friendly organizations. You may also find that counseling can be a positive tool in facing issues related to your LGBT identity by helping you develop new understanding, self-acceptance, and problem solving skills. At Counseling Services, we consider ourselves to be an ally of LGBT students, and we affirm your value and importance to our campus and larger community. Do not hesitate to contact Counseling Services to set up an appointment to discuss any issue.
If you want more information on LGBT resources, you may find additional information at the following links:
- Coming Out (UIUC): Go to Sexual Orientation, then Coming Out (University of Illinois)
- LGBT Students College Resource
- Reno LGBT Resource
- Bisexual Resource
- Transgender Resource
- LGBT Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Resource
- LGBT National Help Center
- Northern Nevada Transgender Resource Guide