As you may or may not know, my health has utterly tanked since finals last semester. I was hoping that the summer would provide some answers but instead it resulted in surprise trips to the ER, more questions and specialists, and to be honest, none of that is letting up. I’ve been candid about the impacts being on campus has had on my health since I started the machining program in 2017. Getting the signs changed on the single stall bathrooms would have enabled me to eat and hydrate throughout the day; but as you’ve probably gathered, things move pretty slowly on campus. In the 2 years I’ve been working on it, my health has deteriorated exponentially – apparently the stress of school/grades/homework combined with not being able to eat because there is no conveniently accessible and safe bathroom to use will completely annihilate a person’s health.
So it is with a heavy heart that I have realized I need to take a break from school to focus on my wellbeing. To be completely honest, writing this is devastatingly hard and I was hoping all summer that I would be able to avoid this very moment. School has been fulfilling and life giving in as many ways as it has been a trigger and a nightmare. I take solace in the fact that I’m leaving it better than I found it. Starting the Laney Queers and bringing it to a place where it can continue on without me is something I’m super proud of.
Pres. Gilkerson has committed to getting the signs changed and installing gender neutral restrooms in all new buildings. The next year of Brunches is already scheduled and paid for, the Lavender Project is already working with our sibling colleges on next year’s queer dance. Coming Out Week next month is a joint effort with all of the schools and will be amazing. I have full confidence that the Laney Queers will carry on just as well (if not better) in my absence. We, collectively, have created something big and powerful and amazing on campus, and even in the district. We have made a space for ourselves to exist and be, and we aren’t going anywhere.
I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to organize the ICC and spend some time in the Student Government. I’ve learned so much and made so many friends, I’m really sad to close this chapter of my life to deal with the agonizing process that is our healthcare system. But as many many people have reminded me, this is just goodbye for now, not forever.