GSD Center hands out pronoun pins


Luke Taylor

A lineup of pronoun pins on a table set in display for National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11.

Katja Benz, Campus Reporter

The Center for Gender and Sexual Diversity on campus had a table outside of the Doudna Fine Arts Center with pronouns pins available for students to take on Wednesday.

Students who could not find pins that fit their gender identity could write their pronouns on a pin and take the pin.

The pins included pronouns such as “She/Her,” “He/Him” and others, working as a sign of acceptance of and solidarity to the LGBTQ+ community. The pins also work as a visual reminder of how a person would like to be referred to.

Students could also write their name and sexual identity on the Pride Door, a door painted with the colors of the rainbow that memorializes the past and present students who are members or supporters of the LGBTQ+ community.

Sitting at the table was Pilar Barrio, a graduate student in the communication studies program and graduate assistant at the GSD center.

Barrio said the goal of the GSD center is “to provide a safe zone and safe space for people to come down and be themselves.”

Amanda Wright, a senior psychology major, is an undergraduate assistant at the GSD center. Wright said that a service the GSD center provides is the transformation station, which is a big room full of clothes that students can take.

“We also have the transformation station, which is just a big closet where anybody who needs new clothes, different clothes to help them fit their gender identity can come down, and they can grab whatever they want, no questions asked,” Wright said.

The GSD center also has various types of sexual health products, such as contraceptives, menstrual products and lubrication.

Wright said the products are for anybody “who’s kind of uncomfortable grabbing them in other situations.”

The center also does safe zone training with different departments on campus, such as making sure everyone in the medical clinic has been safe zone trained.

Safe zone training provides people with knowledge about LGBTQ+ identities, genders and sexualities to help them better understand them.

“We also helped with the gender inclusive floor, and the community that has happened, currently located in McKinney,” said Wright.

The gender inclusive floor is the Doug DiBianco Community in McKinney Hall.

According to the GSD center’s website, “The Doug DiBianco Community is an inclusive community designed to create a comfortable and supportive environment for all students of all gender and sexual identities.”

Danielle Green, a business office employee, is part of the Gender and Sexual Diversity Committee. Green said that she hopes the GSD center helps students feel welcome.

“We definitely want them to feel welcome,” said Green. “We want them to feel not alone, that there is a community here and a community that is supportive.”

“Basically, we want them to feel safe and basically provide a good environment for them,” said Barrio.

Green said that a way the Eastern community can help students feel welcome is to keep standing up for one another.

“I think that as humans if we see somebody not treating somebody right, regardless of the community they belong to, we need to step up and speak to it,” said Green.

The Center for Gender and Sexual Diversity is located on the lower level of Stevenson Hall.

Its hours are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students of all identities are welcome at the center.

More information on the center can be found at the website for the Center for Gender and Sexual Diversity. The staff of the center can also be reached via phone number or email at (217) 581-7117 or [email protected].


Katja Benz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].