Queer Latine Students share their experience in Cultural safe space

Students gathered in El Centro Academico Cultural to discuss the experience of growing up with a queer identity in a Latine family. The discussion is a part of El Centro’s “Regenerating Raices”, a monthly talk for students to share their experience. This month’s topic was “what does it mean and feel being from the LGTBQIA+ community in a traditional Latine Family?”.

Students are able to talk about issues concerning one’s identity, social constraints and figuring out how to balance school and personal issues while being first generation, along with the limits that can bring. Regenerating Raices is once every month, located in Nelson Hall East room 205 from 3-5pm, but times are subject to change depending on feedback. 

“It’s just like having a carne asada, you build your community here at the circle and then become long [time] friends” said Staff lead for El Centro Nicole Arizcorreta.

El Centro brings the community together by providing a safe space for people, specifically the Hispanic, Latine community on campus, to join discussions on issues and topics that they indulge in on a day to day basis through their new on campus listening circle, “Regenerating Raices”. 

“I believe that since we are the minority we don’t have a voice, so when we talk, when we’re able to get together, we’re able to relate on similar problems and not feel crazy,” said Arizcorreta. “Coming from a traditional family you’re not heard, you’re taught to keep it all to yourself.” 

Jesus Corcoles, Sophomore computer science major, came to Regenerating Raíces as a way to connect with his fellow Latine peers. 

“Spaces like these are really valuable on campus because they allow a safe space for people to come and express how they feel and also receive consolation from their fellow peers,” said Corcoles.

Nicole Arizcoreta Ramirez, Staff Lead for El Centro, said in an interview that she was given the task last summer of creating a listening circle when working with the Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion. Arizcorreta mainly focused on the Latine community, to help students overcome barriers they face and build a sense of community for them.

“I do want Regenerating Raices to be something permanent, right now it is just a seed,”  Arizcorreta said.

Alejandro Torres, Regenerating Raices co-facilitator and CPH’s Latine focused CAPS counselor, attends to ensure students receive care through feedback and encouragement from a licensed Staff Psychotherapist.

“Being brown, being Latine, being bilingual, it is very hard being up here in a white dominated school, and being able to have people who look like you, who have similar pasts, being able communicate, you get to be apart of a communidad”  Arizcorreta says.

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