UK Happenings

Office of LGBTQ* Resources to Host Virtual Panel on Supporting LGBTQ* Students in Unsupportive Environments

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 22. 2020) — The Office of LGBTQ* Resources at the University of Kentucky will host a virtual panel discussion from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 27, to examine the impacts of quarantining on LGBTQ* students, especially those sheltering in unsupportive environments.

While the pandemic has impacted communities across the nation, for the LGBTQ* community, the pandemic has come with a separate set of challenges. 

Since schools began to transition to remote learning in the United States in March to slow the spread of the coronavirus, LGBTQ* advocates say a number of queer youth and young adults have lost crucial support systems and have been forced to self-isolate with family members who do not approve of their lifestyle choices.

The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ* youth, recently outlined the serious implications the COVID-19 crisis could have on the mental health of LGBTQ* youth, citing physical distancing among the most worrisome problems.

Panelists from the university and surrounding institutions will examine the ramifications of the global pandemic for the LGBTQ* community in a broad sense, discuss the effects physical distancing can have on LGBTQ* youth and provide support resources that are available to the community.

Panelists include: 

  • Joel Goodrich (he/him/his), staff psychologist, UK;
  • Lauren Sherrow (she/her/hers), board co-chair and GSA coordinator, GLSEN Bluegrass;
  • Bonnie Meyer (she/her/hers), director, Office of LGBTQ Programs and Services, Northern Kentucky University;
  • Rachel Farr (she/her/hers), assistant professor of developmental psychology, UK; and
  • Sherry Rostosky (she/her/hers), professor and American Psychological Association Fellow, Department of Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology, UK.

"This panel continues to expand on the essential dialogues that Institutional Diversity is advancing related to how COVID-19 is impacting individuals who hold historically marginalized identities," said Lance Poston, executive director of Inclusive Health and Campus Partnerships. "We look forward to highlighting scholars and practitioners who can help us consider the unique struggles that many LGBTQ* youth and young adults are facing as a result of isolation and disruption of normal supports." 

The discussion will be moderated by Kristen Mark, associate professor of health promotion, director of the Sexual Health Promotion Lab at the university and faculty fellow in LGBTQ* Resources.

To RSVP to the event, click here. To learn more about the Office of LGBTQ* Resources, follow the link

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.