September 14, 2011

Office for LGBT Services hosts welcome reception

By Esther Lee–

The historic George J. Howe Red Barn is not only a place for school events and activities such as concerts, fairs and cookouts, but also the home for the Intersection. Decorated with posters and framed pictures and furnished with lounge chairs, the Intersection houses the Office for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Services.

On Sept. 9, the Office of LGBT Services hosted a welcome reception for campus faculty and staff. Brian Buford, director of LGBT services, and Lisa Gunterman, program coordinator of LGBT services, kindly welcomed the campus’s faculty and
staff who came through the doors to the reception. As more people entered the room, the number of conversations escalated and the friendly atmosphere continued to thicken. It was evident that the guests knew each other very well with the exchange of greetings and hugs. The sense of community was definitely present and unavoidable.

LGBT Services’s mission is to support people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions by sustaining a campus community on the University of Louisville. Part of the mission includes having the time and place for LGBT and students to gather. Buford mentioned that being part of a minority is very difficult so it is important for students to have a “safe zone.”

On any given day, 150 or so students come to the Intersection just to hang out and congregate with friends. “Even today [on the day of the welcome reception], students came in without knowing there was something going on,” Gunterman explained. Candace Lamb, one of the attendees of the reception, stated that LGBT is a great resource for a haven.

Representing a caring community, LGBT Services show great support towards the faculty, staff and students. Anyone, regardless of orientation and expression, is welcome at the Intersection to meet people, make friends and become involved. Future events that are hosted by LGBT Services include Pride Week which begins on Sept. 30 and ends on Oct 7.

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Photos: Brian Buford

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