5 ways to show up for LGBTQIA2S+ students this Pride Month—and every month

Rainbow painted steps

June 3, 2024  |  By Nick Pfost

Creating a welcoming campus culture is critical for the wellbeing, belonging, and success of every student. Whether you're staff, student, or faculty, if you've desired ways to support LGBTQIA2S+ students and contribute to a more inclusive University of Michigan community, there are many paths to making an impact.

1. Connect 

Gathering with fellow members of the U-M community is as enriching for you as it is for the students we all support. Why not combine this with a love for the great outdoors, a sweet treat, or a nourishing discussion? Whether your corner of U-M is hosting a Pride Month event, you're sharing ours with them, or you're seeking something for yourself, simply being together for an event offers opportunities for solidarity, friendship, and fun. (Looking for something to attend? Check out our upcoming events!)

2. Learn and grow

Personal knowledge, understanding, and growth extends these connections and gives you an important foundation not just at U-M but in life. As lifelong learners, taking the initiative to expand and deepen our understanding of LGBTQIA2S+ identities and communities is both critical and profoundly rewarding. So, attend an event, follow an incisive social media creator you stumbled across, listen to LGBTQIA2S+ people in your community, take the "Introduction to LGBTQIA2S+ Communities and Identities" webcourse, or take other steps (even small ones!) through your own group that help you learn, grow, and make U-M a more inclusive place.

3. Be an advocate—Bring your orgs and teams along with you!

Every one of us has a part to play in co-creating the university community we aspire to have. Doing this work together also makes it easier, creating an even more immediate network of support and the reinforcement of your group's commitment. Consider what opportunities might best support your office, organization, or team in their growth. Some folks might be interested in team book read, community conversations, a Pronouns 101 or Towards Solidarity workshop, or something else. (Spectrum Center can also consult on your organization's or team's needs!)

4. Share and use supportive resources

Having a robust network of support strengthens not only our community, but also our institutional impact. And as individuals, we need that in order to be and do our best.

  • For staff and faculty: Schools, colleges, and units should be familiar with important policies and resources relevant to LGBTQ staff and faculty—including information on parents and families, health care, social and professional groups, and more. Share them through HR/onboarding documentation and other regular unit employee communications. 
  • For students: From seeking involvement and community to needing help to learning more about ourselves and LGBTQIA2S+ people, students need and deserve relevant information that is easy to find and straightforward to understand. Be sure your student and academic services offices, academic advisors, and others with direct student interaction are aware of these resources, then build them into your student communication plan for the year (including messages to incoming international students).

5. Include our community guides in your welcomes 

Every journey starts somewhere—and being greeted with the right information makes all the difference. But you don't necessarily have to start from scratch. Our guide for trans and nonbinary Wolverines, as well as those for QTBIPOC and grad students, may be of particular interest. Include these in your student org's Linktree or social post, your school or college intranet, Pride Month messages, orientation and onboarding packets, and more throughout the year.

The last word

There are so many ways to make a difference and we've named just a few here. Along your journey, we hope you continue to educate yourself and others, build inclusive habits and processes, and embrace joy, community, and understanding. To discover more, stop by Spectrum Center in person or visit our website, a hub of information and support just waiting to be explored. (Like our work? Learn more about supporting it!)


Read more

All news →