This week’s MCSG meeting began with a presentation from Queer Faith Community (QFC) co-leader Amelia Gerrard ’20 on why the organization should be chartered by the Student Organizations Committee (SOC). “Queer Faith Community is a group for students who identify with LGBTQ identities and with religious or spiritual identities,” she said. “We talk about conversation topics involving those two identities and what it’s like to have those two identities, both on campus and in the world.”
Gerrard explained that QFC has been operating without a student organization charter for the past year, with more than 45 students on their mailing list.
“Right now, we’re looking to be chartered because we want to be associated with MCSG and we want to collaborate across organizations and be recognized by Macalester as an organization,” she said.
If chartered, QFC plans to host events in coordination with the Department of Multicultural Life (DML) and the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life (CRSL). They also plan to sponsor their own events to celebrate the intersection of queer and religious identities.
“I just connected with an activist who is a trans man [and] who is also Christian,” Gerrard said. “I got connected to him through an [alumnus] of Mac, I would love to use funds to bring him to campus. He’s interested in talking to Queer Faith Community.”
Gerrard addressed why QFC chose to become a student organization instead of an identity collective, explaining that identity collectives are run exclusively by the DML and QFC wants to remain autonomous so that it can coordinate with other entities on campus.
“There are two sides to QFC: the LGBTQ side and the religious and spiritual side,” she said. “We didn’t want to sort of favor one side over another, and we found that being a student organization would be less confining.”
Anonymity is an important principle of QFC’s to protect students’ identities.
“We make QFC open for people all across campus, but we don’t give [out] the locations for our meetings. To attend a meeting, you can email either me or Jessi-Alex [Brandon ’20], and we’ll tell you where it is,” Gerrard said.
“That way anyone can participate but people are protected with their identity because we really would like to acknowledge that, particularly as an interfaith org, people don’t necessarily come from cultures or from environments growing up that affirm both of these identities.”
The Legislative Body (LB) is set to vote on the QFC charter at their next meeting on October 2.