Had the semester remained in person, PCC’s Queer Alliance (QA) club would be hosting weekly meetings every Thursday afternoon. The new reality of remote learning and social distancing led QA to come together virtually on April 25, where members talked about their favorite latest Netflix shows, share their thoughts on remote learning and keep up with each other while in quarantine.

QA is PCC’s club for LGBTQ+ students and faculty on campus. Since PCC’s campus is closed due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, QA members needed to think quickly about how they would be able to still meet every week for their club meetings.

“Currently, QA no longer has weekly meetings and is brainstorming ideas on how we can support our members impacted by COVID-19,” said Frances Guzman, the president of QA. “Last week, we had our first remote meeting which was used to reach and connect with our members on a social level. The board is still in contact with our advisors and members so that we’re able to move forward as we do our best to support our members.”

QA’s board members hosted a Zoom meeting last Thursday, where they were able to connect with other students, advisors and faculty from PCC’s QUEST center. The meeting consisted of socializing with other members and chatting about what students have been up to during quarantine. Members discussed the possibility of hosting Zoom sessions every week on Thursdays from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

“We provide a safe space for all students,” said QA’s secretary Mariana Montoya. “During a semester when we were physically on campus, we would provide a new topic each week dealing with the LGBTQ+ community and incorporating it into socializing with our members. Virtually, we have been providing resources to club members during these times as well as a safe place to speak.”

QA has also been active on their Instagram page for new members to keep up with developing updates for the club. A new addition to the page is featuring a club member every week to let followers know what they have been up to or share stories about anything they’ve done recently.

QA’s PR board member Sara Armstrong went live on Instagram on April 28 to paint and answer questions about the club. Other board members have also been sharing their current hobbies or music playlists on QA’s Instagram story.

The club has been working to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and has become a safe place for anyone to join and be accepted. Many members of Queer Alliance put hard work and effort into making sure all individuals feel like they have a safe place to talk to one another.

“PCC was the first place I was able to go to hang around other queer people and get to learn about LGBTQ+ topics,” said Montoya. “It not only brought me my first group of friends, but it truly educated me on all things LGBTQ+. Being in Queer Alliance has made me extremely more prideful of being a queer person. It has been a place where I can look up to others and discuss topics with people I can relate to.”

PCC’s QA plans to continue hosting Zoom meetings for potential new members to join and be welcomed into a close community. To receive the latest updates about the club, follow QA’s Instagram page @queeralliancepcc.

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