Allied Staff and Faculty Association at Fresno City College will be featuring students and employees on their social media for Bisexual Awareness Day on Sept. 23, 2021.
The social media project was created by Arien Reed, the President of ASFA.
Reed said the purpose of this social media project is to increase visibility of bisexuality because many people are not aware of its existence as a valid sexual orientation.
“The more we hide, the less people will understand us. Speaking up and being “out”, whenever it is safe to do so, is so important,” he said towards students who are on the fence about participating.
In the spring of 2021, ASFA did a similar social media project for Trans Visibility Day that included two employees and one student, which Reed said was successful.
Reed said he hopes this Bisexual Awareness Day project is also successful as ASFA advertised it more heavily through their social media this time and a flyer was sent out in a mail-all email a couple weeks ago.
Despite this, Reed said there have not been any submissions.
Creating flyers, posting them and requesting promotion by the college weeks before the events take place is only part of the preparation for these social media events.
Lesbian Visibility Day, another similar social media project, was not successful due to the college waiting after the deadline to promote the flyer, according to Reed.
For him, the only difficult part of the projects is trying to fit all the deadlines and preparation into his work and life schedule on top of his other volunteer positions and responsibilities.
Reed said it is important to do projects like these because elevating the stories of all marginalized and minority voices is crucial for overcoming the social and systemic oppression these communities face.
In addition, it is a way for students’ voices to be heard by employees at all levels.
“Students are who we, the college, are here to serve, so they carry special importance to us,” he said. “Listening to their needs, concerns, and experiences are necessary for us to effectively advocate on their behalf and continuously improve the education and services we provide to them.”
Later this fall, Reed is planning to hold ally training programs in the Art Space Gallery during FCC’s “Constellating Care Networks” Exhibition.
In addition, ASFA will host a panel for students who are LGBTQ and who have a disability. The panel will take place in October as part of the Disabled Students Programs and Services’ Disability Awareness events.
Students who are interested in participating on the panel should contact [email protected].
Reed also coordinates FCC’s Trans Ally Program, which increases allies on trans culture and serves as a supplement to the training provided by the Safe Space Ally Program, according to their website.
The training programs are for FCC employees so they can learn how to effectively interact with students and respect their identities and relationships.
Reed said this is a long-term project to make FCC a safe and welcoming place to LGBTQ students, employees and visitors.