BlackOut represents ten years of Georgia State’s LGBTQIQA community

A steady warbling of sounds, the slow shuffling of student’s shoes and the chatter of friends, struggling to hear each other. This is Georgia State’s courtyard at noon, and one glance will open one’s eyes to the diversity found here.

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex, Queer and Asexual community (LGBTQIQA) is a diverse group.Once you factor in race and ethnicity, too, it’s hard to imagine how any one student organization can effectively address everyone.

This is the problem that gave birth to BlackOut, an organization whose purpose is to cater to Georgia State students of color within the LGBTQIQA community.

“No two people have the same set of values and morals, because everyone is raised differently, but there is general togetherness because of shared race,” said Jamaury Crosby, parliamentarian of BlackOut and junior at Georgia State.

“We all come together to see how we are different and learn from one another how to accept our differences.”

This semester marks the tenth year of Blackout‘s presence on campus. The organization was formed by a group of students who felt that specific social issues faced by students of color were not being adequately addressed by the larger LGBTQIQA student organizations.

The purpose of Blackout is to create a safe place for LGBTQIQA students of color and their allies to promote consciousness-raising dialogue and develop programming that raises understanding and awareness of Black LGBTQIQA culture.

“I have been involved with the organization for 2 years, and the best way to describe it is as a positive learning environment,” Crosby said.

“Members will walk away at the end of the day knowing things about black queer social issues whereas other organizations skirt around regular social issues for everyone.”

BlackOut also prides itself on its ability to interact effectively with other student organizations and the Atlanta community on community service, outreach and activist projects.

To celebrate their anniversary, BlackOut will host a variety of social events, like potlucks and mixers to get students involved with the organization.

“We are looking forward to the drag show this year and mini conference,” Crosby said. “I think it would best if everyone came out and saw what were about. They all should walk away knowing something that they wouldn’t have known if they had not come.”

BlackOut meets Wednesdays from 7-9 pm in the West Exhibit area of Urban Life (second floor). All students interested in learning more about the Black LGBTQIQA community are welcome.

For more information, find BlackOut GSU on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @queersofblkout.