SpeakOut Team Makes Big Impact on State of Affairs for LGBTQ+ Cardinal Community

SpeakOut Team Makes Big Impact on State of Affairs for LGBTQ+ Cardinal Community

Students share their powerful stories at an off-campus SpeakOut

The LGBT Center’s SpeakOut team enters classrooms, residence halls, Safe Zones 1 training sessions, and other off-campus venues to educate the Louisville community about the experiences and issues encountered by people who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender.

“The team is a speaker’s bureau of sorts,” said Katy Garrison, SpeakOut Team Coordinator. “Our team is made up of some of the most professional, well-informed and active student leaders from The LGBT Center. We host an open training with students at the beginning of every semester. Professors, staff and other department heads will request the program for a variety of different audiences throughout the semester, all seeking education about the LGBTQ+ community. We can even facilitate special topical SpeakOuts, like our Spanish-language SpeakOut last fall, or ones focused on particular identities as opposed to the LGBTQ+ spectrum,” she said. “Our students come ready to share their stories and answer any questions that the audience may have.”

The SpeakOut Team exists in direct support of the Center’s mission statement. “Promoting a culture of nonviolence and understanding is key to conducting a successful SpeakOut,” added Garrison. “Everyone has something to learn and so we train team members to conduct themselves in a way that makes audience members feel safe asking those difficult questions without fear of backlash. We would rather folks go ahead and ask those questions rather than have them leave the presentation still holding on to harmful misconceptions.”

“Being a part of the SpeakOut Team has really helped me with my public speaking skills. I’ve been in front of so many people now, sharing my personal story.” says Ben Vivona, Computer Information Systems major and Senior Ambassador at The LGBT Center. “It means a lot to know that I’m impacting my campus just by sharing parts of my personal experience as an out bisexual male. Training was really nice too…it’s been a helpful part of my journey to be able to map out certain parts of my coming out story and process them. I would encourage anyone who is an LGBTQ+ person or an ally to attend training.”

The LGBT Center sponsors training to become a SpeakOut Team member at the University of Louisville’s Belknap campus on Friday, January 23rd from 2-6pm in the Cultural Center Multipurpose room. Training is open to all current undergrad and graduate students. For more information, contact Katy Garrison at katy.garrison@louisville.edu

LGBT Center - Belknap

Cultural & Equity Centers

120 E. Brandeis Ave.

University of Louisville

Louisville, Kentucky 40292

Phone:(502) 852-0696

Office Hours

Diversity & Equity Centers on Belknap Campus are open 
M-F 9am-5pm

HSC LGBT Center is open
M-F 9am-5pm

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LGBT Center - HSC

500 S. Preston St.

A Building, Room 209C/D

Louisville, Kentucky 40292

Phone:(502) 852-5861