Based on questions from students, here are some resources that might be of use to you.
Below you will find links to resources available to you, including assistance If you're not ready to take that step but need someone to talk to, I'm here for you. Email me or ping me on Teams. If I'm not asleep, I'll be back with you shortly. I'm not a mental health professional, but I can provide an ear if you have need of one.
USF Counseling Center: Even though we are mostly remote at the moment, the Counseling Center is still providing one-on-one and group counseling to students.
Comprehensive List of USF Mental Health Resources: While this list does include the Counseling Center, it provides a comprehensive list of mental health resources in Tampa Bay and beyond.
PFLAG's Support Resources: PFLAG has compiled a list of national resources geared specifically towards members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood COVID Resources: FAPPA has compiled a list of resources that go beyond what you might normally expect from an organization focused on reproductive health. In addition to COVID testing information, there are links to financial resources as well as organizations that can assist with housing insecurity.
Crisis Text Line: If you are anything like me, you probably hate talking on the phone. Fortunately, there is a crisis support service that offers assistance via text messaging.
Office of Multicultural Affairs/SafeZone
Do you want to make the world a better place for LGBTQ+ individuals? Don't know where to start? Well, you're in the right place. Before you can go out and start making change in your own communities, it is generally beneficial to have a good foundation. In this instance, SafeZone is the answer.
The Office of Multicultural Affairs has been running SafeZone on campus for the last several years. It consists of 4 different sessions that you can take during your time here. These workshops will help you gain a better understanding of the challenges that the LGBTQ+ community faces, and you were learn ways that you can step up and support them.
Though past training sessions have occurred in a face-to-face environment, they have moved to online training for the Fall semester. SafeZone - Part I is required before you can take additional components of the program, and it is offered several times over the course of the semester.
Even if you think you are already a good ally to the LGBTQ+ community, you can always benefit from a broader education. We should not have to rely on LGBTQ+ individuals to "teach us" what it means to be part of that community or what it is to live life as an LGBTQ+ person in the here and now. I guarantee you will come away with things you didn't know before, and you'll be better for the experience.
Sometimes the first step to being a good ally is understanding the language and terms used by folx in the trans community. GLAAD has a useful guide that explains those terms and their nuances.
Gender Inclusive Restrooms
The USF Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) has created a list of all the gender inclusive restrooms on the USF Tampa Campus.
LGBTQ+ Health Care
USF Student Health Services has a dedicated LGBTQ+ health clinic available to all students. They also provide hormone therapies for those students wanting to begin or who have already started transitioning.
Off campus, Metro Inclusive Health is a fantastic option for members of the LGBTQ+ community. In fact, it is their primary focus. They also work on a sliding scale if you do not have insurance. During the COVID-19 situation, they are providing tele-medicine appointments.
The Ybor Youth Clinic provides health services for youth ages 13 - 24. YYC is a safe, comfortable, and nonjudgmental clinic.
LGBTQ+ Student Orgs
OMA has also created a list of all the LGBTQ+ student organizations on the USF Tampa Campus.
All sexually active individuals should be tested for STIs at least once every 6 months, or every time you have a new partner.
Testing at USF: In the past, USF Wellness has offered free, anonymous STI testing to students. With COVID limiting access to many services, I recommend keeping an eye on their web site or following them on social media at @wellnessUSF.
Get Yourself Tested: This is a great tool to find locations that you can get tested for little to no cost.
In addition to the Allyship information I've been provided above, students can get involved with organizations that work towards reproductive justice.
Generation Action: This is the Planned Parenthood student org at USF. Even though most of us are away from campus, they are still conducting meetings. You can find them on BullsConnect. All are welcome.
Floridians for Reproductive Justice: This group is based out of Tampa Bay and provides information about upcoming events and policy information that is pertinent to their cause. You can email them if you're interested in getting information, including about opportunities to volunteer.