GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT)- Greenville does not currently have a public center for the LGBTQ community, and some are saying it’s time for that change.
East Carolina University has an LGBTQ Center that is open to all, but tight resources make it difficult to facilitate the needs of the entire community.
“In so many movements for social change, it usually comes down to one person around whom other people who start the ball rolling right, and, and help to articulate the need and set a vision,” said Mark Rasdorf, the senior associate director at ECU’s Dr. Jesse R Peel, LGBTQ Center.
Rasdorf said centers like the one at ECU are crucial in preventing suicide and homelessness in the LGBTQ community.
“So, data shows that research shows that LGBT youth are at three to four times the risk for suicide, suicidal ideation, depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. And that’s research that has, in some way, sadly, maintain over history that those risk factors haven’t gone down,” said Rasdorf.
In fact, one 2019 survey showed that the number of youth who experience anti-LGBTQ remarks at school has actually increased in 2013.
“Our center is open to absolutely anybody. We have a big sign on the door that says All humans are welcome,” said Rose Bogue, the new interim program coordinator for ECU’s center.
Officials say while everyone is welcome, sometimes the available resources make it difficult to properly serve the entire community.
“A lot of our resources, they are limited. You know, there is a big limit, but they are limited and we just have to make the students our priority. And but everyone deserves to be a priority. We just can’t do everything,” said Bogue.
Both Bogue and Rasdorf say they aren’t aware of any major motions to get an LGBTQ center started in Greenville, but that the need certainly exists.
The City of Greenville did not comment on the matter.