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Students create new Black and queer student organization at UNM

QPoC flag (Queer People/Person of Color) refers to people of both a sexual minority/gender minority as well as a race minority.
QPoC flag (Queer People/Person of Color) refers to people of both a sexual minority/gender minority as well as a race minority.

The University of New Mexico has less than3% African American students. Within that community, there are even fewer who also identify as LGBTQ. A new student organization aims to create a space for both of these communities.

True Colors is one of the only Black and queer student organizations in the country. It became an official UNM student group last year and is still one of the smaller ones on campus.

True Colors’ Archivist, LC, is a third-year student and said the space is crucial for the small community it serves on campus.

“You’re in a space that is not predominantly Black, you don’t know how people are gonna react to you at the end of the day and that really sucks. You have that identity and then you have this other identity that like half of your own community doesn’t even accept and people get really scared about that. I know I was for a long time,” LC said.

UNM is a Hispanic-Serving Institution, and over 45% of the student population is Hispanic or Latino.

For students who experience oppression in multiple ways, it can be hard to find a space where you feel you truly belong.

Kam Kizzine, executive officer for True Colors, said the goal is to provide a safe space of belonging for its members, no matter their status in the community.

“I think it’s important we have this group so that people can feel more comfortable in their own skin. We gotta make our presence be known, that we’re here. Everybody can be themselves, and you don’t have to judge or do too much,” Kizzine said.

Since its start, True Colors has hosted sex education talks, weekly meetings, and an outing they call a “healing retreat” each spring, to help their community bond and work through trauma.

They welcome any and all into their space for support, regardless of how they identify. They can be contacted on Instagram at @truecolors_unm

The University of New Mexico is the license holder for KUNM, but it has no input on our editorial content.

Mia Casas is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English with minors in Journalism and Theatre at the University of New Mexico. She comes to KUNM through an internship with the New Mexico Local News Fund and is staying on as a student reporter as of fall 2023.
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