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LGBTQ Emotional Resilience and Identity

Members of the LGBTQ+ community often have a difficult time finding peace within a society that is constantly attacking them–especially queer people at BYU. USGA’s Spirituality and Wellness Committee plans activities that help attendees to take a break from the stresses of a queerphobic school environment and attempt to relax and rejuvenate.

Last Thursday, the committee arranged for guest speaker Kara Brandt to give a presentation about emotional resilience and well-being. She spoke a lot about coming home to oneself, finding your own truth, and the importance of identity. Kara emphasized that others–like religious authorities, family members, friends, professors, and mentors–cannot define a person’s identity; the only person who can know your identity is you. Defining one’s own truth and coming to know oneself are important concepts for queer people to internalize and understand; they have the capacity to bolster queer people’s emotional resilience and shape their experience in oppressive circumstances.

One of the attendees that night, who has asked to remain anonymous, said this about their experience at the activity:

“I feel like I learned a lot from the activity tonight. I liked how much compassion she [Kara] seemed to have for the queer community here at BYU. I feel like if I heard her speak when I was in Young Women’s, or just freshly enrolled at BYU, it would’ve really helped me on my journey to self-acceptance as a queer person. It’s important to have those accepting people to bridge that gap between cis, straight church-going members and LGBTQ people.”

We would like to thank Kara Brandt for coming to speak to us. If you would like to know about her work and mission, you can visit her website at Beautiful Life Mentoring or follow her on instagram: @beautifullifementoring .



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