QTFAS aims to offer community to LGBTQ Sac State employees

Established in December 2017, the group is still establishing its purpose


Robert Moon

Members of the Queer and Trans Faculty and Staff group including Erin Mahoney, Advocacy Chair (top, second from the left) pose for a group picture after spending time the QTFAS Luncheon Wednesday Feb. 6. QTFAS use the monthly lunches to foster a sense of community among queer faculty members at Sac State.

Robert Moon

Even on a campus as large as Sacramento State, it’s easy to feel alone, and that is what makes it important to have a group of peers to connect with.

For some Sac State faculty, that group of peers is the Queer and Trans Faculty and Staff group on campus.

“There was already enough fear in my life, it was nice to know that there was a community of peers,” said Ántonia Peigahi, education librarian and faculty senate chair.

QTFAS, which has been meeting since December 2017, had its first BYO-Lunch event of the semester on Wednesday, and hopes to continue having such events regularly.

“There was a desire to create a place where faculty and staff could get together and get to know each other,” said Chris Kent, academic advisor and membership/outreach chair for QTFAS.

Several QTFAS members expressed that their group gave them a sense of community, and though they often echoed each other they are still very much a new group.

“It’s important to recognize part of our lives as LGBTQ doesn’t have to be separate from our professional lives and in fact it shouldn’t,” said Erin Mahoney, administrative support coordinator for the College of Arts & Letters and Advocacy Chair for QTFAS.

QTFAS held its first board meeting of the semester on February 1, focusing on the importance of creating a unified voice.

The need for a unified voice came when QTFAS board members questioned how to respond to events in the news such as the hate crimes committed against Jussie Smollett.

Many members of the board were unsure of how, or even if, they should respond to events in the news since there are no current guiding principles for how the QTFAS board should respond to news and what values it should uphold in such responses.

“I think as a board, we would be exhausted as hell if we responded to everything,” Kent said at the meeting.

The board ultimately decided that they needed a larger document which would explain what QTFAS stood for and when it should respond to news events. Future meetings are planned to create this document as well as a website where it will be found.

QTFAS meets for its BYO-lunch events the first Wednesday of the month and maintains a Facebook and Instagram.

“People are welcome to join us,” Mahoney said.