peer chat

Peer Connections Program

Peer connections is a peer support program that creates and broadens opportunities for students who identify as LGBTQA, may be questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity, or are in the process of coming out at UC Irvine. Trained Discussion Leaders connect students to campus and community resources, serving as a mentor through online chats. Peer Connections Discussion Leaders are current students who are knowledgeable of the issues facing LGBTQA and questioning students and how they may affect the lives of their peers. Peer Discussion Leaders are available to listen to concerns, offer insight on certain issues, and make referrals to campus and community resources.

Why does UC Irvine need a Peer Connections Program?

Navigating safe, supportive environments for students to explore their identity and to connect to other LGBTQA students and campus resources can be a struggle for many students. While the LGBT Resource Center is a safe space for ALL students at UCI, we recognize that there are many reasons why a student may not access our space. The Peer Connections program allows students to access our resources without ever stepping foot in the LGBT Resource Center. Email the Peer Connections Coordinator at peerchat@uci.edu for more information.

Who is this program for?

  • Students who identify as LGBT, queer, questioning, same-gender loving, as well as any identity that is typically associated with this community (including, but not limited to, pansexual, genderqueer, intersex, etc.)
  • Students who think they may no longer identify as straight or traditionally gendered, but are not sure.
  • Students who are still searching for an identity or community where they fit in.
  • Those not yet prepared or willing to participate in public activities suggesting a particular sexual or gender identity status.
  • Those in need of support and connection, but not necessarily in need of counseling.
  • Those who fear the loss of family and/or friends.
  • Those who do not yet know how to meet others.
  • Those seeking a role-model.
  • Those looking to remain anonymous

What are Peer Chats?

Peer Chats are online chats where students can ask questions about LGBTQA issues and get answers and resources from peers. Peer Chats are hosted by Peer Discussion Leaders. Peer Chats are a great way to interact with other LGBTQA and questioning students, and get answers to questions. Participants don't even have to step foot on campus or the LGBTRC to get connected!

Who are the Discussion Leaders?

Peer Chat Discussion Leaders are current UCI students that identify as LGBTQA who are trained to help connect other Anteaters to resources and community. For information about the Chat Leaders, please visit out Peer Chat Discussion Leader page.

Is it Private?

Yes. Participants can choose their own screen name and remain anonymous while in the chat room. Participants will be asked for their student ID and name to verify student status, but only the Peer Connections Coordinator will have that information. This information will NOT be shared with anyone, including Peer Discussion Leaders. No one in the chat room will know a student's identity, unless the student chooses to disclose. PEER CHATS ARE ONLY OPEN TO CURRENT UCI STUDENTS. Email the Peer Connections Coordinator at peerchat@uci.edu for more information.

When are Peer Chats?

Peer Chats are held Monday evenings from 5-7pm during weeks 2-9 of each quarter of the regular academic year (Fall, Winter, Spring), excluding any university holidays.

How do I sign up?

To register for Peer Connections, please complete the Peer Connections Registration Form. You can also email the Peer Connections Coordinator at peerchat@uci.edu for more information about the registration process or program.

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