Graphic by Kelly Moxhay
In addition to the Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans* and Queer resources, the University offers a wide range of additional support systems to welcome all students who are members of the LGBTQ+ community or are allies. With these in hand, students may feel empowered to help create a more inclusive and supportive campus community.
Each year, the University holds a special celebration for National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11. Students and faculty wear rainbow shirts reading “Celebrate Difference” and pose outside of Rooke Chemistry for a photo. This year’s photo took place on Oct. 8 outside of the Christy Mathewson Gate.
Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA)
The University partners with the Gender & Sexuality Alliance (GSA) to serve as a resource to those groups who are currently disenfranchised by working with all members of the student body, faculty and staff to establish a plan of action in the advancement of a more inclusive environment. GSA holds events such as the community dinner on Trans* awareness, showing of movies in support of the LGBTQ Community, weekly meetings on race and sexuality and a register at Uptown. The GSA has previously had a presentation on queer parenting by a University alum to establish tips on raising gender non-conforming kids.
The GSA also meets with other clubs on campus to foster a more connected and supportive environment. These community-building meetings will develop the culture that GSA and the Office of LGBTQ resources wish to see develop on campus. Additionally, the GSA holds monthly dinners where they show a film and follow with a discussion where audience members can address relevant and pressing social issues. One of the more important events, however, that the GSA encourages students to attend is the Vigil, whose goal is to pay respects to those transgender individuals lost to the obscene amount of violence that is regularly enacted upon the community. The Vigil has been an effective way for students, faculty and staff to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community on campus. Finally, the GSA also works to bring LGBTQ+ speakers to campus; in the past, the club has invited lecturers such as Vanessa Gonzalez, a trans activist and comedian who shared her experiences in the transgender community.
LGBTQA Alumni Committee
The LGBTQA Alumni Committee provides leadership and a supportive presence for LGBTQA University students through encouragement, programming and mentoring. They are an incredible presence for the LGBTQA Committee and provide experience and opportunities for students to participate in planning events. The Alumni Committee meets annually on the Saturday of Homecoming Weekend and often has other events that students can attend that same weekend. They also host a reception for LGBTQA alumni, friends and supporters during Reunion Weekend. To stay in touch or learn more about the LGBTQA Alumni Committee, contact Co-Chairs Jennifer Carter ’93 ([email protected]) or Ann Malcom ’80 ([email protected]), or subscribe to their mailing list, which you can find on the LGBTQA Alumni Committee website.
Gender Neutral and Transgender Accessible Housing Option
Another notable resource available for LGBTQ+ students is the Gender Neutral and Transgender Accessible Housing Option. This is a potential housing accommodation for upper-class students looking to live in an area independent of sex or gender. In order to choose this option, you will need to contact Housing Services at [email protected] or call them at 570-577-1195 for more information. First-year students will not have this option as they are assigned rooms based on their gender selected in the common application. Despite that, the Office of LGBTQ resources will work with the needs of the students who identify as transgender, are questioning their gender identity or do not subscribe to gender classifications.
Lastly, if you are feeling unsafe and unsupported as an LGBTQ+ student on campus, you can stop by the second floor of the Elaine Langone Center at the Dean of Students Office, or call 570-577-1601 with any questions or concerns. They are committed to ensuring students’ safety and comfort in order to create an ideal learning environment. If you have any questions regarding the resources available here on campus, contact Bill McCoy with the Office of LGBTQ resources for more information ([email protected]knell.edu).