Pride Flags

In light of the mass shooting that took place in Orlando, I would like to express my sadness and outrage at the loss of innocent lives, and stand in solidarity with Orlando and the LGBTQ+ and QPOC communities. I also refer anyone seeking support to this month’s Message from the Dean for information about campus resources and responding to tragedy. Please take the time to process and grieve, and when ready, let us stand together to celebrate and remember.

— Larissa Charnsangavej, Graduate Community Coordinator

June is National LGBT Pride Month, a month-long celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community. Originally celebrated on the last Sunday in June, “Gay Pride Day” honored the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan, a pivotal point in the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States, and the celebration has grown to encompass a month-long series of events in cities across the nation and around the world. Today, festivities include everything from parades and parties, to symposia and concerts, to memorials for those who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS.

This year, San Francisco Pride will take place June 25 & 26, 2016 and includes its 46th annual LGBT Pride Parade — the largest in the nation, with well over a million participants and spectators annually. Visit the SF Pride Website for a full schedule of the weekend’s events.

While several campus entities and organizations provide programming and support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender & queer (LGBTQ) community, Queer Grads and the Queer and Transgender Advocacy Project (QTAP) of the Graduate Assembly are two of the leading groups that focus on supporting the LGBTQ graduate student community.

Queer Grads aims to foster a well-connected and engaged community among LGBTQ graduate students across all disciplines by offering opportunities for social networking; by serving as an information and communication hub for local events that may be of interest to LGBTQ students; and by providing an arena for activism and discussion surrounding Queer issues. “On such a large campus it’s easy for grad students to become isolated in their home departments, so it’s important to have spaces where we can interact with a broader group and talk about our experiences as queer members of the campus community,” explains Andrew Bremer, Co-Executive Director. He adds that the organization was a great way to establish a network of LGBTQ friends when he arrived on campus as a new graduate student. For more information, join the mailing list or find them on Facebook.

As Project Director of QTAP for the past two years, Marco Antonio Flores was also interested in bringing together LGBTQ+ contingencies from across campus, with an emphasis on supporting LGBTQ+ arts and research initiatives. In collaboration with multiple on-campus centers and departments, QTAP co-sponsored and supported events ranging from a performance workshop geared towards aspiring artist-activists; to the Wurster Bathroom Project, an interactive art installation bringing attention to the importance of all-gender bathrooms; to “Lingering Latinidad,” a lecture that explored themes of theory, aesthetics, and performance in Latina/o Studies. Many of QTAP’s programs contained elements aimed at expanding understandings of diverse sexualities and gender and explore their intersectionality with race, class, ability and other identities. Although his term as Project Director will be over at the end of this academic year, Flores hopes that the next director will represent a “fresh start and bring new vision to expand [QTAP’s] growth.”

In addition to student-led organizations and initiatives, there are a number of campus departments and services that offer resources and support to the LGBTQ community. The Gender Equity Resource Center (GenEq) is expressly devoted to this purpose and provides crucial education and support services for both graduate and undergraduate students. GenEq serves as a place where students, faculty, staff and alumni connect for resources, services, education and leadership programs related to gender and sexuality. The GenEq website also offers a variety of on- and off-campus resources for LGBTQ+ students and allies.

University Health Services (UHS) offers essential campus-based services for LGBTQ students, including LGBTQ-specific health workshops, weekly free counseling drop-ins, and Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) coverage that includes hormone treatment and gender confirmation surgery. All registered students may access these services at the Tang Center, regardless of insurance. To learn more, please visit the UHS website.