Paper Title

Recognizing Our Potential: Making Our Voices Heard and Advocating for Continued Progress as LBT Women Graduate Students

Location

Evans Room, Third Floor, DiGiorgio Campus Center (DiGs)

Start Date

April 2016

End Date

April 2016

Keywords

LGBT, queer women, graduate students, advocacy

Abstract

What challenges might graduate students face in ‘coming out’ as a member of the LGBTQ+ community? How does one navigate being a minority and maintaining a sense of connectedness to others in the field? The unfortunate reality is that, although incredible progress has and continues to be made toward promoting diversity within the institutional structure of colleges and universities, much work remains before we can say “the work is done now”. However, with these challenges comes the potential for us, as LBT or otherwise queer-identified women, to advocate for progress. Whether asking open-ended questions about course materials and how they might relate to LGBTQ+ individuals, the usage of gender-inclusive, non hetero-centric language, or demonstrating how assumptions and negative stereotypes undermine quality research and the ability to serve LGBTQ+ individuals, the outcome remains the same. Although not without potential risks, raising awareness of LGBTQ+ issues and the issues we face as LGBTQ+ identified graduate students (particularly as women) can lead to greater diversity and inclusivity in many aspects of program climate, theory, research, and applied work. Recognizing our potential, embracing who we are, and ensuring our voices are heard when advocating for ourselves is crucial as LBT or otherwise queer-identified women.

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Apr 1st, 3:30 PM Apr 1st, 4:45 PM

Recognizing Our Potential: Making Our Voices Heard and Advocating for Continued Progress as LBT Women Graduate Students

Evans Room, Third Floor, DiGiorgio Campus Center (DiGs)

What challenges might graduate students face in ‘coming out’ as a member of the LGBTQ+ community? How does one navigate being a minority and maintaining a sense of connectedness to others in the field? The unfortunate reality is that, although incredible progress has and continues to be made toward promoting diversity within the institutional structure of colleges and universities, much work remains before we can say “the work is done now”. However, with these challenges comes the potential for us, as LBT or otherwise queer-identified women, to advocate for progress. Whether asking open-ended questions about course materials and how they might relate to LGBTQ+ individuals, the usage of gender-inclusive, non hetero-centric language, or demonstrating how assumptions and negative stereotypes undermine quality research and the ability to serve LGBTQ+ individuals, the outcome remains the same. Although not without potential risks, raising awareness of LGBTQ+ issues and the issues we face as LGBTQ+ identified graduate students (particularly as women) can lead to greater diversity and inclusivity in many aspects of program climate, theory, research, and applied work. Recognizing our potential, embracing who we are, and ensuring our voices are heard when advocating for ourselves is crucial as LBT or otherwise queer-identified women.