Support LGBT Studies on Giving Day, March 16

Raise your Pride flags in celebration of the 30th anniversary of Cornell’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies Program. The university boasts a long and storied history of LGBT activism and advocacy, dating to the 1960s. Cornell established the nation’s second student homophile league (after Columbia U) in May 1968. Our alumni participated in the Stonewall Uprising and marched as a contingent in the first gay pride parade, originally called Christopher Street Liberation Day. But, it wasn’t until the mid-1990s, with the rise of queer theory, in the wake of the AIDS pandemic, that sexuality studies became a formal academic minor. We are now a vibrant and vital Program with a Director and field faculty members representing more than a dozen disciplines. Thanks to the passionate and dedicated work of students, faculty, and alumni, LGBT Studies is an integral part of the curriculum and of university life more broadly, from our campus-wide Lavender Graduation to our LGBT Resource Center to our recently inaugurated Loving House residence hall.

While we have made significant progress over the past few decades, there’s much more work to do. On his first day in office, President Biden issued an executive order to increase protections against LGBT citizens and restore rights eroded by the previous administration. Alphonso David, President of the Human Rights Campaign, referred to this edict as the most “wide-ranging” executive order concerning sexual orientation and gender identity ever issued by a U.S. president. The Biden-Harris administration features several high-level LGBT appointees, including Karen Jean-Pierre, Denise Juneau, Pili Tobar, Rachel Levine, and Pete Buttigieg. As we celebrate these advances, we are painfully aware that these milestones coincide with continued efforts by local, state, and federal representatives to repeal legal victories, both at home and abroad, and with continued threats of physical violence against sexual minorities, especially trans women of color.

Our 30th anniversary provides an occasion to reflect on LGBT history as we take stock of the present and chart our futures. The COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affects the lives of socially, economically, and politically marginalized peoples. Struggles LGBTQ communities face are amplified during this crisis, including homelessness and poverty, health disparities, and violent victimization, all of which occur at higher rates compared to our heterosexual and cisgender peers. For Black, Indigenous, and LGBTQ people of color, oppression is compounded by the violence of white supremacy, systemic discrimination, and anti-Black racism. 

Scholarly engagement with lesbian, gay, queer, transgender, intersex, and non-binary/two-spirit cultures remains more relevant than ever. The faculty and staff of LGBT Studies are committed to expanding the visibility and reach of our Program by staging conversations about equity, inclusion, and justice on campus and across our communities. Please help us in our mission on Giving Day. Your donation will support our programming, research activities, and outreach goals. In addition to a stellar line-up of courses, speakers, and presentations, we have several new initiatives we would love to fund, including a 30th anniversary retrospective. Thank you for your gift to the Program in LGBT Studies!

We invite you to contribute:

$30 :: Purchase a rainbow graduation stole for a student earning an LGBT Minor

$50 :: Fund LGBT Graduate Student Research and Professional Development

$100 :: Support the LGBT Speaker and Event Series

$300 :: Donate to the 30th Anniversary Fund

$ :: Choose your own amount. Every donation helps us.

2021-2022 Events

  • Refuge, Asylum, Detention: A Feminist and Queer Lens (spring 2022)
  • Radical Desire: Making On Our Backs Magazine (spring 2022)
  • Living Queer History: Remembrance and Belonging in A Southern City, a lecture by Samantha Rosenthal (spring 2022)
  • Making Gay History, a lecture by Eric Marcus (spring 2022)
  • Gayle S. Rubin Lecture (spring 2022)
  • Kabbalah And Sex Magic, a lecture by Marla Segol (fall 2022)
  • Lesbian & Feminist Theatre: Past, Present & Future (a three-part virtual panel series; fall 2021)

Support LGBT Studies on March 16th.

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