Diversitea and Cookies: Supporting Trans and Queer Students of Color

June of every year serves as Pride Month for members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community in commemoration of the Stonewall Riots of 1969. Despite the current president not recognizing June as National Pride Month (unlike his predecessor), Pride is very much celebrated on a national level this month with, most visibly, pride parades happening all over the country.

In spite of massive increases in acceptance towards the LGBTQ+ community, queer individuals still face major risks by being out in the United States. 20-25% of lesbian and gay individuals still experience hate crimes within their lives and queer people of color, particularly trans people of color, are at a much higher risk of experiencing physical and psychological violence than cis white queer individuals. This is a fact that many people, even within the LGBTQ+ community, aren’t aware of and don’t recognize as a major priority (check out #NoJusticeNoPride for more on this lack of intersectionality within the LGBTQ+ community).

In light of Pride Month and to highlight the intersectional nature of the obstacles still obstructing many marginalized queer individuals, we wanted to share a resource that supports members of the LGBT community and people of color in academia: the LGBT Resource Professionals from the Consortium of Higher Education’s policy and practice recommendations for supporting trans and queer students of color (TQSOC).

Incredibly comprehensive and intersectional, this resource identifies common ways multicultural spaces restrict access to queer students and how LGBTQ+ resource centers reinforce institutional whiteness. The emphasis on collaboration between ethnic and queer resource centers is key to addressing institutional racism, heterosexism, cissexism, bigotry, and white supremacy. The authors provide concrete ways to address systemic barriers obstructing our TQSOC and provide excellent exercises and questions for self-reflection as well as actual suggested actions one can do to make things more LGBTQ+ inclusive (such as programmatic and material resources, visibility, leadership opportunities, etc.).

Although the information is targeted towards administrative professionals and undergraduates, this resource is useful to all who operate within the realms of STEM and academia.

Fight on and get your Pride on,

– Irvin & Priya