The community that constitutes Wesleyan is diverse and unique. Students’ sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression are as diverse as the larger community at Wesleyan. Students, faculty, administrators, and staff strive to create a safe space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and intersex (LGBTQQI…) students at Wesleyan. Many queer faculty, staff, and administrators also make themselves available to serve as resources to LGBTQQI… students.
Many people in the Wesleyan community use the word “queer”, a non-gender specific and anti-normative word, in place of other terms that do not fully encompass the variety of sexual and gender identities of our community members. While this term was used as a derogatory epithet against LGBTQQI… people in the past, many have sought to reclaim it. Radical activists in the 1990s especially deployed “queer” to signify empowerment and a sense of unity against the oppressive heteronormative sex/gender system in America. There is, however, space at Wesleyan to self-identify with any words that best validate one’s identity. When Wesleyan students use the word “queer” to describe themselves and their communities, they use it with pride.
LGBTQQI… students are vocal, active, organized, and respected members of the Wesleyan community. While some students choose to become involved in political and social organizations that exist on campus, there is no universal or typical way of being queer at Wesleyan. In fact, there are numerous queer communities at Wesleyan that serve different purposes for the people who choose to become involved with them.