Beginning in the early 1970’s it was student activism that brought queer voices to the fore at Northwestern. What began as Northwestern’s Gay Liberation Front changed to Gay and Lesbian Alliance in the 80’s, Bisexual, Gay and Lesbian Alliance (BGALA) in the 90s, and Rainbow Alliance in the early 2000s. Several other LGBTQIA+ student groups have come (and some have gone) over the years which includes but not limited to: Living in Color, Lambda, oSTEM, Queer Students of Color.
LGBTQIA+ Space and Staffing
In May of 2003 students passed ASG legislation asking for a student resource center serving the LGBT population. But even then, students were concerned about the solutions the university provided. In January of 2004 the LGBT Center opened providing space and programming to this student population and the campus community. In 2011 students pushed for full time position to be filled which lead to the LGBT Center’s first staff member, Devin Moss from 2012-2014. In May 2014 the university celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the LGBT Center and in 2015 the LGBT Center changed its name to the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center (GSRC) to be more inclusive and expansive of the students that Northwestern serves. Later in 2015, the GSRC was placed within MSA’s suite of identity-based resources to provide more intersectional programming and services and a new assistant director was hired. Following JT, Matt Abtahi has served as the assistant director since fall of 2019, charged with serving the LGBTQIA+ student population. Information from the most recent Campus Climate Survey in 2018 and the GQNBT task force in 2019 remind us that the work of LGBTQIA+ programming and belonging must continue as we co-create a Northwestern for all genders and sexual orientations.
Contribute your part
We know these are only parts of the collective LGBTQIA+ history at Northwestern. Help us tell a richer story about being LGBTQIA+ at Northwestern by donating pictures. fliers, artifacts, and publications to the University Archives.