The LGBTQ+ Community Lounge, located on the first floor of the Oklahoma Memorial Union, is a place where people of all identities within the LGBTQ+ community can gather and connect with one another in an accepting environment. The lounge was opened in the fall of 2015 in response to calls from student groups such as Queer Inclusion on Campus (QuIC) who expressed a need for a space specifically set aside for the LGBTQ+ community. Featuring comfortable furniture, a large flat screen television, and plenty of table space to study, the lounge is a great place to meet other LGBTQ+ students at OU.
Time for a quick update on the progress of the LGBTQ Community Lounge Advisory Committee. The 12-member student group, along with the advisement of Kathy Fahl from the GEC and Dr. Megan Sibbett from Women’s and Gender Studies has had three meetings to-date focusing specifically on defining some of the issues in the lounge and generating ideas for lasting solutions. We have received over 30 on-line feedback submissions from the community and integrated that information into the planning process. Over the next couple of weeks, we will outline specific strategies to create a space that is open and more inclusive.
The LGBTQ Community Lounge is set to re-open Monday, April 30th. To learn more about the work of the Student Advisory Committee, check out their recommendations below. These recommendations include immediate changes, short- and long-term goals. We welcome feedback on these recommendations through the provided form, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
To keep up-to-date on the progress of the group and upcoming changes, follow or take a look at the new OU LGBTQ Community Lounge Facebook page.
The LGBTQ Program Advisory Board works to build a welcoming and affirming campus by creating programs focused on growing a culturally rich campus through LGBTQ community awareness, social justice and diversity education, and leadership opportunities.
The advisory board includes undergraduate and graduate students who applied and were interviewed and selected to volunteer their time to put on events and programs throughout the academic year. Applications are accepted during the Spring Semester; however, incoming first-years students can apply during their Fall Semester.
An LGBTQ Ally is an individual with the awareness, knowledge, and skills to confront injustice and advocate for equality, while supporting all persons, regardless of perceived or actual sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, who are experiencing discrimination.
In its 9th year of linking lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students with faculty, staff, and peers, the LGBTQ Ally program is an LGBTQ cultural and awareness training that allows participants to focus on understanding LGBTQ concepts and issues, developing an awareness of biases and recognizing heterosexual and cisgender privilege, and exploring their own ally journey and ways to become an advocate to create an LGBTQ-affirming campus.
LGBTQ Allies are identified on campus by buttons, signs, and t-shirts that carry the offical LGBTQ Ally logo. If you see this logo, the person displaying it has gone through the official three hour training and is a resource for the campus community.
In 2018, the Gender + Equality and the Union Programming Board presented the first ever Crimson & Queens Drag Show. Hosted by Renee Hilton, the show featured Kennedy Davenport of RuPaul's Drag Race along with local queens (Shalula Queen, Syren Simone, and Black Widow) and student performers (Ringmaster Rebecca, Rhonda Beaverhousen, and Blacc Cherry). Students had the opportunity to attend a Q&A session with Kennedy before the show, which was free and open to the public. The Gender + Equality Center looks to make this incredible night an annual event!
If you missed it, check out our Facebook page for live stream videos of the night's performances!
The Women's and Gender Studies department was approved to add a new minor of LGBTQ Studies in 2016. This minor allows students that were perhaps interested in WGS courses to hone in on a more specific area of study, and even allows some to find a new passion all thier own.
Students seeking to obtain a minor in LGBTQ Studies are required to take Introduction to LGBTQ Studies, LGBTQ Movements, and Queer Theory. From there, students choose 9 credit hours (3 courses) from a list of pre-approved classes ranging from "Two-Spirit & Native American LGBT Issues" to "Sexual Deviance & Society."
The OU LGBTQ Alumni Society connects the University of Oklahoma’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender alumni to OU and to one another while providing scholarships, internships, and personal and professional development to current LGBTQ students.
The LGBTQ Alumni Society hosts receptions around the country throughout the year. Our signature event is the OU/Texas reception co-hosted by the LGBT Texas Exes Alumni Network. Keep up with their latest events in thier Facebook group.