LGBTQIA+ Resource Center

The George Washington University (GW) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA+) Resource Center celebrates and supports sexual and gender diversity and inclusion by providing comprehensive educational, support and advocacy services. These services include trainings, special events and mentoring designed to empower LGBTQIA+ students, faculty and staff to achieve academic excellence, embrace personal wellness and pursue professional success. The LGBTQIA+ Resource Center also invites and prepares all members of the GW community to give voice to our shared value of diversity and inclusion as allies with and for LGBTQIA+ individuals on campus, in our local community and around the globe. 

The LGBTQIA+ Resource Center is located in Room 103 of the Multicultural Student Services Center, 2127 G Street, NW. Students are welcome to utilize the Resource Center during the building hours. For more information, call 202-994-4568 or email [email protected].

Get Involved

Not only do we offer resources and advocacy, we also offer many ways to be connected with the community whether that is through social events, educational workshops, or personal and career development. To become a part of our listserv that highlights all that we offer and what the community is currently up to, please email us at [email protected].

Trainings

If you're new to the MSSC or to learning about the LGBTQIA+ community, this section is for you. Here we'll cover the resources we offer to help you educate yourself about LGBTQIA+ identities and issues, as well as outline some basic key concepts we feel you should know. We offer formal Diversity Training for organizations and departments, have compiled a number of pamphlets and info brochures, and have a whole section devoted to the fundamental terminology that we think you should know (and some misconceptions to avoid!).

Community

There are a number of ways to get involved in the community on campus. Whether you are an undergraduate student or a graduate student, there is a place for you here! Take a look through the many student organizations we have here on campus and find your home away from home. 

Academics

At GWU, we offer an LGBT and Sexualities Minor and a Graduate Certificate in LGBT Health Policy and Practice.

Want to work in business, law, public interest, government, or social services?

LGBT and Sexualities Minor is housed in and administered by the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Program. The minor draws on the work of a significant community of faculty working in various parts of LGBTQIA+ and Sexuality Studies scholarship. The minor offers students an opportunity to consider key social and academic issues through the critical lens of LGBTQIA+ and Sexuality theory and applied research

 

Want to pursue a career in healthcare?

The Graduate Certificate in LGBT Health Policy and Practice focuses on applied care. It is designed specifically for those who work on the front lines with clients and patients as well as professionals who work with policy and health care system delivery and management to administer programs that serve the physical and mental health needs of the LGBTQIA+ population.

 

Things to Know

As our understanding of sexuality and gender expands, many new terms are being used to describe our amazing diversity.  Here is a list of terms often used to describe the diversity of gender and sexual identities. Please do your best to use appropriate terminology and when you make a mistake, correct it and stay happy! We are all in this journey of human discovery together!

Please Note: Respecting people’s desired self-identifications is key. Please do your best not to assume another person’s identity based on that person’s appearance. If you are in doubt about someone’s personal identities, respectfully ask them how they identify, including what pronouns they prefer.  Being inclusive of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA) students, staff, faculty, alumni, family members and community partners by knowing and using appropriate terminology is a diversity promising practice!  If you have any questions, feel free to contact the LGBTQIA Resource Center at [email protected].  

The difference between romantic and sexual attraction: (ex: “I’m panromantic and homosexual”):

You can have a different romantic orientation than your sexual orientation. This does not make you strange or “not really” whatever you identify as. It is just as valid to be Heterosexual + Panromantic as it is to be Homosexual + Homoromantic. Having different romantic and sexual orientations is valid.

When we talk about our friends, our families, and anyone else, everyone uses gender pronouns. Most of the time, they’re something that goes unnoticed, they’re just part of how we see the people around us. But for most trans people, they’re more than that:  the proper use of gender pronouns is an important part of recognizing and validating their identities.

 

She/her/hers and he/him/his are the most commonly-used gender pronouns. But while many people call these ‘female/feminine’ or ‘male/masculine’ pronouns, some people intentionally avoid these labels. For trans people, calling these pronouns ‘male/female’ can sometimes be uncomfortable because of the implicit biological assumptions behind them. And for people of all gender identities, simply using he/him/his pronouns doesn’t necessarily mean you’re masculine and using she/her/hers pronouns doesn’t necessarily mean you’re feminine.

 

There are also pronouns beyond those two: many trans people who identify beyond the strict binary use alternative gender pronouns. Of these, the most common in the English language tends to be they/them/their pronouns. This usage flows easily into existing structures because it’s already used as a gender neutral pronoun. However, some trans people instead choose to create their own new pronouns, such as ze/hir/hirs and xe/xem/xyrs.

 

While some languages already have a gender neutral or third gender pronoun to use, many simply do not. This leaves no existing room outside the gender binary and has been a source of frustration for the trans and genderqueer communities who speak these languages. In these situations, communities often innovate in unique ways. For example, many queer people of Latin American descent in the US (and people living in Latin America) have begun to replace the gendered ‘o/a’ endings in Spanish with an ‘x’ instead in words that refer to people. For example, ‘latinx’ or ‘chicx’ or ‘amigxs’.

Words that have a derogatory meaning and should NOT be used by an ally; may be used in a form of reclamation by members of the queer community:

  • Transsexual
  • Transvestite
  • Shemale
  • Hermaphrodite

Support

Did you attend GW and now want to support current LGBTQIA+ students and programming? Great! 

Here is how you can help:

  • Offer your time to mentor an LGBTQIA+ student and/or speak at GW on your area of expertise. 
  • Offer your tax-deductible financial support to co-sponsor an LGBTQIA+ program or event.

The GW LGBTQIA+ Resource Center works hand-in-hand with Out and Allied, GW’s LGBTQIA+ Alumni Association. Thank you for supporting the future of LGBTQIA+ students at GW!