Identity, Visibility & Measurement: How University LGBTQ Centers Engage and Advocate for Today’s LGBTQ Student


  • Dean Mundy University of Oregon



LGBTQ, advocacy, identity, visibility, support


For many of today’s LGBTQ college students, college exists at the epicenter of their identity development, and these students have new questions and expectations of their institutions. This study, through in-depth interviews with LGTBQ center directors at 11 major public universities in 10 U.S. states, investigates who these students are and how universities engage and advocate for them. Centers’ missions remain focused on support, education, and advocacy, but they are addressing new dynamics regarding identity, visibility, and measurement. Centers must move beyond the explicit LGBTQ categories and address students’ intersections of identity. Centers also must balance visibility that protects student privacy in a social media age while serving as a public source of support. Finally, programs need data to drive support for resources, but gathering these data has unique challenges for the LGBTQ community.


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