Names that Matter: Exploring the Tensions of Campus LGBTQ Centers and Trans* Inclusion

Document Type

Article - Merrimack Access Only

Publication Title

Journal of Diversity in Higher Education

Publication Date


Abstract/ Summary

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, and Queer (LGBTQ) centers are increasingly prevalent on college and university campuses (see, e.g., Marine, 2011). However, there remain theoretical and pragmatic challenges that potentially threaten their ability to promote inclusive environments for the entire LGBTQ community. In particular, fragmentation of the contemporary movement for LGBT rights (mirrored on the college campus) has resulted in the potentiality for marginalization of trans individuals’ interests in these spaces. Findings from this study elucidate the tensions that exist regarding the efforts of LGBTQ center staff to recognize and meet the values, needs, and programmatic interests of trans students, faculty, and staff on college campuses, and insights from Critical Trans Politics (Spade, 2011) are offered as a means to improve trans inclusion.