Queer culture and politics.
UConn positioned to take the lead on gender minority student accommodations
Daily Campus, May 2016
"In the 17 years since UConn was ranked the 12th most homophobic college in the United States, the Huskies have regularly cracked the Advocate’s top 100 list of LGBT-friendly schools. This puts UConn in the perfect position to lead the charge on addressing the needs of gender minority students, Gurr said.
“A whole lot of folks at UConn have worked really hard to make our campus accepting and supportive for LGBT students,” said Gurr. “We’ve gone from being one of the most homophobic campuses in the country to one of the most LGBT friendly, and that’s amazing. It puts us in a really good situation to get even better.”
Among UConn’s greatest strengths, according to the study, are its gender-neutral housing program and the Rainbow Center, which offers numerous support groups and in-depth lectures on LGBT related topics."
Malinda Lo speaks on 'Cinderella' with a twist at Rainbow Center book club
Daily Campus, April 2016
"We all know the story: after the death of her beloved mother, Cinderella is left at the mercy of her merchant father and his new wife, a brutally selfish stepmother who cares only for her two spoiled daughters. When her father too succumbs to illness, Cinderella is forced to take on the role of cook, handmaid and housekeeper, waiting on her new “family’s” every whim while her future turns to dust.
Then she falls in love with the king’s huntress and everything changes. Or at least that’s what happens in “Ash” by Malinda Lo, the Rainbow Center book club’s top pick for this semester.
This time around, instead of marrying prince charming, Aisling, known simply as Ash, enlists the fairy Sidhean’s otherworldly magic to win the heart of Kaisa, the head of the king’s hunt, and escape a life of servitude."
Rainbow Center revisits 'Pride from the Past' with professors, professionals
Daily Campus, April 2016
"During the ‘70s, when the Student Union was a quarter of the size it is now, gay and lesbian students used to meet in a trailer parked where the UConn Police Department stands today.
When Jim Palmieri, a professor of floral arts and manager of UConn Blooms, went to the “intercollegiate trailer” for the first time, he took the scenic route, doing everything he could to make it look like he was only there to pick up his car.
Palmieri, one of four panelists who spoke Saturday afternoon at “Pride from the Past” in the Rainbow Center, said the trailer had become notorious on campus – everyone knew that if you walked through that door you were at least questioning your sexuality.
“It was a refuge for us, just like you have this Rainbow Center, but you can easily walk in here, we just didn’t have that confidence in ourselves,” Palmieri said. “What made me feel comfortable was that my TA from the black history course I was taking was there.”
Students attempt to combat widespread beliefs about bisexuality in Rainbow Center series
Daily Campus, Sept. 2016
“A small group of University of Connecticut students had one thing to say when asked what they wanted the world to understand about bisexuality: “we are not sluts.”
While that may sound simplistic, the idea that bisexual people are promiscuous, need more than one partner, or are more likely to cheat, boils down to a fundamental misunderstanding about what it means to be non-monosexual, human development and family studies advisor Kristin Van Ness said.
Van Ness spoke Wednesday afternoon at the Rainbow Center’s Out to Lunch series about her findings from a series of conversations she had last year while researching the experiences of bisexual students on campus. While she was ultimately unable to bring together a statistically significant sample of participants, the three students (one male, one female and one gender-queer individual) who followed through on the study had a lot to say about stigma, relationships and bi-erasure.
“They get s**t from both sides. They’re just as stigmatized from heterosexual communities, and I’m using that intentionally, as they are from homosexual communities,” Van Ness said of the students’ experiences. “Gay people don’t want to date you because they think you’re going to leave them for straight privilege, and straight people don’t want to date you because you’re viewed as sexually promiscuous.”