The Harvard College Queer Students and Allies (QSA) organization fosters acceptance. QSA is dedicated to providing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and allied students with the resources that they need in order to succeed at Harvard and beyond. Through this mission, QSA hopes to strengthen the visibility and support for every LGBTQ student. Check out their resources below.
The Queer Students and Allies organization provides support for every member of the LGBTQ community, but perhaps the group facing the greatest degree of social resistance and intolerance are transgender students. Harvard has made many accommodations for transgender and gender-variant students with the hope that everyone will feel safe and supported on campus. Those accommodations include:
Housing. While not guaranteed, Harvard Deans have assured the community that housing a student according to the gender that they identify with is entirely possible. Every transgender student seeking accommodating housing is taken on a case-by-case basis.
Bathrooms. Cambridge and Boston ordain that all businesses must allow visitors to use whichever restroom is in accordance with their gender identity. The Queer Students and Allies organization conducted a search for gender non-specific restrooms and located dozens of them in Harvard dormitories, administrative buildings, and nearby businesses in Harvard Square.
Name changes. After undergoing a legal name change, you can change your name in Harvard’s database by visiting the registrar’s office with proof of name change. That being said, you can still ask peers, professors, and administrators to call you by a chosen name without getting a legal name change.
For some students, coming out is the hardest part about being a member of the LGBTQ community. Coming out to friends, family, peers, but especially to yourself is an important step, and Harvard’s Queer Students and Allies provides a couple of resources that speak to the process of coming out.
The Human Rights Campaign
The Human Rights Campaign, or HRC, is the biggest LGBTQ civil rights organization in the nation, working tirelessly to promote social equality for all. HRC’s website provides a variety of information for young people looking to leave the closet, from updates about community events like National Coming Out Day, to the coming out stories of celebrities like actress Ellen Page football player Michael Sam, and supermodel Andreja Pejic.
I’m From Driftwood
I’m From Driftwood is a database of stories, compiling personal accounts about coming out with experiences of finding community and being comfortable in your own skin. The mission of I’m From Driftwood is to help the community at large learn more about LGBTQ experiences and issues through storytelling.
LGBTQ Community Tutors
Harvard’s Resident Tutors and Proctors act as counselors and liaisons for LGBTQ students who are looking for clubs to join, scenes to check out, or would just like a sympathetic ear. While every tutor and proctor is different according to their specialty areas and points of interest, they all have some general responsibilities :
- Advising students who express interest or struggle with sexual identity and gender identity.
- Providing and posting information to enhance community awareness within their assigned student House and around Harvard Yard.
- Attending regular meetings with LGBTQ advisors to stay up to date on campus issues and resources.
Student health is important, and the Queer Students and Allies have provided a list of organizations that students can contact if they want to learn more or receive help in regard to sexual health. Those organizations include:
- Justice Resources Institute Health Programs – providing support for LGBTQ youth, at-risk people living with HIV/AIDS, and the homeless population.
- Harvard Office of Sexual Assualt, Prevention and Response – the go-to location for information on how to address and cope with sexual assault. Their 24-hour help hotline can be reached at (617) 495-9100.
- University Health Services – provides specific information about sexuality and STIs.
- The Network/La Red – a bilingual support system for survivors of sexual assault or domestic violence who identify as lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.
Contact the Queer Students and Allies
To contact QSA, email HarvardQSA@gmail.com.