The University of Akron and the Akron community offer a number of resources for LGBTQ+ members of our community, students who are exploring questions of identity, and for people on campus looking to support LGBTQ+ students and colleagues.
National Coming Out Day
October 11, 2021
Monday, Oct. 11, marks the 33rd National Coming Out Day, which celebrates the LGBTQ+ community and raises awareness of the continued fight for equal rights and acceptance. This day is also a reminder of the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, which led to increased LGBTQ+ activism.
The Department of Student Life celebrates LGBTQ+ students, faculty, contract professionals and staff at the University with this year’s “Zips of Pride” poster. The “Zips of Pride” mission is to help our University family build community, increase visibility across campus and support all LGBTQ+ identities. This poster features members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Union of Akron provides a community space for all students under the LGBTQ+ spectrum as well as provide education on a variety of subjects for both queer students and allies alike.
- Email: email@example.com,
- Twitter: Akron LGBTUA (@akronlgbtUA)
- Instagram: Akron LGBTUA (@akronlgbtua),
Pride in STEMM
Organization focusing on LGBTQ+ students in STEMM disciplines focused on building community, raising awareness, and fighting for equity.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Twitter: Pride in STEMM- oSTEM (@PrideinSTEMM)
- Instagram: Pride in STEMM- oSTEM (@PrideinSTEMM)
Gay-Straight Law Alliance
The Gay-Straight Law Alliance of Akron Law shall endeavor to foster ideals of tolerance, respect, understanding, and equality in the community regarding the legal downs and privileges of all people, primarily focusing on those individuals who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, or intersex.
Gay-Straight Alliance at Wayne College
The Wayne College Gay-Straight Alliance Club (WCGSA) is a service/learning organization providing students of all races, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation a safe place. The purpose of a GSA is to provide students, a club/organization on campus where they feel safe and secure with others who will not judge them for who they are or how they identify themselves.
- Counseling Center: Offering individual and group counseling services to students, free of charge
- Counseling Center: Wayne Campus
- Dean of Students
- Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action (EEO)
- Office of Inclusion and Equity: This office is to increase the impact of UA’s inclusive excellence commitment, leading to wider understanding and acceptance for all students.
- Office of Academic Retention and Support (OARS): Through scholarships, academic support, specialized programs and our dedicated staff, OARS provides you with tools and support to succeed and graduate from UA.
- Title IX: For concerns about Gender-based (sexual) misconduct, discrimination, and/or harassment
- Zipassist: Resources for financial emergencies, off campus housing and navigating campus
- Gender inclusive housing options
- Gender neutral bathrooms map
- Name change processes (contact the University Registrar with questions)
Switching your chosen name mid-semester & how to have the conversation with professors
We know that approaching your professors may feel uncomfortable while transitioning. Sending an email could help make the conversation easier. Emails can be useful in explaining a difference in chosen name or pronouns than they may have previously known you by or that is on their class roster.
An example email might look like:
Dear Professor _________,
I am a student in your (insert class name here). I am contacting you today to let you know I had previously used the name (insert legal name here). My name shows up on your roster as (insert legal name here), but my chosen name is (insert chosen name here). My pronouns are (insert pronouns here). I will be putting (insert chosen name here) on my assignments and would appreciate it if you called me that in class. Thank you for your support.
Support in and around Akron, Ohio
Summa Health Pride Clinic: Holistic Healthcare from providers trained in LGBTQ+ unique health needs and committed to meeting those needs
Margie’s Hope: Provides community and support to transgender, nonbinary, and Gender nonconforming individuals, partners, and families around the greater Akron community
TransOhio: TransOhio serves the Ohio transgender and ally communities by providing services, education, support, and advocacy, which promotes and improves the health, safety and life experience of the Ohio transgender individual and community.
CANAPI: Akron based community organization that serves and promotes the well-being of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) community and persons at risk and/or affected by HIV through education, support services, quality housing, and advocacy.
Equality Ohio Legal Clinic free legal clinic offering help with name change and paperwork, consumer, family, and civil downs law and administrative help.
Equitas Health LGBTQ+ positive hospital system
WAKE Food Bank WAKE Food Bank is a Trans owned and operated organization that provides food assistance to those in need in Northeast Ohio. Their services are free, discreet, and secular. No proof of income or employment required.
PFLAG Akron Support group for family and friends of the LGBTQ+ community
Plexus LGBT & Allied Chamber of Commerce networking and education group for professionals
Hope and Healing - Resources for survivors
Akron Pride Festival - Unify and affirm the LGBTQ+ community and allies in celebrating diversity and promoting acceptance of all individuals by defending human equity.
Out in Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics organization for LGBTQ+ students and professionals in the STEM fields
GLSEN Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network researches and develops resources for the classroom
GLAAD Guidance for media and storytellers, evaluates media representation, and maintains language guides and glossaries
National Black Justice Coalition NBJC’s mission is to end racism, homophobia, and LGBTQ/SGL bias and stigma.
National Center for Transgender Equality NCTE works to replace disrespect, discrimination, and violence with empathy, opportunity, and justice
TransLatin@ Coalition The mission of TransLatin@ Coalition (TLC) is to advocate for the specific needs of the Trans Latin@ community that resides in the U.S.A. and to plan strategies that improve our quality of life.
Dignity USA – LGBTQ+ Catholics
Keshet – for LGBTQ+ Jewish people
MPVUSA- LGBTQ+ Muslims
Gaychurch.org -Lists open and affirming churches in your area. Based on zip code. Also includes resources.
Quick tips for Faculty and Staff
Model acceptance, especially if you are in a leadership role.
To support students:
- There are many ways to create a culture in your classroom and office that shows LGBTQ+ students that you support them.
- Getting trained and educated on LGBTQ+ topics is an important first step. If you have not already, or need a refresher, please do take the COURSE NAME on your Bdownspace page. This course goes over terminology, how to support students and colleagues in transition or who may come out to you, and pronoun use. The Counseling and Testing Center also offers Ally Safe Zone Training. Be sure to sign-up when this opportunity is available. And, continue to pursue professional development to help ensure that you are providing inclusive, safe, and affirming educational practices.
- Assume that LGBTQ+ students are in your classes. Speak, teach, and act as though not all of your students are cisgender and/or straight. Instead of using “ladies and gentlemen” to start your class, say “Okay everyone, let’s get started” or “Okay, class.”
- During your syllabus class, it may be a fun idea to pass around a “Get to Know Me” class survey. You could ask them about what they are excited most for in this class, what topics they may worry about covering in class, what their pronouns are, and their chosen name.
- Post signs in your office to help convey to students as they are walking through the door that you are a safe person. This could be having buttons or signs with your own pronouns on it or displaying “The Genderbread Person” infographic on your wall or having a sign that says I support LGBTQ+ students.
- If you see or hear about gender-discrimination or discrimination based on sexual orientation, submit a referral to: uakron.edu/help
To support colleagues:
- Like supporting students, there are many ways to create a workplace environment that support LGBTQ+ colleagues.
- Getting trained and educated on LGBTQ+ topics is an important first step. If you have not already, or need a refresher, please do take the COURSE NAME on your Bdownspace page. This course goes over terminology, how to support students and colleagues in transition or who may come out to you, and pronoun use. The Counseling and Testing Center also offers Ally Safe Zone Training. Be sure to sign-up when this opportunity is available. And, continue to pursue professional development to help ensure that you are providing an inclusive, safe, and affirming workplace environment.
- Show your support. Having empowering conversations as an ally can create an inclusive environment and helps to show that diversity is valued. You may not know who may not be out at work and these conversations can help to create an environment who people may feel comfortable in coming out. And if you hear anti-LGBTQ+ conversations, say something.
- Do not assume someone’s identity or pronouns. But, also do not pressure someone to come out.
Photo by: Mari Pykus, student in Myers School of Art at The University of Akron
Further Learning through arts and reading
The below resources are for further learning and exploration and represent a variety of experiences and viewpoints.
- GLAAD Media Reference Guide - Transgender
- GLAAD Media Reference Guide - Lesbian / Gay / Bisexual Glossary Of Terms
How to be an Ally
- 5 Tips For Being An Ally
- A simple way to be an LGBTQ+ ally | Keegan Thoranin
- How to talk (and listen) to transgender people
- Trans In College; by Z Nicolazzo
- Beyond the Gender Binary by Alok Vaid-Menon
- Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
- Queer and Trans Artists of Color: Stories of Some of our Lives, Edited by Nia King
- Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza by Gloria Anzaldua
- Transgender History by Susan Stryker
- Gender Outlaws by Kate Borenstein
- Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg
- Seasonal Velocities by Rya Aoki
Podcasts and short videos
- We are the Airwaves
- Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex (with Pidgeon)
- Science Vs: The Science of Being Transgender
- Ted Talk: The biology of Gender from DNA to the Brain
- The Queer Arabs Podcast
- Nature, Nurture and Evolving Gender Roles
- Ted Talk: What it’s like to Be a Transgender Dad
- What it’s like to be Intersex
- The Gender Unicorn Trans Student Educator Resources
- Understanding Gender
- Why We Say Latinx: Trans & Gender Non-Conforming People Explain by Raquel Reichard
- Indigenous Sexualities: Resisting Conquest and Translation by Manuela Picq and Josi Tikuna
- Why I’m Non-Binary but don’t use They/Them Pronouns by Ashleigh Shackelford
- Transgender 101 (Everyday Feminism)
- How the Gender Binary Hurts us All by Justin Hubbell
- Statistics show exactly how many times Trans People have attacked you in bathrooms by Marcie Bianco
- Evil Deceivers and Make-Believers: On Transphobic Violence and the Politics of Illusion by Talia Bettcher
- Not another death threat: Queer and Trans Muslims in America
- The Biology of Gender and the Construction of Sex? By Vernon Rosario
Film/ TV/ web series
- Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria
- Disclosure (2020, Laverne Cox)
- Pose (2018, Ryan Murphy, Janet Mock, Stephen Canals)
- Moonlight (Directed by Barry Jenkins, 2016)
- Pariah (Directed by Dee Rees, 2011)
- Performing Girl (Directed by Crescent Diamond, 2013)
- Pure Love (Ignacio Rivera and Amanda Rivera)