“We contain multitudes” -Walt Whitman
The Office of Gender & Sexuality provides opportunities for all members of the Denison community to explore, organize, and learn about issues of gender and sexuality. Our work looks at how gender and sexuality intersect with issues and identities including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, social class, ability, and national origin.
The Women’s Resource Center was established in 1978 with the goal of helping to create a campus climate that affirms female students and enhances their intellectual and social development. This is accomplished through campus programming and resource sharing including referrals to resources both on and off campus.
The first organized effort toward LGBTQ inclusion at Denison began when a student group, Gay and Lesbian Advocates at Denison (GLAD), formed in 1984. GLAD created “Blue Jeans Day,” the first campus-wide LGBT awareness event, during which people were invited to wear blue jeans to show their support for gay and lesbian students. GLAD members also created pink triangle buttons for people to wear around campus in support of gay and lesbian students, similar to our Safe Zone program now. The Women’s Resource Center served as GLAD’s campus home and in 1989, GLAD was renamed “Outlook,” which still exists on campus today.
In the Fall of 2011, the center was renamed the Center for Women and Gender Action. The center provided valuable information and resources for men and women on a wide range of issues related to women, gender, and sexuality. The center catered to all ideologies and attempted to provide a safe place on campus for women and men in the community to discuss gender-related issues and to utilize resources about those issues.
As of 2018, the newly named Office of Gender & Sexuality supports the campus community’s engagement with issues related to gender, gender identity and sexual orientation. In addition to supporting women and gender non-conforming students, we are now offering visible institutional support for LGBTQ+ students and campus life.