What happened to 2016-2017? We’re halfway through Academic Year 2017- 2018, and we have yet to get our “annual” newsletter for last year sent out. Wait a minute. I know what it was. The 2016 election happened, and with it, a maelstrom of bizarre speeches, tweets, and events masquerading as governance. New policies that have systemically sought to undo every Civil and Human Rights gain we have made in this country since Rosa Parks, Stonewall, and Roe vs. Wade. As engaged as I, personally, have been in resisting the politics of hate that now dominate the airwaves and hallways and streets and classrooms of our society, I do find myself employing the “bury your head in the sand” mechanism that allows me to cope with hate on a daily basis. It’s no wonder I’m running a year behind.
As always, the students pull me back, their hope for a more inclusive and respectful world infectious enough to help me shake the sand out of my eyes and get back to the important tasks at hand: the next lecture, the next graduate student or McNair fellow, the next conference, the next symposium. The LGBTQ Studies PhD Program Proposal. Adversity (not Diversity) might be the order of the day, but the fact that we survive, that we grow stronger and more committed to our faith in love and peace and justice–this is what matters, and why I admire so much the hard work that our students and staff put into keeping this small freestanding minor alive, organizing the annual QGrad conference that explored the theme of “Queer Mobilities;’ issues of gentrification and the loss of community spaces to virtual reality, the QScholars Undergraduate Research Symposium that focused on the intersectionalities that our queer undergraduates learn to navigate, including those who add the military to their list of identities. We honor also those who came before us and opened paths, such as Dr. Tomas Ybarra-Frausto, a queer Chicano scholar who helped establish the field of Chicano/a art history, whose work we paid tribute to at “Otro Corazon 2: Queer Chicanidad in the Arts”.Download Newsletter