Update from Office of LGBT Life

By Danielle Steele, Director, Office of LGBT Life

The fall months at Emory’s Office of LGBT Life saw cooler temperatures, changing leaves, and plenty of pride!

On September 2, Jim Obergefell visited Emory to discuss his experience as lead plaintiff in the 2015 Supreme Court marriage equality case. Obergefell was joined by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Debbie Cenziper and Lambda Legal attorney Tara Borelli for a panel discussion and book signing. GALA helped fund the event, along with the Office of LGBT Life, Emory OUTLaw, and Campus Life. More than 160 people were in attendance.

On September 21, the Office of LGBT Life celebrated Bi/Pansexual Awareness Week by tabling at Wonderful Wednesday. Student staff facilitated a balloon-popping game that helped “bust” myths about bi/pansexuality. Later that evening, LGBT students participated in “Hire US: Connecting a Diverse Workforce with Inclusive Employers.” Hire US supplemented Emory’s Fall Career Fair so that LGBT students could learn how specific employers support minorities and strive for a more inclusive workforce.

Then, October began with fanfare as Emory marched proudly through the streets of Midtown in the 46th Annual Atlanta Pride Parade on October 9. The excitement continued with Emory’s celebration of National Coming Out Day on October 13. The Office of LGBT Life passed out buttons and shared coming out stories with the Emory community in the DUC Coca-Cola Commons.

On October 20, Emory hosted a screening of the film Suited, an HBO documentary featuring Emory Law student Everett Arthur 17L. The screening was followed by a panel discussion including the documentary’s director, Jason Benjamin, and cast member Rae Tutera. Suited follows clients of Bindle & Keep, a tailoring company out of Brooklyn, New York, as they navigate the social pressures surrounding clothing in various environments. Bindle & Keep creates bespoke suits for gender non-conforming and transgender clients. The Office of LGBT Life helped fund the event, along with Emory OUTLaw and the Stonewall Bar Association of Georgia. More than 50 people were in attendance.

On October 26, the Office of LGBT Life celebrated Asexual Awareness Week by tabling at Wonderful Wednesday. Student staff and members of Aces and Aros, a discussion group for asexual and aromantic individuals, helped Emory students decorate sugar cookies and learn about the asexual spectrum. To round out the month, Emory Pride hosted its annual Drag Show on October 28. Student and faculty groups competed for the top prize of $200 in this long-standing Emory Halloween tradition. All proceeds raised by the Drag Show will go to continuing the work of Emory Pride on campus.

Most recently, the Office of LGBT Life commemorated the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 17. The Emory community gathered together to remember victims of transphobic violence and learn more about how to make Emory a safer and more inclusive campus.

This fall the Office of LGBT Life also expanded its full-time staff to include two new positions. The Office welcomed Natalie Turrin and Megan Pendleton to serve as the Coordinator for Gender and Sexuality Programs and the Assistant Director of LGBT Life, respectively. Natalie moved into her new office during September, and Megan followed shortly after in November.

With Thanksgiving on the horizon, Director Danielle Steele and Emory’s Office of LGBT Life would like to extend their thanks to GALA for continuing to support the work we do within the community. We would never be able to have such a successful semester of programming without your help! Please contact Danielle Steele at dmsteel@emory.edu if you are interested in being more involved with the Office of LGBT Life. You can also keep up-to-date with our activities through our Facebook page.



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