Establishing a LGBT Resource Center
By Charles Outcalt
use your office as a referral and network
ing hub. If your school hasn't yet adopt
So your school has agreed to set up a lgbt
ed a policy of non discrimination against
resource center. What are you going to
lgbt people, you could use your center as
do with it? Winning the battle for space
a strong voice of advocacy on lgbt issues.
and funding is only the first stage in
Of course, these emphases aren't mutual
developing such a center (See Appendix
ly exclusive, but you need to pay careful
A, pp 230 236 for a sample proposal).
attention to what you can do with your
Careful planning on the most effective
resources, as well as what you want to do.
deployment of your resources finan
Listen to your communities before, dur
cial, spatial and human is the next
ing and after you act; make sure that what
you do is driven by their desires and
needs as much as by your own plans.
What Are Your School's Needs?
Eventually, you'll find yourself striving
for a balance between meeting existing
Make sure you start with this question as
needs and leading your community into
you think about your long range plan
the next phase of the struggle for greater
ning. Each campus has unique priorities,
needs and resources, and what works at
one school might not be appropriate for
Embracing Diversity Within the
another. This chapter is not a blueprint
for developing a center, but you can use it
as a guide to help you identify, anticipate
A few (extremely important) words on
and fill your school's needs.
diversity at your center: It will not live
up to its full potential if it does not
If your school is in a small town, isolated
embrace the diversity that exists within
from urban centers with their bars, book
the lgbt communities. It goes without
stores and coffeehouses, it may be espe
saying that lesbian priorities and needs
cially import to build opportunities for
differ from those of gay men, and that
socializing into your center. If your
members of ethnic and racial minorities
school has a large, well established lgbt
are chronically under represented in the
community (or communities), you might
most popular lgbt publications. If you
Charles Outcalt is the director of the LGBT Resources Office at the University of California,
Los Angeles (UCLA). This chapter deals with the start up of a campus resource center.
Appendix A, pp. 230 236 contains the proposal leading to the establishment of UCLA's office.
The list of books in Appendix B, pp. 237 238 was compiled by UCLA student Jose Zepeda.
L G B T R e s o u r c e C e n t e r s
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