Chapter 15:
Organizing For LGBT Studies
Edited By Curtis F. Shepard, Ph.D.
Introduction
commissioned to study the quality of
campus life for lgbt people and devise
An important aspect of the increased
recommendations for those areas in
awareness of lgbt concerns on college
which improvement is needed.  Ideally,
and university campuses is the increasing
whatever approach is taken to the lgbt
interest among students and academics
studies issues, it should be addressed in
alike in scholarship related to the lgbt
concert with other efforts to end discrim 
experience.  As a result, courses taught
ination based of sexual orientation and
from a lgbt perspective are being offered
make the campus safer and more hos 
with greater frequency.  By incorporating
pitable to lgbt members of the campus
lgbt points of view into courses in litera 
community.  
ture, art, history, psychology, sociology
and so forth, students are able to gain new
Starting a LGBT Survey Course
perspectives on these areas of inquiry.
Further, lgbt students are able to see
Before proceeding it is important to
themselves and their experiences reflect 
ascertain whether there is sufficient stu 
ed and represented in courses of study.
dent interest in such a course.  Find out
We have come to a time when the lives of
from the registrar s office the minimum
lgbt people are finally being represented
number of students required in order for a
in academic fields and institutions that
course to be offered on your campus and
have historically ignored or condemned
the process for establishing new courses.  
us.  This section offers an outline of sug 
In addition to familiarizing yourself with
gested steps for establishing a lgbt survey
these procedural issues, it is essential that
course, integrating lgbt topics into exist 
you be able to articulate a rationale for
ing courses, and launching a lgbt studies
offering a lgbt course.  How are lgbt stu 
program. 
dents, for instance, educationally disad 
vantaged by the lack of opportunities to
It should be noted that many successful
become acquainted with their forebears
lgbt studies efforts have stemmed from
or by seeing themselves excluded from
recommendations made by presidential
discussions of current events?  How is the
or chancellorial task forces, made up of
campus community at large educational 
students, faculty, staff and alumni/ae,
ly disadvantaged by being denied access
Material for this section was originally prepared in 1991 by then NGLTF Campus Pro 
ject interns Julie Gedden and Keri Thaxter.  Additional material has been contributed by
Curt Shepard, NGLTF Campus Organizer, from materials related to efforts at the Uni 
versity of California, Los Angeles, to establish a lgbt studies program.
L G B T   S t u d i e s
M     2 8 3






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