A Story of Establishing Space, Community, and Identity
The Gender and Sexuality programs at Connecticut College find their home nestled in the common spaces of the Smith and Burdick House, adorned with colorful walls, empowering artwork, and stacks of books. Rooted in a complex history of marginalization and activism, the LGBTQIA Center and Womxn’s Center have been established to serve and support students from various backgrounds and identities, in regards to sexuality and gender identity. After a long journey towards institutional recognition, the two groups now fall under the Connecticut College Division of Institutional Equity and Inclusion . Although they function distinctly with their own unique missions and purpose, both rooms are a place of comfort, inclusion, engagement, collaboration, and celebration for students.
To trace the history of these centers is to embark on a puzzle with missing pieces. A significant amount of the history of gender and sexuality programs at Connecticut College has been lost. Numerous factors play into this misplacement. One of the most apparent is the absence of physical space and acknowledgment on campus that students affiliated with these communities had faced for decades prior to the establishment of the two centers.
This website is an attempt to investigate and rebuild the past, as well as provide an archival resource for the future.