newsshenandoah university observe lgbtq history month

Shenandoah University to observe LGBTQ+ History Month

shenandoah-uThroughout the month of October, the Shenandoah University Gender & Women’s Studies Program will host a series of events in celebration of LGBTQ+ History Month.

This series of events is presented in partnership with the Office of Academic Affairs, Intercultural Programs, and the Public Health, Religion, and Film Studies programs. All events are free and open to the public, and will be held on the university’s main campus (1460 University Drive, Winchester, Virginia).


Beyond the Vigil: Religion, Sexuality and Safe Spaces
Thursday, Oct. 6, 7 p.m., Henkel Hall, Hester Auditorium

The shooting at Pulse nightclub during the summer of 2016 in Orlando, Florida, resurfaced questions about the relationship between sexual expression, ethnicity, religious commitment and the nature of safe space.

This panel draws together scholars and community leaders for a discussion that gestures toward the importance of dialogue across difference and its continued relevance in our increasingly fractured world. The panel is sponsored by the Gender & Women’s Studies and Religion programs. Moderator: Shenandoah University Assistant Professor of Religion Meredith Minister.

Panelists include:

  • Sarah J. Bloesch, visiting assistant professor of religious studies, Elon University
  • Alex Carney, Shenandoah University student
  • Jessica Clawson, co-owner of the Hideaway Cafe, a designated safe space in Winchester, Virginia
  • SherAli Tareen, Ph.D., assistant professor of religious studies, Franklin & Marshall College


National Coming Out Day
Wednesday, Oct. 12, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Brandt Student Center

Recognition of National Coming Out Day at Shenandoah University includes an information table from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Brandt Student Center, where you can learn more about coming out and how to support others when they come out. Find resources, check out the display, and enjoy free rainbow fruit kabobs. Questions? Contact Associate Director of Student Engagement for Intercultural Programs Maggie McCampbell Lien at 540/535-3531 or [email protected].


Blurred Lines: Sex, Gender and Health
Thursday, Oct. 13, 7 p.m., Halpin-Harrison Hall, Stimpson Auditorium

The transition of an American icon from male to female, as well as recent legislation and legal cases regarding the use of public restrooms have increased the public awareness of transgender issues. Furthermore, clinicians, public health researchers, and government officials have become increasingly aware of the unique health concerns experienced by the LGBTQ+ community, yet substantial misinformation persists in the general population.

This panel draws together health professionals and community members for a discussion of the issues of sex versus gender and the implications on health. The panel is sponsored by the Public Health Program and the Division of Physical Therapy. Facilitator: Shenandoah University Associate Professor of Public Health Audra Gollenberg, Ph.D.

Panelists include:

  • Karen Abraham, Ph.D., fellow for academic excellence and professor of physical therapy, Shenandoah University
  • Mary McCoy, M.D., maternal fetal medicine specialist, Shenandoah Valley Maternal Fetal Medicine
  • Shellie Selove, LPC, LMFT, CST, a local psychotherapist with certification in sex therapy
  • Laurie West, community member


When Love Transcends Gender: Screening of “Boy Meets Girl”
Thursday, Oct. 20, 7 p.m., Halpin-Harrison Hall, Stimpson Auditorium

“Boy Meets Girl” (2015) is a love story for our times. Set in Kentucky, this non-traditional romantic comedy explores love, friendship and gender identity. According to, “The film has got an undeniable spirit all its own…daring, new, and exciting…”. A winner of nine awards at the 2014 Film Out Festival, this film is not rated. The screening is sponsored by the Film Studies Program. Questions? Contact Lin Rong San Chair in Communications and Professor of Mass Communications at[email protected].


LGBTQ+ History Month Finale
Thursday, Oct. 27, 7 p.m., Health and Life Science Building, Halpin Rotunda

As LGBTQ+ History Month comes to an end, Shenandoah students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the local community, are invited to gather to recognize the ways in which we celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.

Meet members of the Safe Zone program, a network of people who affirm and support sexual and gender diversity; hear from community members as they speak about and express their experiences being part of this community; learn how our conversations and celebrations will continue far beyond LGBTQ+ History Month. This event is sponsored by the Division of Student Life and Spectrum, a Shenandoah University outreach program for the university’s LGBTQ+ community, which promotes safety, education and acceptance.

Questions? Contact Director of the Gender & Women’s Studies Program and Professor of Comparative Literature Petra Schweitzer, Ph.D., at [email protected] or Associate Director of Student Engagement for Intercultural Programs Maggie McCampbell Lien at [email protected].



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