Campus News

LGBT Campus Center to adopt more inclusive name

UW-Madison's LGBT Campus Center will change its name to the Gender and Sexuality Spectrum Center.

Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger

After adding a “T” in the late 1990s, UW-Madison’s LGBT Campus Center plans to evolve again with a fresh name — Gender and Sexuality Spectrum Center.

According to a proposal shared on the LGBTCC Facebook page, the conversation surrounding this change has been ongoing for several years. Staff members felt this year — the center’s 25th birthday — was the right time.

“While we continue to serve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, and many more students who use an array of other language for their own identities and experiences, we recognize the need to change our name to better reflect a broader community and allow for growth of language and emerging identities across the spectrums of gender and sexuality,” the report said.

The process to come up with the name started with collaboration between LGBTCC staff and campus partners, along with research into similar university centers.

Future stages in the name-change process include presenting the report to campus and community stakeholders. They will also collect feedback through surveys, forms and drop-in feedback sessions throughout December. LGBTCC will be replaced with GSSC in their logo in February, and the name will be formally introduced at Rainbow Graduation in May.

Along with “flexibility” the new name brings, the report said one reason for the shift is the “highlighting” of transgender lives that will come with the name shift.

“We want to … uplift trans lives especially as statistics show the risk for violence, health disparities, and other forms of discrimination are consistently highest amongst transgender and gender non-conforming individuals and communities, especially trans women of color,” the report said.

The report recognized potential limitations with the name as well. It said every diverse identity cannot be encapsulated by a name, but they will “continue to promote space for individuals and communities to self-­identify with words that best represent and validate one’s identity.”

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