Timeline of the University of Minnesota's
Gender and Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans Life

Fall of 1990

After lobbying by the University Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Network (UGLBN, now the Queer Student Cultural Center), University of Minnesota President Nils Hasselmo established a Select Committee on Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Concerns to investigate "the campus climate as experienced by lesbians, gays, and bisexuals."  Funding for the committee came from the Universtiy Senate and UGLBN through a Philanthrofund (now PFund Foundation) grant.

Particular concerns arose regarding:

  • Conflicts across the University's equal opportunity policy & ROTC exclusion of gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals
  • Inequity in University benefits for gay and lesbian families
  • Increase in violence directed against gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals on campus

November 1, 1993

The Select Committee published its final findings in a report entitled "Breaking The Silence."  It made 5 recommendations to address discrimination of LGBTQIA people at the U of M:

  • Establish a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) Programs Office
  • Provide a full benefits and privileges package for the families and children of gay and lesbian employees
  • Establish a Gay and Lesbian Studies Program
  • Develop educational programming on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender issues and concerns
  • Update all printed publications and materials to reflect diversity in sexual orientation

December 1993

The GLBT Programs Office was founded with its inaugural director, Beth Zemsky.  The U of M was the 9th collegiate institution in the Midwest to establish such an office, and the 1st such office with "Transgender" in its name.

June 2006

The GLBT Programs Office becomes GLBTA Programs Office.  "Ally" was added to the office's name in recognition of the importance of allies to the GLBT community. 

July 2009

The GLBTA Programs Office, along with 2 other units from the Office for Equity and Diversity, moved from Klaeber Court to the central East Bank location of Appleby Hall in an effort to be more visible and accessible to students, employees, and campus community members across the University of Minnesota.

May 2016

Starting in the spring of 2015, the GLBTA Programs Office staff began the task of working to change our name. While we continue to serve gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and allied people, we recognize the need to change our name to better reflect a broader community and to highlight currently unrecognized constituents in our communities: queer people and people with diverse and gender non-conforming gender identities. A rapidly growing number of students identify with queer or trans, and our name should reflect the language of the people we serve. This name was further vetted through our recent external review peocess in March 2016. We have now arrived at our new name - The Gender and Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans Life.


More information about the history of the GSC.



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