This June, we celebrate Pride Month by commemorating and lifting up the voices and stories of remarkable individuals whose groundbreaking efforts have forged a path forward in the ongoing struggle for LGBTQIA+ rights and visibility. Asserting who you are should not take bravery and courage, but it does today, as hate speech and hate crimes continue to threaten safety and well-being, while at the same time, LGBTQIA+ rights face assault in statehouses and courtrooms across the U.S.
Here at Antioch University, our institution’s commitment to social justice is a spur for us to remain steadfast in confronting historical injustices while proactively providing support and working to dismantle systems of erasure—and always to advocate for inclusive futures. Which is why today we are drawing attention to fourteen stories of students, alumni, faculty, and staff who themselves identify as LGBTQIA+ or are working to support and raise up the voices of these communities. These Antiochians are sowing the seeds of futures where diversity of gender and sexuality is affirmed and normalized.
This work continues also in the core work of our university: Antioch’s academic programs. For over a decade, the COLORS program in Los Angeles has provided free, affirming therapy to LGBTQIA+ youth under 25 and their families. In 2006, Antioch became the first university to offer LGBT-Affirmative Psychology Specialization. This groundbreaking program pushes the boundaries of mental health education and services by equipping students with the necessary knowledge and skills to employ more effective techniques in LGBT-affirmative psychotherapy. In New England, our Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is the first in the country to offer a Certificate in Trans-Affirmative Clinical Practice. And students and faculty in that program have founded CMHC Spectrum, a group that works to raise awareness about LGBTQIA+ issues by encouraging Antiochian clinicians to become involved in preventative healthcare that begins with advocacy.
At Antioch, our commitment to honoring Pride Month and celebrating the people and events that shaped and continue shaping the LGBTQIA+ movement extends far beyond the designated month of June. The fabric of Antioch is its many voices, and the stories below show the invaluable contributions and the visionary work of our alumni, faculty, and students in effecting change by advocating for a future where self-expression and identity have as many nuanced colors as there are people.