Graduate Queer Alliance Promotes a More Inclusive Scientific Community

Contributor
Graduate Division

Founded in 2014 to provide a social community and professional space for LGBTQA scientists, the Graduate Queer Alliance (GQA) is a new organization for LGBTQ and allied graduate students and post-doctoral fellows at UCSF. GQA events focus on the relationship between careers in science, sexual orientation and gender identity.

OUT in Science, our inaugural event, took place in May 2014 in collaboration with the UCSF LGBT Resource Center and the Gladstone Institutes. The event consisted of a panel of five prominent LGBT scientists from UCSF, Stanford and Genentech. The panelists shared personal stories of coming out as lesbian, gay or transgender to their fellow scientists, and they discussed how their life experiences influenced their career paths and subsequent perceptions within the scientific community. In August, the GQA organized a group outing at the Church of 8 Wheels for LGBT Roller Disco Night.

The GQA has many exciting events coming up as we embark upon our first full year as a campus organization. On October 3rd, the GQA will be hosting a meet-and-greet picnic to welcome incoming and returning LGBT students, post-docs and allies. The picnic will take place at 4pm on Mission Bay’s Koret Quad. Other GQA social events this year will include game nights, happy hours and progressive dinners.

Additionally, as a part of the GQA’s goal to promote awareness and outreach, the GQA hopes to better educate the scientific community about LGBT issues, as well as mentor local high school and undergraduate LGBT groups about careers in science. Being at the intersection of the scientific and LGBT communities positions the GQA to make exciting and important contributions to the UCSF community. The GQA is proud to be a part of the Bay Area’s long history as a hub for both LGBT activism and scientific innovation.