At the LGBTIQA+ Speaker Series’ 12th year at the UNC LGBTQ Center, the goal is for graduate and undergraduate students alike to learn and grow from the presentations and discussions proposed.
The LGBTQ Center is designed to be a safe place for open discussion about LGBTQ+ issues. Graduate and professional students across all disciplines doing research on gender topics and sexual orientation are invited to be presenters in the LGBTIQA+ Speaker Series.
The series is open to the general public, regardless of the presenters' or audiences' sexual orientation or gender identity. Graduate students write dissertations and conduct research that can be presented to an academic audience. However, when it comes to LGBTQ+ research, some students see a space like the LGBTQ Center as a more inviting and better place to practice. The LGBTQ+ series was started in 2007, and it has continued to grow and change under the leadership of Terri Phoenix.
Phoenix, the director of the LGBTQ Center at UNC, said the series was created so that people doing LGBTQ+ research could come together in an inclusive and safe place. The series is but one of the goals and initiatives of the LGBTQ Center.
“I really want to create a community of people who are both creating and consuming research about LGBTIQA people,” Phoenix said.