Building an inclusive campus: Pride Month at UNC Charlotte

building an inclusive campus
Thursday, June 3, 2021

On June 28, 1969, LGBTQ+ patrons of the Stonewall Inn in New York City’s Greenwich Village fought back against a targeted police raid in what would come to be recognized as a pivotal moment in the modern LGBTQ+ movement. The next summer, organizers planned New York City’s first Pride march to build on the momentum of the Stonewall riots.  

Over 50 years later, across the country, including in Charlotte and at UNC Charlotte, we continue this tradition by celebrating Pride Month in June.

“Our LGBTQ+ communities and the overall diversity at UNC Charlotte contributes significantly to the overall strength of the University,” said Cheryl Waites Spellman, interim special assistant to the chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion. “Dedicated groups on campus and throughout the greater Charlotte community work to educate, uplift and serve LGBTQ+ members of the student body, faculty and staff, providing individuals with the resources they need to succeed academically, professionally and in every aspect of their lives. While we lift up these efforts particularly during Pride Month, we are dedicated year round to supporting and highlighting the accomplishments of our LGBTQ communities.”

The following resources, available on- and off-campus, outline services designed specifically to meet the needs of LGBTQ+ members of Niner Nation: 

Campus Resources

Center for Counseling and Psychological Services

  • Healing and Empowerment Gatherings – Healing and Empowerment Gatherings bring awareness of the impact of oppressive experiences on mental health and provide coping strategies for students experiencing culturally based trauma.
  • Queer and/or Trans Students of Color (QTSOC) Conversations – Attendees utilize this meeting space to share community with one another, discuss mental health concerns and process the general challenges of navigating life as a student with these marginalized and intersecting identities. Attendees have an opportunity to interact and receive resources from CAPS staff and other campus partners.
  • OUTspoken – This speaker series focuses on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) issues. 
  • True Selves – This supportive group is designed for individuals who identify within the LGBTQ+ community or who use other labels or choose not to identify with a label to express their sexual or gender fluidity. Together they will create a safe place to discuss identities, community, coming out, self-esteem, relationships, sexuality, the “isms” and other topics of interest.

Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Office of Identity, Equity, and Engagement

  • Carolina Conference on Queer Youth – Held in October each year, this one-day conference offers a unique opportunity for area representatives to network, dialogue and organize around issues important to the healthy development of LGBTQ+ youth.
  • For Us: A QTBIPOC Student Space – For Us: A QTBIPOC Student Space is student-run and centers on LGBTQ+ students who also identify as BIPOC and/or multiracial. 
  • Friendly Peer Training – The Friendly Peer Training Program provides introductory information about the queer and trans community. All undergraduate and graduate students are welcome.
  • Lavender Graduation – Lavender Graduation is a ceremony that centers LGBTQIA+ and allied graduating students and their accomplishments.
  • Lavender Lounge – The Lavender Lounge is a student-centered space that is open to LGBTQIA+ students and their allies. The lounge is a place where students can be their authentic selves,  where they don’t have to worry about the world's norms.
  • LGBTQIA+ Community Chats – LGBTQIA+ Community Chats is an educational and community based program intended for LGBTQIA+ identified students. 
  • QY1 – Queer Year 1 (QY1) is a bi-weekly cohort-based program that engages first year LGBTQ+ students through community building and intentional dialogue, and connects students to both campus and community resources.
  • Rainbow Racket – Rainbow Racket is an art showcase for LGBTQIA+ students and their allies that encourages them to express themselves in any way, either through art, poetry, spoken word or  their heart's desire. 
  • Safe Zone – The purpose of the Safe Zone Program at UNC Charlotte is to create an affirming and supportive campus climate.

Womens and Gender Studies Department

Programs, Groups and Organizations

  • LGBTQ+ Staff and Faculty Caucus – A collective of LGBTQ+ students, staff, faculty, and allies at UNCC working to achieve social justice through intersectional dialogue, engagement, and action.
  • Queer Yoga CLT – Queer Yoga Charlotte is an inclusive yoga group for all LGBTQIA+, Trans, Nonbinary, Queer, Gender Nonconforming, Questioning, and/or allies students here at UNCC.

Additional Campus Resources

  • Charlotte Queer Oral History Project – The Charlotte Queer Oral History Project was established as a community-based project to capture oral histories of LGBTQ+ people from Charlotte and its surrounding counties.
  • Gender Affirming Housing – This website provides information on gender affirming housing options at UNC Charlotte. 
  • King-Henry-Brockington LGBTQ Archive: Oral Histories and Publications – In 2013, the Multicultural Resource Center and the J. Murrey Atkins Library partnered to establish a local LGBTQ archive focusing specifically on Charlotte and the surrounding community.
  • The Nila and Stokley Bailey PFLAG Scholarship – The scholarship seeks to recognize outstanding students who are members of the LGBTQ+ community, or who actively work within the community, and to encourage continuing education in order to foster a positive image of gay and lesbian people in society.
  • Trans at UNC Charlotte – A campus-wide partnership operated out of the Office of Identity, Equity, and Engagement, the purpose of this website is to provide basic information, policies and support resources for trans students on UNC Charlotte's campus.
  • Preferred First Name – This website gives step-by-step instructions for how to submit or update your preferred first name for University use (49er ID card, in emails, in classrooms). 
  • Pronouns – The Office of Identity, Equity and Engagement’s page on pronouns explains how they are used and why they are important. 

Community Resources

  • Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce –  The Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce creates a safe space for LGBTQ business owners and professionals to network safely without being labeled within the community.
  • Carolina Transgender Society – The Carolina Transgender Society provides a private, secure location for crossdressing and transgender people to be safe and accepted, to share, learn, grow and generally be comfortable.
  • Charlotte Transgender Health Group – The Charlotte Transgender Health Care Group provides healthcare workers and trans individuals with educational resources on transgender health issues. 
  • Charlotte Pride – Charlotte Pride presents and collaborates on programs, projects and activities to boost LGBTQ visibility.  
  • Charlotte Black Pride – The Mission of Charlotte Black Pride is to promote LGBTQIA pride primarily for, but not limited to, members of the Black community while building social awareness, embracing spirituality and celebrating the diversity that exists within their community.
  • Charlotte Latin Pride – Charlotte Latin Pride works to create activities and events to enrich, strengthen and empower the Latinx LGBTQ community in Charlotte and the Carolinas.
  • Charlotte Trans Pride – Charlotte Trans Pride seeks to provide expanded support for transgender members of the community, opportunities for social networking, awareness and education events as well as community and leadership development initiatives to benefit current and up-and-coming transgender leaders.
  • Charlotte LGBTQ Elders – Charlotte LGBTQ Elders serves as a resource for LGBTQ elders in our community ages 55+.
  • Equality NC – Equality NC is dedicated to securing rights and protections for the LGBTQ community.
  • Levine Children’s Center for Gender Health – Levine Children’s Center for Gender Health supports every aspect of gender identity for individuals up to 25 years old, including a variety of services and treatments.
  • Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) Charlotte – PFLAG Charlotte supports families, allies and people who are LGBTQ+, educates members and others about challenges facing LGBTQ+ individuals, and advocates in communities for a more equitable future for all.
  • Time Out Youth – Time Out Youth Center offers support, advocacy and opportunities for personal development and social interaction to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth ages 11-20.
  • Transcend Charlotte -– Transcend Charlotte’s mission is to pursue equity and social justice for transgender and gender expansive communities through education, advocacy, mental health and social support services.

Crisis Support Lines

  • Trevor Project (866-488-7386) – The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer adn questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.
  • Trans LifeLine (877-565-8860) –  Trans Lifeline is a grassroots hotline offering direct emotional and financial support to trans people in crisis – for the trans community, by the trans community.
  • LGBT National Help Center (888-843-4564) – The LGBT National Help Center, founded in 1996, provides vital peer-support, community connections and resource information to people with questions regarding sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Thank you to the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services and the Office of Identity, Equity, and Engagement for their time, expertise and contributions. Resource descriptions have been edited for length and clarity.