Duluth, MN — The University of Minnesota Board of Regents has approved a new LGBTQ minor, to be offered at UMD beginning in the fall of 2015. UMD is the first university in Greater Minnesota to offer this program.
Faculty members in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies spent two years developing the LGBTQ minor. They did so, in part, to reflect their recently renamed department (it changed from “Women’s Studies” to “Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies” in 2012), but the stronger impetus was to demonstrate UMD’s commitment to an inclusive campus. “Offering the LGBTQ minor is a real indicator of what the campus climate is like,” explains Assistant Professor George Hoagland, who was instrumental in its creation. “When these programs are available, it makes a statement that this is important to us.”
Junior Lee Hansen, who’s pursuing a double major in Criminology and Women, Gender and Sexuality, says the LGBTQ minor is applicable to her degree and to her life, calling it ‘visible inclusion on an institutional level.’ “This sends the right message to queer students. If a group isn’t legitimized by an institution, even though we are very legitimate, then others are never going to see them as legitimate.”
The minor focuses on the history, politics, and cultures of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex identities and perspectives. Courses explore the diversity of LGBT communities, the history and present conditions of sexual identity formation, and the functioning and institutionalization of ideologies of sexuality in a democratic society.