Gallaudet University recently hired its first full-time staff member to coordinate an expanded Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning and Ally (LGBTQA) Resource Center that was created in 2011 with little notice beyond the university’s Northeast Washington campus.
Kaitlin Luna, the university’s Coordinator of Media and Public Relations, said faculty and administrators at the nationally acclaimed college for the deaf and hard of hearing have recognized similarities between the deaf and LGBT communities.
“The Deaf Community and the LGBTQA Community have many parallels,” Luna said in an email to the Blade. “Both have fought discrimination, oppression, and misconception and both are making strides toward equality.”
Cara Miller, who received her doctorate degree in clinical psychology at Gallaudet in 2011 and was named coordinator of the LGBTQA Resource Center in February of this year, told the Blade in a separate email that the Center has expanded its reach since its founding in 2011.
“Previously the Center was voluntarily staffed by students who went above and beyond to seek resources and offer LGBTQA programming, on top of attending to their academic responsibilities,” she said.
According to Miller, although students have played a key role in the operation of the Center it has always been a university program operating out of the Office of Diversity and Equity for Students (ODES).
It’s currently located in ODES suite of offices in Hall Memorial Building and includes a lounge called The Hangout, Miller said.