Director’s Letter Summer 2016
Dear Sexuality Studies Students,
As we all continue to come to terms with the tragedy in Orlando this weekend, I write as Director of the Program in Sexuality Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill to briefly state a few things that I consider to be extremely important.
First and foremost, I want to be sure that you know that faculty affiliated with the Program in Sexuality Studies understand especially well just how profoundly upsetting and disturbing these events can be. We also understand just how confusing the experience of these events can be.
Second, I write to remind you that, in the long march of things, assaults on the LGBTQ community in the United States since the late 1960s have tended to ultimately result in our further progress toward full citizenship, as well as in our increased visibility.
Third, I remind you that there are resources available to you on this campus. If you need help being appropriately directed to any such resources, please do not hesitate to contact the campus LGBTQ Center along with the other campus offices that exist to provide UNC-CH students with support–as mentioned in Chancellor Folt’s informational message to the entire campus community yesterday.
Finally, I ask that you please remember the absolutely crucial importance, going forward, of research and teaching that specifically records, investigates, and explores the unique aspects of LGBTQ lives with the thorough attentivity to these matters that is now warranted more clearly than ever before. Please remember, going forward, the absolutely crucial importance of LGBTQ-specific knowledge in all of its forms. This includes not only knowledge about the unique nature of the challenges that we face and have faced, but also knowledge about the uniquely creative and uniquely effective communal as well as individual survival strategies that we have invented for ourselves–and will continue to invent for ourselves. There is already significant faculty expertise of this sort available to you on this campus, in many of its different forms, through this academic program as well as through the various other units and initiatives with which this program is linked. I hope that you will all make full and creative use of these developing academic resources as meets your individual needs and interests, and that you will encourage other students to do the same.
As always, faculty affiliated with the Program in Sexuality Studies are happy to talk not only with those students who Minor in Sexuality Studies, but also with all of the other UNC-CH students whose academic, intellectual, professional, and educational interests and needs this program was created, in 2004, to more fully and effectively address.
Director, Program in Sexuality Studies