In the Fall of 2007, students at Georgetown organized the Out for Change campaign. The campaign led to the formation of the Working Groups, whose reports can be found here. Sivagami "Shiva" Subbaraman was hired as the first Director of the Center in July, 2008 and the Center formally opened its doors in Aug 2008.
It seems necessary to mark President DeGioia's historic town hall meeting in response to student demands, and the establishment of a fully-funded and staffed LGBTQ Resource Center on the Hilltop. It had been a long journey to that moment, and like all such journeys, many roads led to that moment: roads paved with dreams—dreams lost; dreams won; dreams unraveled; dreams re-woven. The discernment and dialogue have continued and served as the Center’s touchstone since we opened our doors on August 26, 2008. Central to our vision is the belief that LGBTQ identities and communities are best understood in the context of all other identities and communities, and we draw upon our Jesuit values and understandings as we seek to model a unique way to build a Center that is truly integrative and integrated in its work.
Much of the Center’s work has been guided by the recommendations that emerged from the three Working Group reports on Resources, Education & Outreach, and Reporting and these have served as a road map in our “ways of proceeding.” In these first 14 months more than 80% of the chief recommendations have either been implemented in full, or the infrastructure for them has been established. As we move forward in our second year, we continue to build depth—weaving richer tapestries and adding layers to our understanding and modeling on how to do LGBTQ work thoughtfully in the wider contexts of diversity, inclusion, and faith in higher education.
Like many LGBTQ Centers, we grew out of individuals dedicated to serving our LGBTQ students' needs. Prior to 2003, members of our long-standing LGBT Working Group, worked with individual students as needs arose. From 2003, Chuck Van Sant in Student Affairs served as a half-time interim coordinator for LGBTQ Community Resources; and Bill McCoy served in a dual position from 2004-2008 as Coordinator of LGBTQ Community Resources and Assistant Director of Student Organizations. The creation of the Center as a standalone department in the Division of Student Affairs, with full institutional funding and support, and two full time professional staff serving the needs of students, staff, faculty, and alumni was uniquely structured to be thoughtful regarding Georgetown's Jesuit and Catholic Identity. The LGBTQ Resource Center officially opened its doors in this latest incarnation on August 26, 2008. The first director of the Resource Center, Sivagami Subbaraman, still holds the position today. The current Assistant Director, Julian Haas, joined the center in August of 2014. Matt LeBlanc held the position of Program Coordinator from 2009-2013, and Bridget Sherry Laizer served as Special Projects Coordinator from 2013 - 2014.