Student life at Wellesley is distinguished by its openness, a quality appreciated by all students. LGBTQ+ students at Wellesley participate in all 200+ official student organizations, enroll in all majors, and live in all parts of campus.
Wellesley’s openly queer alumnae carry this diversity of experience forward into the wider world, where they can be found working in public health (Ophelia Dahl DS ’94, president and executive director of Partners In Health), documentary film (Academy Award-winner Debra Chasnoff ’78, president and senior producer at Groundspark), arts and entertainment (Sarah Warn ’96, founder, and Malinda Lo ’96, former managing editor of afterellen.com), and even right on the Wellesley campus.
Any student may choose to take courses like the Cinema and Media Studies Department’s Contemporary Queer Cinema; the several queer literature courses in the English department; or other political science, women’s and gender studies, sociology, or economics courses explicitly about the LGBTQ+ experience.
LGBTQ+ students and allies may participate in lectures, social events, and other programming for the Wellesley community—or just attend them. Highlights include National Coming Out Day, Transgender Day of Remembrance, Transgender Day of Visibility and National Day of Silence; and — of course — Dyke Ball is a Wellesley Tradition that originated as a party for those who could not attend their high school prom with their desired date. Now the party is attended by everyone — gay, straight, female, male ...it's sold out every year with more than 1,000 people dancing the night away in Tishman Commons.
Meanwhile, members of the LGBTQ+ community can also be found in College Government and playing team sports, writing for campus publications and sitting on the Multifaith Council, singing for a capella groups and burning the midnight oil in the Science Center.
Wellesley for Equality provides the political counterpart to Spectrum. Originally founded during the campaign to legalize gay marriage in Massachusetts, Wellesley for Equality branched out into work around the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” ongoing advocacy for transgender rights, and working for an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), among other areas.
Whether you have been out of the closet since your middle-school days, are beginning to question your sexual orientation, or are a friend to those who are, there is support for you in the Wellesley community.
Providing a comfortable, supportive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and intersex students and their allies is indicative of Wellesley’s serious commitment to nurturing our community’s diversity. After the film screenings, lectures, and social events, the main result of this goal becomes clear: Regardless of your interests, your background, or your sexual orientation, you will find your niche at Wellesley.