A perception of homogeneity within GU Pride has led students to found two new discussion groups for students who are part of less prominent components of the LGBTQ community.
The Queer Women’s Collective and a discussion group for transgender students invite students with a relationship to each identity to discuss issues more specific to their experiences.
“[GU Pride] is still a very male-dominated group, and that would get frustrating because it didn’t feel like a space that was entirely welcoming to everyone,” said Queer Women’s Collective founder Meghan Ferguson (COL ’15), a former president of GU Pride. “There were very few women involved coming to meetings and events.”
Lexi Dever (COL ’16) saw a similar need for a space for transgender students.
“This support group needs to be present so that people who struggle with such identity issues have somewhere to go and people to talk to,” Dever said.
This focus on specific identities differs from the goals of GU Pride, which encompasses the entire LGBTQ community.
“Pride is a big umbrella community, whereas they’re allowed to advocate on specific issues all the time. I think [separation] is a very good, healthy thing,” GU Pride President Thomas Lloyd (SFS ’15) said. “I think that they support the community in ways that Pride can’t always do because we do have to support all aspects of the community at all times.”
Though he acknowledged the need for more focused LGBTQ groups, Lloyd refuted some of the criticism that GU Pride is gay male-centric, pointing to the fact that four of 10 board members are female. During his term, Lloyd has pushed for greater collaboration with other student groups and for events focusing on socio-economic status, race, gender identity and ableism, among other issues.
“I still think that the notion that GU Pride, institutionally, is gay male-dominated is kind of unfair,” Lloyd said. “Pride has increasingly in the last year moved more and more to be as large a tent as possible.”
These discussion groups focus less on Pride’s public activism and more on support for members.
“[Pride is] very much the out ‘Let’s go wave flags in Red Square,’ which can be a turn-off to some people who maybe aren’t comfortable being out yet,” Ferguson said. “I would hope that [the discussion group] is kind of more approachable in that sense to people for whom Pride isn’t appealing for that reason.”
Though the Queer Women’s Collective is more focused than GU Pride, it will not be limited to women who identify as gay.
“We specifically want this group to be open to not only queer women but people who identify as maybe gender queer or anyone who has at any point in their lives identified with woman or female or girl in any way,” Ferguson said. “That way, it’s a space that’s inclusive to everyone, including people who may not necessarily feel specifically attached to the label woman or even man at that point.”
The small size of each group has facilitated an intimate atmosphere for discussion.
“It’s a small community, and there hasn’t been much demand for it,” Dever said of the transgender discussion group. “Now that we have that community, we’re really pushing to help the transgender community as much as possible at Georgetown.”
To Dever, this could lead to some kind of education down the line as well.
“There’s generally positive reaction towards trans rights and such,” Dever said. “Most people are on board with that, but most people are not as well educated about it and don’t know everything about transgender issues.”
Both groups will tailor their goals to whatever will benefit their members.
“I would just like this to be a space where people can use it for their own needs,” Ferguson said. 

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