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Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Roundtable Discussion Marks Continued Fight for LGBTQ+ Inclusive Housing

The Georgetown University Student Association (GUSA), Queer People of Color (QPOC) and Georgetown University Pride (GU Pride) co-hosted the latest installment of ongoing talks about LGBTQ+ inclusive housing on campus at a Feb. 15 roundtable discussion.


The round-table discussion focused on the possibility of an affinity space, living-learning community (LLC) or house for LGBTQ+ students, similar to The Black House, a dedicated space for students of color, and La Casa Latina, a space for members of the Latinx community. GU Pride, a student organization for LGBTQ+ students, has been involved in discussions with the administration and students about creating more inclusive housing on campus. 


Liam Moynihan (SFS ’25), former president of GU Pride and the club’s director of advocacy, said that Georgetown’s current housing system limits nonbinary students’ choices of roommates, which often places them in uncomfortable situations.


“You get told you can either live with men or you can live with women, or maybe you can live alone depending on the availability of a single. But particularly living alone is far from guaranteed,” Moynihan told The Hoya. “It’s presented as totally my choice, but what do I have to choose between?”


Moynihan said that even transgender students who identify within the gender binary may be put in uncomfortable or dangerous situations, particularly when being randomly assigned a roommate.


“With any kind of random assignment, you have no idea if a roommate is going to be transphobic,” Moynihan said. “It’s a very sensitive identity to have in terms of living in a space with another person.” 


“Even for trans students able to live in a space with the gender they identify as, there are a lot of difficulties that arise with regards to safety and feeling comfortable and at home in your space,” Moynihan added.


Marre Gaffigan (CAS ’26), who identifies as nonbinary, said that living with other transgender or nonbinary students would create an immediate sense of community that is key for cultivating a safe living environment.


“Even in any other sector of the LGBTQ community, gender identity and expression kind of exists within its own vein,” Gaffigan told The Hoya. “Being able to connect with people who, in one way or another, know what that’s like, it’s incomparable to living with someone who likes the same TV shows as you.”


Moynihan said GU Pride wants to change the housing system to make residential living on campus safer and more inclusive through changes such as the ability to add an “X” gender marker, eliminating the requirement of students to choose a binary gender and requests for private bathrooms and single rooms. They said that GU Pride has been advocating for changes to the housing process since last March.


Gaffigan said that adding another gender option to the living preferences questionnaire is a bare minimum for them.


“It shouldn’t even be up for debate, I shouldn’t have to just put ‘other’ under ‘Are you male, female or other?’” Gaffigan told The Hoya. “That’s just not enough.” 


GU Pride’s letter also requests that Residential Living designate a staff member to have the responsibility of managing gender-related accommodation requests. 


Moynihan said that the current process requires students to send a general email to Residential Living and forces them to share sensitive information with someone they do not necessarily know.


“You just have to hope that it’s someone inclusive, who really cares and has some level of understanding, that they’re the one who sees the email,” Moynihan said. “You’re putting that information out, but you have no idea who has access to the email, which I imagine is quite a few people.” 


A university spokesperson said that staff members on the Residential Living team undergo frequent training about fostering inclusive spaces.


Georgetown University is committed to creating an inclusive, safe, and welcoming campus for all members of our community across all gender and sexual identities,” the spokesperson wrote to The Hoya. “Inclusivity also is a core value of the Office of Residential Living. Staff engage in regular, ongoing training and learning around gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.”


“Staff are prepared to respond to the various needs of students, including referral to affirming processes and supportive resources,” the spokesperson added. 


Gaffigan said that affinity spaces and gender-inclusive housing are essential for creating a safe and welcoming environment for transgender and nonbinary students.


“You’re already going to be taking classes with people of different gender identities, abilities, race, ethnicity and political positions,” Gaffigan said. “You want your home to be a safe place, and I feel like that’s not a crazy thing to think.”

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