LGBTQIA+

Contact us

Division for Inclusive Excellence
(804) 828-8947
inclusive@vcu.edu

In concert with campus-wide advisory groups, departments and organizations, the Division for Inclusive Excellence works to promote awareness of the lives of LGBTQIA+ individuals and to challenge bias and intolerance.

The Division supports educational programs for the LGBTQIA+ community, its allies and the general campus community.

We at VCU make inclusion real by creating institutionalized permanent structures guided by principles of Inclusive Excellence. It is our goal to meet the needs of VCU’s Campus. Search this site for a range of available programs, activities, resources and services at VCU and in the greater Richmond community.

Join the public directory of LGBTQIA+ staff and faculty, VCU Rainbow Rams Directory, to foster and support community at VCU. 

Please download our Campus Pride Update Vol. 1

VCU LGBTQIA+ Historical Timeline +

Stemming from the LGBTQ Task Force Report published in 2016, please download a PDF of the VCU LGBTQIA+ Historical Timeline here.

LGBTQIA+ Events +

Many events central to the LGBTQIA+ Community are scheduled here at VCU.

Queer Coffee Hour: Happens on the first Tuesday of every month from 10am-12pm in the OMSA office! Join us for free coffee, fun, and friends.

LGBTQIA+ Discussion group: This group will offer lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning students a place to discuss gender and sexual identity exploration within a safe and supportive atmosphere. All are welcome, especially first year students and those new to the LGBTQIA+ community. This is not a therapy group. All LGBTQIA+ Discussion group meets weekly on Mondays from 2:00pm - 3:30pm in the Student Commons- Metro Room.

Lavender Empowerment Summit: This summit works to empower LGBTQIA+ students to become leaders both individually and in the community. It provides a safe space to share experiences and learn about issues within the LGBTQIA+ community and how to raise awareness about them to others.

LGBT Burnside Watstein Award: The Burnside Watstein Award is given annually to recognize individuals who enrich the sense of community at VCU and make a significant difference in the lives of LGBTQ faculty, staff and students. For more information, contact Camilla Hill at (804) 828-6672 or hillcl2@vcu.edu. 

Lavender Graduation: VCU hosts Lavender Graduation, a ceremony that celebrates the achievements of graduating gender and sexual orientation minority students and their allies.All students who participate receive a rainbow cord to wear with their academic regalia during Commencement activities and are invited to join the LGBT and Allies Alumni Chapter. For more information, contact the Lavender Graduation Committee at lavgrad@vcu.edu.

For more information on LGBTQIA-centered and other diversity events, please visit our events calendar.

Connect +

Campus Organizations

VCU LGBTQIA+ Resource Professionals: Camilla HillParis PrinceKaylin Tingle

Add your name and information to the VCU Rainbow Rams Directory. The form is designed to gather information that can be shared with the broader community. The formal launch of the directory is planned for August 2017.  

Rainbow Group: University Counseling Services (UCS) facilitates Rainbow Group, a weekly LGBTQIA+ support group. UCS also provides evaluation and consultation for students on best options for mental health care, as well as short-term individual, group and couples counseling for students for whom this is clinically indicated.

QTPOC Group: the QTPOC Collective offers lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning students of color a place to discuss race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual identity exploration within a safe and supportive atmosphere. All queer people of color are welcome.

LGBTQIA+ & Allied Social Work Group: This group creates a safe space for LGBTQIA+ and allied social workers to collaborate and engage in advocacy efforts. This organization also promotes awareness of LGBTQIA+ topics within the VCU social work community through curricula building, education, and social events. Email: lgbqiaavcu@outlook.com.

MCV’s Medicine with Pride: This Medical Campus group’s mission is to advocate for sexual and gender minority students and to educate fellow classmates on LGBTQIA+ issue to beer serve patients. Email: medprideVCU@gmail.com

oSTEM at VCU: Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics is a national LGBTQIA+ arming organization that aims to provide services and support for students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and to create a dynamic network between students and professionals in industry and academia.

Queer Action: This student group’s mission centers around activism and advocacy for LGBTQIA+ students and populations for the VCU and greater Richmond area. This group meets Thursdays at 8pm in the Student Commons. Email: queeractionvcu@gmail.com.

A list of all campus organizations is provided here.

Sports Clubs, Intramural Sports and Recreational Sports Programs 

Can Everyone Play? Yes.: There’s a national movement underway. LGBTQIA+ athletes are teaming up with straight allies for respect. At VCU, faculty and staff leaders launched a survey to understand the current climate of diversity, equality and inclusiveness within our athletics teams. The findings showed a small percentage of athletes perceived a negative environment, but more than half had heard negative comments. They saw an opportunity for awareness among players and coaches. “You Can Play” launched. 

LGBTQIA+ Resources for VCU Athletics

VCU Athletics - Pride Games


Alumni

VCU Alumni Rainbow Rams
Support Alumni Rainbow Rams by making a donation.
RR Alumni Facebook

Internal Resources +

VCU has many resources and support services available, both on and off campus.

LGBTQIA+ Resource Guide

VCU Libraries LGBTQ Research Guide

Inclusive Excellence Resource Library: (LGBTQIA+ books and DVDs)

Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA): Located in the VCU Commons, the OMSA office is a resource for VCU students, faculty and staff. The primary mission of OMSA is to assist traditionally underserved and/or underrepresented student populations. OMSA provides many services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, and other gender and sexual minority (LGBTQIA+) students including the LGBTQIA+ Discussion group, Queer Coffee Hour, and a Queer and the Trans People of Color (QTPOC) Group. For more information about these programs, click here. Another great way to stay informed about programming is to join the OMSA monthly LGBTQIA+ listserv by clicking here. OMSA staff also are available to assist with resources and options and can be contacted at omsa@vcu.edu, or (804) 828-6672.

The Wellness Resource Center (“The Well”) aims to maximize student success by fostering a healthy campus environment. For LGBTQIA+ students who have experienced interpersonal violence, including sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and hate- or bias-motivated violence, The Well has confidential advocates to provide support and explore options. Students can access confidential advocacy services by walking in during normal business hours (M-Th 8:00am-4:30pm, F 10:30am-4:30pm) or calling 804.828.9355 and asking to speak with an advocate, or by emailing MyOptions@vcu.edu

Living Learning Community - Lav House: First year students planning to live on campus who are interested in a year-long LGBTQIA+ focused living experience are invited to apply to live in Lavender House in Cary and Belvidere Residence Hall. Lavender housing provides an inclusive community for LGBTQIA+ first year students to live and learn with their peers. Lavender House is a queer friendly space with monthly programs sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs focusing on LGBTQIA+ identities, history, and concerns. Students in this themed housing community are able to explore and express their whole selves, including their gender identities and sexualities, in a safe and affirming environment. Students who apply and are selected to live in Lavender House will be required to live in Cary and Belvidere Residence Hall. For more information, contact omsa@vcu.edu   

VCU's University Student Health Services is a nationally accredited health care service committed to providing high-quality outpatient care to VCU students. They offer a wide range of primary care services. Student Health has clinics on each campus and also houses an on-site pharmacy at its Monroe Park campus clinic. Laboratory services are available on both campuses for student convenience. VCU Student Health Services is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for LGBTQIA+ students.  Although hormone therapy/gender reassignment services are not available through Student Health, our providers offer primary medical care sensitive to the needs of LGBTQIA+ students. We encourage all students to be proactive and educated about their health and have many educational resources available online.                          

Equity and Access Service (EAS): EAS leads, coordinates and supports civil rights compliance, including Title IX, for VCU. EAS enforces the university's non-discrimination policies which include protection against discrimination and harassment based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

Equality VCU: Equality VCU is a collaborative, advisory, and advocacy body representing the concerns of the LGBTQIA+ community of VCU. The committee envisions a teaching, learning, and working environment where LGBTQIA+ individuals are integrated into the intellectual life and social fabric of the university, have equal access to resources and services, and receive equitable treatment as members of the VCU community. The committee also coordinates LGBTQIA+ specific events, such as the Burnside Watstein Awards and Lavender Graduation. Equality VCU's Facebook page. 

Transgender Resources

Gender and Name of Use Notification

VCU supports a culture of inclusion and respect for persons of all backgrounds and identities.  Students can notify the university that they would like to make changes to some university records regarding gender, name of use (i.e., not legal name) and other related information such as pronouns and title, by using the Student Form - Gender and Name of Use Notification. The information provided will be shared only as needed and per each student’s instructions. Please be aware that some student records must contain legal name or currently cannot be changed due to the information system. They are listed here. If a student is requesting changes based on a legal change of name, the first step is to process the legal change of name with the university. Information about processing a legal change of name with the university may be found here.  Once a student’s legal name has been changed with the university, it will be updated in the Banner system and that student can make changes to their eID, email (including name of use associated with email), VCUCard and Blackboard. For more information on these processes, please visit the Technology Services Guide for Gender and Name of Use Notification.

Restroom Map

This Restroom Is for Everyone

This map identifies the single-stall, gender-neutral restrooms on VCU’s Monroe Park and Health Sciences campuses. Generally, the restrooms listed are on the first floor of a public building and available either during business hours or 24/7 (as noted in each restroom description). You can find out which restrooms are open 24/7 and/or accessible by clicking the arrow icon below and selecting the layer that applies.

Regarding VCU’s multi-stall, gender-specific restrooms, VCU supports a culture of inclusion and respect for persons of all backgrounds and identities and respects your right to use the facility corresponding with your gender identity, in accordance with the university’s nondiscrimination policies as well as federal and state law.

For map issues, please contact University Relations
Phone: (804) 828-1463
Email: univrel@vcu.edu

For restroom facilities, please contact Facilities Management
Phone: (804) 828-9444
Email: askfmd@vcu.edu

Curricular Offerings

Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies (GSWS)

Education/Training/Workshops

Safe Zone at VCU: The Safe Zone program at VCU aims to reduce homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, and heterosexism on the VCU campus to make our campus a safer and freer environment for all members of our community regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression.. Safe Zone prepares faculty and staff through a two-hour workshop to be supportive, trustworthy, and sensitive to the needs and concerns of LGBTQIA+ people. Look for a displayed VCU Safe Zone sticker as an indicator of an ally. Encourage other faculty to attend a Safe Zone workshop and earn a sticker. You can register for a training here.

LGBT Observances

Terminology/Glossary

Tips

More Resources

View our collection of Resources.

External Resources +

Richmond Community Resources

Diversity Richmond: Diversity Richmond provides services and information about the resources available in Richmond for the LGBTQ community.

Equality Virginia: Equality Virginia is a statewide, nonpartisan lobbying, education and support network for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and straight allied communities in Virginia.

Health Brigade (Previously Known As Fan Free Clinic): Health Brigade provides an array of services to all members of the Richmond community.Services include: HIV testing, STD testing and treatment, birth control, reproductive health, physical exams, and many others. Prescriptions for hormones and Trans health primary care are also available. Call to make an appointment. Phone: (804) 358-6343

The Renewal Project: The Renewal Project is a community-based service organization providing a safe, nurturing, educational environment for high-risk individuals and people living with HIV/AIDS.

Richmond Genderqueer and Transgender Support Group (RGT): This weekly support group is for people ages 18 to 35 who identify outside of the gender binary. Whether you’re bigender, agender, genderfluid, or just know that you’re not 100% cis - this is the group for you! This group meets at 7pm on Wednesdays at Health Brigade. Phone: (804) 358-6343

Richmond Transformers: This bi-weekly support group for female-to-male (FTM) transgender individuals that meets at Health Brigade - 1010 N. Thompson Street, Richmond, VA 23230 Phone: (804) 358-6343 x 135

Side by Side (formerly ROSMY): Side by Side is available to youths, 14 to 20, who identify on the LGBTQ+ spectrum or are questioning their sexual orientation. Services include support groups, drop in hours, mentoring, and special events. Phone Support: (804) 644-4390 Adminstration: (804) 644-4800 Web: rosmy.org Email: rosmy@rosmy.org

Southerners on New Ground (SONG): SONG is a regional Queer Liberation organization made up of people of color, immigrants, undocumented people, people with disabilities, working class and rural and small town, LGBTQ people in the South.

Virginia Anti-Violence Project (VAVP): VAVP works to address and end violence, with a specific focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities across Virginia. VAVP provides information, advocacy, referrals, and support to LGBTQ-identified individuals that have been impacted by violence. VAVP also promotes healthy relationships and sexuality through educational programming, such as Relationship Skills Classes.

Virginia League for Planned Parenthood: Planned Parenthood provides high-quality sexual and reproductive health care services. These services will be readily available in safe se ings that preserve and protect the privacy and rights of each individual regardless of income, age, marital status, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation. Phone: (804) 482-6161

GayRVA, Richmond’s leading online magazine dedicated to the LGBTQ community, provides an up-to-the-minute look into Richmond’s LGBTQ culture.                                                                                               

 

Inclusive Spiritual Resources

Congregation Beth Ahabah (Reform Judaism) – 1111 W. Franklin St., Richmond, VA 23220 (804) 358-6757 || bethahabah.org

First Unitarian Church of Richmond – 1000 Blanton Ave., Richmond, VA 23221 (804) 355-0777 || richmonduu.org

Grace & Holy Trinity Episcopal Campus Ministries – 8 N. Laurel St., Richmond, VA 23220 – (804) 359-5628 || ghtc.org

Metropolitan Community Church of Richmond: 2501 Park Ave., Richmond, VA 23220 (804) 353-9477 || mccrichmond.org

Religious Society of Friends (Quaker) - Richmond: 4500 Kensignton Ave., Richmond, VA 23221 (804) 358-6185 || richmondfriendsmeeting.org

St. John’s United Church of Christ: 503 Stuart Cr., Richmond, VA 23220 (804) 358-9291 || stjohnsrichmond.org            

 

National Advocacy Organizations and Resources

ACLU, the American Civil Liberties Union, brings more LGBT cases and advocacy initiatives than any other national organization. The organization reaches into the courts and legislatures of every state.

The National LGBT Taskforce - As the country’s oldest national LGBT advocacy group, the National LGBTQ Task Force advances full freedom, justice and equality for LGBTQ people. 

Human Rights Campaign - As the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, HRS envisions a world where LGBT people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

The National Center for Transgender Equality is a national social justice organization devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender people through education and advocacy on national issues of importance to transgender people. By empowering transgender people and our allies to educate and influence policymakers and others, NCTE facilitates a strong and clear voice for transgender equality in our nation’s capital and around the country.

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is a national non-profit organization with over 200,000 members and supporters and over 500 affiliates in the United States. This vast grassroots network is cultivated, resourced and serviced by the PFLAG National Office, located in Washington, D.C., the national Board of Directors and 13 Regional Directors.

GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community.

Campus Pride Index  - Since 2007, The Campus Pride Index has been the premier LGBTQ national benchmarking tool for colleges and universities to create safer, more inclusive campus communities. The free online tool allows prospective students, families/parents and those interested in higher education to search a database of LGBTQ-friendly campuses that have come out to improve the academic experience and quality of campus life.

College Guide for LGBTQ Students

GLAAD 

Scholarships

University Inclusion Initiatives +

Survey/Data Presentation and Analysis from Climate Assessments and other VCU instruments

Transgender Inclusion Administrative Work Group (TIAWG): This summer, representatives from administrative areas across the university formed the TIAWG.  Launched in response to the Federal guidance regarding transgender students, TIAWG helps to make real the university's commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion by assessing and addressing gaps in university procedures, systems, and facilities and by identifying and developing resources to assist transgender students and other transgender university community members.  The subgroups of TIAWG include: (1) Policies & Records, (2) Facilities & Signage, (3) Communication & Community Liaison, (4) Culture & Education, and (5) Student Services & Support.

Since its first meeting in June, TIAWG has:

  • developed a process for students to notify the university of their gender and name of use in order to make changes to their student records 
  • centralized information about university resources 
  • begun to create a map identifying single-user, gender-neutral restrooms on campus, which will be included with VCU’s suite of mobile applications
  • organized focus groups for trans* students

TIAWG meets on a monthly basis and welcomes your questions and feedback by email to equity@vcu.edu.  

Please click the following link to download the LGBTQ Task Force Booklet Report.

Report a Concern +

In all instances, emergency situations should be reported immediately to VCU Police at (804) 828-1234 or dial 911.

To report a concern to the Dean of Students or learn more about types of concerns to report please vclick here.

Concerned about a student? Report it to the Dean of Students.

Bias related incidents can be reported by phone at (804) 828-8940 or (804) 828-0525 or by email at vcudean@vcu.edu.

To report a hate crime, contact VCU Police using the linked form.

Virginia Commonwealth University is committed to providing accessible and equitable living, learning and working environments free from discrimination and harassment. Please contact Equity and Access Services for concerns about potential Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct/Violence and Sex/Gender Discrimination, and/or Title IX.

Phone: (804) 828-1347

Email: equity@vcu.edu

Additional Reporting Options & Resources