What is the Center for Gender, Sexuality and Activism?
We are a student-run space in the basement of the George Sherman Union at Boston University! We function as a student organization and have a 10-person coordinator board in conjuction with two faculty ad visors. We work in three main ways: through our space, our events and our resources!
The name used to be “The Women’s Resource Center” – why did you decide to change it?
We feel this name and mission more accurately reflect who we serve and what we do as a center. As we look to the future, we want BU to be part of the movement for gender and identity, be proactive, and set the tone on a national scale. The Center is about gender and sexuality but, above all, we are about community.
I saw that the Center calls itself a “safer space”-what does this mean?
We strive to stimy destructive dialogue and actions that may make someone feel unsafe in our space. Because of our diverse community, we cannot guarantee that there will not be moments of reduced feelings of safety for individuals, but in general, we strive to create an atmosphere that is safe and open for all non-oppressive opinions and discussions.
How can I get involved in the Center?
Volunteer! The Center is one of the only all volunteer-run centers in the country – and this is thanks to our amazing volunteers! All volunteers are trained by the coordinator board.
Free Bagel Fridays! No strings attached – Friday mornings we have free bagels and cream cheese (with both dairy and vegan options!), inspired to provide a space to schmooze with like-minded friends.
Coordinator Meetings! Every Thursday at 6pm we have our coordinator meetings where we plan events and discuss ways to troubleshoot ways to make the Center an even better place. Anyone can come and get a feel for how the Center is run!
Plan your own event! Our Events Coordinator is always excited to sit down and plan an event that appeals to our mission and you feel isn’t being addressed in our programming already.
So who is allowed in the Center?
EVERYONE in the BU community! People of ALL GENDERS! Folks who identify as queer, straight, gay, lesbian, transgender, transsexual, female, male, agender, genderqueer AND THE LIST GOES ON! Activists!
What groups meet in the Center?
Why does everyone introduce themselves and say their gender pronoun before every meeting in the Center?
Sometimes people’s gender and/or pronouns aren’t what others might assume based on their gender presentation (or appearance), so we like to give everyone a chance to let others know what they prefer.
So what do you say when it’s your turn?
EX: “Hi! My name is Jenna, and my pronouns are she, her and hers.” “Hi! I’m Kat, and I like gender-neutral pronouns like they, their and theirs.”
In addition to “traditional” binary gender pronouns (he/she) some people like gender-neutral pronouns. The ones we hear most are they/their/theirs and ze/zir/zirs, but there are many others!
How do you use gender-neutral pronouns in practice?
EX: “This is my friend Forrest. They like to knit and play basketball in their free time.” “This is my friend Sam. Ze spent last summer on a farm and wrote a blog about zir experience.” For more conjugations, see this chart.