Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Alumni Association

Reaching Out

An e-Newsletter by the IU Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Alumni Association

Enjoy Thanksgiving!November, 2015
In This Issue
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Your Board is busy planning our Eighth Celebration Weekend for January 29-31 All faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends, please join us for this fabulous weekend and see for yourselves why IU is one of the "top 25" LGBT-friendly universities in the nation! 
The weekend will start at the Neal-Marshall Center on Friday, January 29 with welcoming comments and the presentation of our 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award.  The Grazie reception on Saturday, January 30 remains our main attraction, and the silent auction that evening provides an important fundraising activity.  You will be able to donate for the purchase of "student" tickets to the Grazie reception on our online reservation site, which will be available soon.
Each year we have more alumni and friends from across the nation who join us for this special weekend in Bloomington.  Come have a ton of fun, see old friends, make new ones, discuss the latest developments in the state and beyond and share in the joy of all the progress we've made.  We look forward to greeting you and expressing our gratitude for your steadfast support to the IU GLBTAA, Indiana University and the LGBTQ community. 

        Mike Shumate, Past President
1. Spectrum Thematic Residence Hall
Teter Quad
Spectrum is a thematic residence hall community at Teter Quad on the Bloomington campus that provides a supportive and safe environment for students who identify across the gender and sexual orientation spectrum. It became available this fall semester and has the capacity to house up to twenty-eight students. It presently houses approximately twenty students with several planning to move in soon. It is hoped to have some rooms always available for situations or incidents on campus needing immediate attention. Teter was selected, in part, because of its single occupant bathrooms and an environment to accommodate a small group and to meet the various objectives. Earlier this year, Barry Magee, Assistant Director for Diversity Education at IU's Residential Programs & Services, commented, "We realize it is not for everybody. I have transgender students living all over campus, and lesbian, gay and bisexual students living all over campus. But we wanted to create an additional space for folks who might need more support."
Spectrum works closely with the GLBT Student Support Services Office, and its staff and volunteer members are available to support and advise the students. Doug Bauder, Director of the GLBT Office, has said, "The residence hall space would ideally foster understanding about people in different parts of the GLBT community and individuals who do not subscribe to conventional gender distinctions but identify with neither, both, or a combination of male and female genders." For more information, please see release And, here is a recent video  of Spectrum. As Steven Dora, Spectrum Resident Assistant, comments in the video, it is important for students "to have a safe place - a place to call home," especially for incoming freshmen transitioning into IU campus life.

2. Member Profile 


Justin R. Garcia


Dr. Justin R. Garcia first came to Indiana University in May 2011, to interview for a postdoctoral research fellowship under then Kinsey Institute Director (Dr. Julia Heiman, Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences). He was 25 years old, just finishing his PhD under a world-renowned evolutionary biologist (Dr. David Sloan Wilson, Distinguished Professor of Biology and Anthropology), and still had hints of a New York accent. "I still remember that morning, standing outside the Kinsey Institute in total awe... and not sure what to make of the massive tree that had fallen on it!" As many will recall, May 2011 was when a severe storm caused major damage across Bloomington. Despite a startling first visit, he arrived back on campus that Fall to begin a postdoc that would change his research career and open up new collaborative opportunities: "It's remarkable to be on a campus with so many of the world's leading sexuality and gender scholars".


Following his postdoc, Dr. Garcia remained on the Bloomington campus as a member of the faculty. He is now Assistant Professor of Gender Studies and Assistant Research Scientist at the Kinsey Institute in Bloomington. He is also Co-chair of the Interdepartmental Graduate Committee on Human Sexuality. Dr. Garcia also holds appointments as adjunct faculty at the Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI and affiliate faculty in Human Biology, Cognitive Science, and Network Science. In addition, he is Scientific Advisor to the international online dating company,


Dr. Garcia's research focuses on the biocultural foundations of human social behavior, particularly romantic love, intimacy, and sexual behavior across the life course. His projects have examined the genetic bases of monogamy, associations between orgasm and sexual orientation, hormonal responses of women in Las Vegas swingers' clubs, the intimate desires of online daters, sexting, falling in and out of love, and the tensions between feminist and evolutionary theories of gender and sexuality. He is one of the leading experts on the topic of sexual hookup culture among youth.  As a result of his broad research interests and skills, he worked closely with the IUB Dean of Student's Office to conduct the campus's first climate survey on sexual violence, the results of which were released earlier this semester.

When not conducting research, Dr. Garcia teaches courses in the IUB Department of Gender Studies on romantic love, sex/gender differences, and scientific understandings of gender. His teaching earned him an IU Trustee's Teaching Award in 2015. In addition to his teaching excellence, he is widely regarded as a highly collaborative scientist and colleague, serving on a variety of committees across IU. He is one of the only evolutionary biologists in the country in a gender studies department, which not only allows him to develop novel courses but as he frequently says, "it is a tremendous value to my own thinking and scholarship."


Dr. Garcia received an M.S. in biomedical anthropology and Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from Binghamton University.  He is co-editor of Evolution's Empress: Darwinian Perspectives on the Nature of Women (Oxford University Press, 2013), and co-author of Evolution and Human Sexual Behavior (Harvard University Press, 2013). He has coauthored nearly 50 academic articles and chapters. He is also a frequent contributor to national and international news and media, and his research has been featured in several documentaries. Earlier this semester he was interviewed by NPR, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and appeared recently on The Dr. Oz Show.

Justin lives in Bloomington and, when not reading and writing, enjoys tennis and swimming. He can occasionally be found in local coffee shops working on his next book on the topic of romantic passion.



3. Maurer LGBT Alumni Advisory Board
The Maurer School of Law LGBT Alumni Advisory Board (Maurer Board) was formed in 2009 to provide support and guidance to the law school's LGBT students, sponsor professional and social activities for its LGBT and ally alumni, and raise awareness about LGBT issues in the larger Maurer community. 
Judge Vaughn Walker
Since it was organized, the Maurer Board has organized eight major programs dealing with timely topics affecting the LGBT community. The first was held in March 2010 with panelists discussing marriage equality, including the history of same-sex marriage, key cases and ongoing litigation.  In April 2010, Maura Healey, Chief of the Civil Rights Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General's office, keynoted a symposium on the future of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  Massachusetts was the first state to legalize same-sex marriage and filed suit against DOMA in 2009. Ms. Healey has since been elected Attorney General of Massachusetts. In November 2011, Judge Vaughn Walker, former chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, delivered a lecture at Maurer titled, "On the Bench and in the Game."  While on the bench, Judge Walker ruled in Perry v. Schwarzenegger that California's Proposition 8 was unconstitutional. Judge Walker's lecture is available at video  
Evan Wolfson
In April 2013, retired Ambassador Michael Guest spoke on America's role in promoting LGBT equality around the globe in a lecture co-sponsored by the Maurer Board and the new IU School of Global and International Studies. In January, 2014, Evan Wolfson, founder and president of the national organization Freedom to Marry, spoke about HJR-3 and the State of Indiana's role in the larger national debate over marriage equality. Wolfson was introduced by IU Bloomington Provost Lauren Robel, who underscored IU's opposition to HJR-3. The event was co-sponsored with the Maurer chapter of the American Constitution Society and others. A video of the entire program is available at Wolfson's video
Roberta Kaplan

In February, 2014, the Maurer Board co-hosted with Maurer's Black American Law School Association a panel discussion in recognition of Black History Month titled "Race, Sexuality, and Movements for Civil Rights." In March of this year, Roberta Kaplan, litigation partner with Paul Weiss in New York spoke about her role as the lead attorney in U.S. v Windsor in defeating the federal DOMA. Kaplan spoke about Windsor, her arguments before the Supreme Court, the future of marriage equality, and briefly about Indiana's own Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Kaplan's speech is available at Kaplan's video  And, on October 13, there was a panel of IU professors discussing the conflicts between religious liberty and LGBTQ rights
"Maurer's LGBT Alumni Advisory Board has been tremendously helpful to the school and supportive of our students," said Austen L. Parrish, Dean and James H. Rudy Professor of Law.  "The opportunities they have provided are remarkable, and the school is grateful for their dedication and work as role models and mentors.  They've set a terrific example for how successful alumni can help cultivate the next generation of leaders."
In addition to speakers and programming, the Maurer Board has instituted a mentoring program for LGBT and ally Maurer students; sponsored students to participate in the Williams Institute Moot Court Competition at UCLA, the premier national moot court competition on sexual orientation and gender identity; hosted a table at the annual Lambda Legal dinner; hosted several luncheon meetings where students can discuss issues important to them with LGBT and ally alumni; and provided numerous net-working opportunities.
On more than one occasion, Maurer alumni have met with law students to discuss questions associated with being out in the workplace, interviewing, job opportunities, preparing resumes and related issues. The Maurer Board makes a point of seeking input from OUTlaw, the Maurer LGBT student organization, and involving the students in all major decisions. "The Alumni Board plays an integral role for the LGBT community at Maurer," says Matt Fuss, former President of OUTlaw. " A key aspect of our collaboration centers around professional development. With the Alumni Board's support, OUTlaw's members have the opportunity to meet Board members, to network with community leaders at the Harvey Milk Dinner, and to participate in the William's Moot Court competition. The Board has also been an important resource for identifying speakers and topics for a number of panel discussions that have been very popular both at Maurer and the IU community at large. "
GLBTAA members Nick Clark, Tina Clark, Erica DeSantis, Margaret Emmert, John Fischer, Tim Lemper, Jim Reed, Steve Sanders, Ryan Scott, Mike Shumate and Kathleen Sweeney are current, or former, directors of the Maurer Board.  Tina Clark and John Fischer currently serve as President and Vice President, respectively.

4. GLBTAA Scholarship Campaign
Please continue to "spread the word" about our ground-breaking Campaign, which will help to endow our GLBTAA Scholarship Program. We awarded five academic scholarship for the 2015 fall semester. Each recipient will be featured in one of our Newsletters. One is covered in paragraph #4 below. After reviewing another heart-breaking story, we have also awarded emergency funds to an IUB student. Since 2005, we have granted 63 scholarships (49 academic scholarships and 14 emergency scholarships) to IU students. Because of your generous support, we will be able to continue providing scholarships well into the future.  
Shane L. Windmeyer, MS '97, Executive Director and founder of Campus Pride, has commented recently about our Scholarship Program, particularly about our emergency grants: "IU remains one of the best campuses for GLBT support in the country. Crisis assistance funding, for example, is now a new benchmark for the Campus Pride Index, and the GLBTAA emergency scholarship is a great example. IU has definitely raised the bar nationally. I'm proud that IU has been a leader in that. IU has always stood as an institution of higher learning that embraces diversity."
Contributions can be made online at Campaign Contributions If you have any questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact Mike Shumate at [email protected]  or 858-922-6105; or IUAA Alumni Relations Officer Clarence Boone at 800-824-3044. Again, heartfelt gratitude to everyone for supporting our Campaign.
THANK YOU, IU alumni, faculty, staff, students, allies and our many friends!
5. Academic Scholarship Recipient 


CONGRATULATIONS are extended to Xander Laughlin, one of our 2015 Fall Academic Scholarship recipients! Xander started at IU South Bend in the Honors Program and now is a sophomore in Bloomington pursuing a degree in Political Science and Economics.  He is a Herbert Presidential Scholar. In South Bend, Xander was a member of the Political Science Club and Secular Student Alliance. He is fluent in conversational Russian. He has also served as Research Assistant at IUSB's Political Science Department.  Xander has commented, "As a ten-year-old, I immigrated to the United States from the Russian Federation. Having had the opportunity to meet diverse people whose stories have inspired me, I am, as a result, a champion for both equality and acceptance."  We're proud of you, Xander! 



6. Did You Know?

Christine Jorgensen, 1953 (Photo by William Dellenback)
Effy Beth, 2011, courtesy of the artist's estate 
Jeanne Vaccaro, Postdoctoral Fellow in Gender Studies and Research Fellow at the Kinsey Institute, recently co-curated a show "Bring Your Own Body: Transgender Between Archives & Aesthetics" at The Cooper Union in New York City which has received a lot of attention. The exhibit presented the work of transgender artists and archives, from the institutional and sexological to the personal and liminal. Taking its title from an unpublished manuscript by intersex pioneer Lynn Harris, the exhibit historicized the sexological and cultural imaginary of transgender through a curatorial exploration of the Kinsey Archives
and the burgeoning movements for transgender expression from the turn of the 20th century. Simultaneously, it presented contemporary transgender art and world making practices that contest existing archival narratives and construct new historical genealogies. Moving beyond the aesthetically defunct category of "identity politics" and the fraught gains of visibility, the artworks proposed transgender as a set of aesthetics made manifest through multiple forms: paint, sculpture, textiles, film, digital collage, and performance. For additional information, including an interview with the exhibit's curators, please see Huffington Post and Kinsey release

7. Facebook


The GLBTAA has had a Facebook page for some time now, but some of you may not be aware of it.  If you haven't already done so, check out our Facebook page at  "Like" our page and follow our Facebook posts regarding news, updates and information about our events.


Like us on Facebook

8. Mark Your Calendars 
The GLBTAA is proud to be a sponsor of the showing of Bridegroom (full title: Bridegroom: A Love Story, Unequaled) on November 17 at 7:00 p.m. in the Whittenberger Auditorium in the Indiana Memorial Union in Bloomington. Bridegroom chronicles the story of Shane Crone and his partner Thomas "Tom" Bridegroom, who died in a tragic accident. After Bridegroom's death, Crone found himself cut off and deprived of any legal protection. The film tells the story of their 6-year relationship, and the struggles Crone faced after Bridegroom's death, including the family not allowing Crone to attend the funeral of his partner. It premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival and won the Festival's Best Documentary Film. Following the showing, Shane Crone will be in attendance and will address the audience in person. 

Jim Obergefell

While it has not yet been confirmed, plans are underway for a visit to the Bloomington campus by Jim Obergefell on February 2-3, 2016. Obergefell was the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage across the nation. A resident of Cincinnati, Ohio, realtor and IT consultant, Obergefell met and fell in love with John Arthur in 1992. The devoted couple were together for two decades and traveled to Maryland officially to marry in 2013, with Arthur having been diagnosed with ALS. After his husband's death, Obergefell entered a legal battle with the state of Ohio to be recognized as the surviving spouse on Arthur's death certificate. His case eventually made its way to the Supreme Court, combined with other suits, to become known as Obergefell v. Hodges.
The GLBTAA is proud to be a co-sponsor of this event. The Union Board is the main sponsor and organizer. More will follow as, and if, the plans unfold.

9. GLBTAA Scholarships


GLBTAA Academic Scholarships  Academic Scholarships are awarded to IU students enrolled at any IU campus, who are academically strong, as well as active in promoting diversity, tolerance and social justice. Scholarships are awarded to students based upon academic achievement, career goals, financial need, leadership experience, community service and extracurricular activities. Involvement in activities promoting diversity and raising awareness of GLBT and related issues on the student's campus or in his or her community is carefully reviewed by the Board. The maximum award for an Academic Scholarship is $1,000 per semester. An individual student may not receive more than $2,000. The deadline for the Spring 2016 semester is November 15, 2015.


IU GLBTAA Emergency Scholarships
Emergency Scholarships are awarded to those students who experience the loss of financial support when they make the courageous decision to disclose their sexual orientation or gender identity to their families. Emergency Scholarships help to ensure that students need not choose between their education at IU and living life openly and honestly. Emergency Scholarships are awarded to students attending any IU campus. The maximum award for an Emergency Scholarship is $1,500 per semester, and a student may not receive more than $3,000.
You can learn more about the GLBTAA Scholarship Program and apply online at:


10. Membership


Encourage your friends to join the GLBTAA. They can visit our website here  and join.  There are no membership dues, and you do not have to be a member of the IUAA, or an IU degree-holder. We are approaching 1,600 members nation-wide, and we're growing! We appreciate your continued commitment! It is because of you that the GLBTAA is in existence, continues to grow and continues to serve our important mission on all eight of IU's campuses. If you are a member and wish to continue receiving our e-Newsletters, please make sure we have a current e-mail address for you.   You can visit to see if your official record, including your e-mail address, is current.  Thank you for your support through your membership. We look forward to serving you now and in the years to come. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Clarence Boone, Alumni Relations Officer, at: [email protected] or Mike Shumate at [email protected]


If not already a member, please consider joining the IUAA by visiting, by [email protected]  or calling (800) 824-3044. By joining the IUAA, among many other things, you help fund the various GLBTAA programs, along with gaining access to IUAA member-only events.


If you would like to unsubscribe and terminate future communications from the GLBTAA, please respond to:  [email protected].