When the university’s first LGBT student center opened in 1992, its windows were equipped with blackout blinds as a safety measure, says founder Alnisa Allgood (above). Acceptance of the LGBT community has grown substantially in the quarter decade since, and the center’s mission, location, and name have also evolved. Earlier this year, the center renamed itself the Gender and Sexuality Campus Center to reflect the broader umbrella of identities it serves. The move carries forward the inclusive legacy of the original space. “We wanted to make sure that the campus center was not just increasing LGBT visibility, but also [supporting] ethnic minorities and other disenfranchised communities within the LGBT community,” Allgood says. And even in a more accepting society, one core function of the center remains: “[to be] a connection point — a reflection that there are other people in the world like me.”
Read a Q&A with Allgood at onwisconsin.uwalumni.com.
Published in the Fall 2018 issue