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A Message from the Rainbow Center

Hello LGBTQIA+ and Allied Community!

Everyone is welcome at the Rainbow Center.  We pride ourselves on a family-like environment with academic and social opportunities.  We have been serving UConn's diverse communities of gender identities, gender expressions, and sexualities since 1998.  The fun and amazing staff provides resources and services to the wider campus community of students, faculty, staff, and local residents. We are especially excited to introduce our new Director, Kelsey O'Neil (they/them/theirs). To read Kelsey's bio, please check out our Meet the Staff page.

This is the Rainbow Center's 20th Anniversary. Update your contact information with the Foundation to recieve updates about events we are planning to celebrate. Since our founding, the Rainbow Center has been named one of the best 100 gay-friendly campuses in the country, and received a 4.5 out of 5 rating on the Campus Pride Index Report. We'd love for you to join us at a Husky Ally Safe Zone training, Out to Lunch Lecture, or upcoming event to celebrate.

Contact Us

Phone: 860-486-5821
rainbowcenter@uconn.edu
Address: 2110 Hillside Road, Unit 3096
Student Union 403
Storrs, CT 06269

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Hours

Monday-Friday: 9am-8pm (closed Fridays between 3pm and 5pm)

Saturday-Sunday: Closed

Rainbow Center News

David Daniel Berdon Memorial Scholarship

By: Ailia Rohbar

The Rainbow Center is now accepting applications for the David Daniel Berdon Memorial Scholarship for the 2019-2020 academic year.

David Daniel Berdon was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He was a graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Law and became a practicing attorney in 1949. He was a member of the New Haven County (Connecticut) and the American Bar Associations, and the Connecticut and American Trial Lawyers Associations. He was also a member of the American Arbitration Association.

Before becoming a lawyer, he was a lecturer in economics at the University of Connecticut. An advocate for children with learning disabilities, he was the founder and a charter member of the VARCA, an organization that provided workforce skill development for individuals with special needs. Active in Republican circles in New Haven and throughout the state, he served as special counsel to the Connecticut Republican Party in the 1970s. In 1969, he was a member of President Richard M. Nixon’s transition team, and served as a consultant and the acting director for New England at the Office of Economic Opportunity in Boston. Appointed by Gov. John Dempsey, he served as vice chairman of the commission to study procedures for the nomination of presidential candidates.

The David Daniel Berdon Memorial Scholarship fund provides scholarship support for students enrolled full-time at the University of Connecticut. Candidates must have attended events or programs focused on gender identity, gender expression, and/or sexuality at the University of Connecticut. These can include those sponsored or co-sponsored by the Rainbow Center for/on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and allied communities. Additionally, candidates must demonstrate an interest in issues of concern to these communities through relevant academic coursework. The scholarship(s) may be renewed annually to the recipient(s) provided satisfactory academic progress is achieved and provided all criteria specified above continue to be met.

Applications are due May 10, 2019.


Understanding Drag

This information has been adapted from the National Center for Trans Equality. For full document: tinyurl.com/y5lm6t5p.

Drag is a type of entertainment where people dress up and perform, often in highly stylized ways.

Today, many prominent drag artists are people who identify as men and present themselves in exaggeratedly feminine ways as a part of their performance, and are known as drag queens. Alternately, drag kings perform stylized masculinity. Not all performers choose personas that reflect binary identities in this way, and some instead demonstrate fluidity of gender.

Many performers have a separate drag persona in addition to the self they live as every day. This persona will look different and may also have a different name and ask to be referred to by different gender pronouns.

This does not mean they are transgender. Just as actors do not keep being referred to by their character’s names after stepping offstage, drag performers do not necessarily keep the names or pronouns they use while performing. Drag performers are artists and entertainers, so being in drag is not an integral part of their identity in the same way that gender is.

On the other hand, when a transgender person comes out and asks people to use a different name and gender pronouns to refer to them, it is not part of a performance. It is an important part of their identity, and can be a critical part of affirming their gender identity.

Don’t assume that someone in drag is transgender, or vice versa. Being respectful of a drag performer’s gender is the same as being respectful of anyone else’s gender.