MC Pride and Allies
Fostering a welcoming environment for our LGBTQIA+ employees and students at Montgomery College.
October is nationally recognized as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History Month. During October the history of gay rights and related civil rights movements are recognized and celebrated. The Rainbow Flag is one of the most widely recognized symbols of the LGBTQ movement.
The Rainbow Flag as we know it today was developed by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker in 1978. At the time, there was a need for an LGBTQ symbol which could be used year after year for the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade.
Baker explained that his colors each stood for a different aspect of gay and lesbian life: Red for life, Orange for healing, Yellow for the sun, Green for nature, Blue for art, and Violet for spirit.
We are an employee affinity group that works to foster a welcoming environment for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual (LGBTQIA)+ employees and students at Montgomery College. Our vision and goals include:
- Defend LGBTQ people’s civil/human rights
- Affirm urgent need for defending/supporting LGBTQ people in our College community
- Affirm continuing need for Safe Zone, Bystander and Consent training
June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month! MC Library's collections include extensive offerings on topics related to LGBTQ+ issues, including literature, history and identity, art and media, trans and nonbinary issues, intersex, and two-spirit. Each campus library has a beautiful display of these materials, so make sure to visit us this June!
The library also has an online guide for LGBTQ+ Pride Monthnew window. This guide connects users to our print and digital collections on these topics, including:
- books and e-books (like the Pulitzer Prize winning Less by Andrew Sean Greernew window)
- streaming films (including the Academy Award winner for best picture, Moonlightnew window)
- academic resources like databases and journals
- community resources like MC Pride and Allies
- local Pride celebrations
We hope you'll find this guide helpful, not only for your own use, but also for incorporation into the classroom or programming.
The College offers the Gender Studies 102: Understanding LGBTQ+ Identities course for students.
GNDS 102 is an inter-disciplinary, cross-cultural examination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) identities in contemporary United States society that draws from history, literature, sociology, philosophy, psychology and communications studies to understand the diversity of gender expressions and sexual orientations. This course surveys who LGBT people are and how academic study of these identities has developed. It explores the connection between women’s studies and gender studies, and the ways women’s studies has grown to include analysis of how gender and sexual orientation interact and intersect, and how heterosexism and homophobia function in various contexts and affect everyone in society. This course requires students to engage both written and visual texts, to apply and connect material from the course to life outside the classroom, and to investigate sexual minority identities in terms of communities, cultures and political movements. Assessment Level(s): ENGL 101/ENGL 101A, READ 120 or consent of program coordinator. Three hours each week. Formerly GS 102.
View the Catalognew window for additional information.
MC Pride & Allies meets regularly. This is an informal meeting with the purpose of getting to know one another and discussing what we want from the group. The meeting is held on Zoom.
If you are an MC employee and/or student who is interesting in being part of the MC Pride & Allies group and want to join the meeting, please email us. We will forward you the Zoom meeting information.
Facilitated by Dr. Lucy Grinnell | Dates: Tuesdays, 9/19, 9/26, 10/3, 10/10, 10/24, and 10/31 | Time: 2:00-3:00 PM | Location: Humanities 005, Rockville campus
IIn this informal, student-centered group, we will read and discuss Samantha Allen’s
Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from Red States. In this travelog, Allen, a transgender
queer journalist, “takes us on a rollicking cross-country road trip through vibrant
queer communities sprouting up in unlikely places.” Group discussions and reflective
and creative writing
exercises will help us examine how our own lived experiences interact with and are influenced by our respective identities.
Tuition credit of $25 Snacks will be provided Workshop sponsored by the Writing, Reading, and Language Centers.
Pre-registration is encouraged, but not required. See flyer for more details. (PDF, )
Meetings: Mondays, 12:00-1:00 PM
Meetings: Fridays, 1:00-2:00 PM, SC 459
President: Ruth Ella Karo
Gain new understanding of gender, gender identity, gender expression and the diverse range of sexual and affectional orientations. Acquire resources and referral information and practice communication skills for classroom or office discussions or unexpected disclosure. It's your choice about how visible and active to be as an ally after class.
By taking the SafeZone training, you help foster a welcoming academic environment for students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender--or questioning identity. LGBTQ students often feel unsafe at school, resulting in reduced attendance to avoid risk, bullying, or bias. Additionally, you can empower students to cope with ignorance or discrimination, build community among peers, and focus on their studies.
Safe Zones is an informative and experiential training that allows participants to explore their knowledge and assumptions about LGBTQ+ people, to learn about the needs and wants of LGBTQ+ students, and to understand core concepts and vocabulary, homophobia and heterosexism, and the coming out process. The training empowers participants to be able to support LGBTQ+ staff and students with campus, local, and national resources and to intervene in a situation of discrimination or harassment. The training is 6.5 hours, and you will receive professional development credit for that amount of time. There will be a brief lunch break.
Upon completion of the workshop series, participants will
- Gain new understanding of gender, gender identity, gender expression and the diverse range of sexual and affectional orientations.
- Acquire resources and referral information and practice communication skills for classroom or office discussions or unexpected disclosure.
Register for Safe Zone Training on MC Learns through Workday.
Next training dates:
- Thursday, September 14 | Friday, September 29 | Friday, October 13 |Friday, October 27 | Thursday, November 9 | Tuesday, December 5 | Monday, December 18
- 9:00 AM-4:30 PM
Register for Safe Zonenew window
Please reach out to Ellen Olmstead if your unit/department would like onsite training.
Training is sponsored by Office of Equity and Inclusion and Office of E-Learning, Innovation, and Teaching Excellence.
View the list of individuals (PDF, ) who have taken the Safe Zone Training at the College.
*Last updated: 3/22/2023
Montgomery College Safe Zone Membership Pledge
I, ________________________________ acknowledge that I am an Ally for and with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and questioning members of the MC community and am committed to providing a safe, confidential support network for LGBTQ students, staff and faculty.
My participation in the Safe Zone project means that I am committed to being a safe person to whom individuals who have concerns about LGBTQ issues can speak.
I will strive to educate myself and others about LGBTQ issues and confront homophobia and heterosexism in the MC community. Furthermore, I realize that my actions as a LGBTQ ally have little meaning if I participate in other forms of oppression.
I acknowledge that I may make mistakes and that it’s okay if I don’t have all the answers. I realize that I have a network of fellow Safe Zone allies, and I will rely on them for support and assistance just as they can rely on me for support and assistance.
Finally, I am committed to treating everyone with the dignity and respect that they
are entitled to as human beings.
Signature: _____________________________________________________ Date: _________________________
Trainer Signature: ______________________________________________ Date: _________________________
Posting a Safe Zone sticker may bring a variety of possible reactions from those around you who notice it. The Safe Zone sticker might make some people uncomfortable. There may be times when someone seeks you out to dispute the purpose of safe zones, or to confront you on general issues related to LGBTQ people. You do not need to engage in discussion with people who seek to challenge you, Safe Zones, or LGBTQ people. You are there to provide support and resource information, not to defend issues.
While it’s helpful to be aware of these possibilities ahead of time, the following consequences are even more likely. You may expect to:
- Find that LGBTQ people censor their speech less and are more open with you so that there is more genuine communication between you.
- Find that students and colleagues are more at ease, anticipating a non-judgmental atmosphere in your workspace.
- Find people turning to you for support or information about LGBTQ issues and concerns.
- Perhaps not notice any difference in the interactions you have with others, but to know that you are making a difference.
- Know that you are making a personal contribution to improving the campus environment.
Note: report any defacing of signage to the CEIO, Sharon Bland, and to Public Safety.
When to Refer an LGBTQ Student to a Mental Health Professional
Most of the students you will encounter are seeking support, advice, or information. Occasionally, you may see a student who is experiencing psychological distress. This may be evident in the following:
- When a student states they are no longer able to function in their normal capacity within their classes; when they have seen a drop in grades or academic performance.
- When a student can no longer cope with their day-to-day activities and responsibilities. A student may state they are no longer going to classes or they have been late for their job and may be fired soon if this continues.
- A student expresses depressive symptoms such as: sleep disturbance, sudden weight loss or weight gain, crying spells, fatigue, loss of interest or pleasure in previous enjoyable activities, and/or inability to concentrate or complete tasks.
- A student expresses severe anxiety symptoms such as: feelings of panic, shortness of breath, headaches, sweaty palms, dry mouth, or racing thoughts.
- A student expresses suicidal thoughts or feelings.
- A student has no support. They have no friends or have no friends with whom they can talk about their sexual orientation or gender identity. This person may not need counseling, but could benefit from a support group and the Counseling Center can make that assessment and referral.
- good guideline to use if all else fails: If you are feeling overwhelmed or worried about a student, refer them to a counseling professional!
The Montgomery College Counseling and Advising Centers’ Counseling and Disability Support Services (DSS) faculty assist students with academic, personal, and career concerns. The primary emphasis is on supporting students to achieve their educational goals. Counselors do not provide ongoing therapy services to students, but can provide brief personal counseling on a short-term basis to deal with an immediate concern. Brief personal counseling is defined as any sessions regarding a concern that is not academic in nature. Counselors will also refer students to local community counseling resources which can provide further support and treatment for ongoing mental health needs.
Visit the College's Personal Counseling websitenew window for additional information.
Student Health and Wellness Center for Success
Your health and wellness can have an impact on academic success. The Student Health and Wellness Center for Successnew window (SHaW Center) identifies, provides, and connects students to resources that support success. Some common challenges students face are access to health care, housing, food, mental health support, and personal safety. Montgomery College's network of community resources helps remove those obstacles to support your academic success. The SHaW Center also provide Mental Health Resourcesnew window to students.
- 21 Most Memorable Coming Out Stories by Hollywood Starsnew window
- A History of LGBTQ+ Representation in Filmnew window
- Celebrities Share Their Coming Out Storiesnew window
- Coming Out in the Arts (PDF, )
- GLAAD: Where We Are Today (PDF, )
- LGBTQ+ and Popular Culture (PDF, )
- Queer Representation in Film and Televisionnew window
- How To Stop Arguing about Religion and Make Your Pointnew window
- LGBTQ+ People's Religiositynew window
- Navigating LGBTQ+ Identities and Religionnew window
- Definitions of Homophobia and Heterosexism (PDF, )
- Homophobia (PDF, )
- How Homophobia/Biphobia/Transphobia Impact LGBTQ+ People of Colornew window
- How Homophobic-Transphobic Campus Can Hurt LGBTQ+ Students (PDF, )
- Measuring Multiple Minority Stress: The LGBT People of Color Microaggressions Scale (PDF, )
- Sexual Orientation Microaggressions Youth (PDF, )
- What is Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphobia, and Acephobia?new window
- Who Am I? The Costs of Homo(and bi and trans)phobia and Heterosexism (PDF, )
If you have questions or feedback, please contact us via email.