Women’s and Gender Studies Offering New Sexuality and Queer Studies Minor

By Candace Martin, Guest Columnist

This fall, Eastern Washington University’s Women’s and Gender Studies program is launching a new Sexuality and Queer Studies minor.

To obtain a Sexuality and Queer Studies minor, students will need to complete 20 credits, including three required courses and one elective. With the elective, students will be able to personalize the minor to fit their interests and needs. 

The new minor offers students an interdisciplinary course of study focused on the histories, experiences, contributions, activism and community-based knowledge of LGBTQ+ people.  All of these elements will be considered intersectionality and within the context of larger social, political and structural formations—including heterosexism, heteronormativity and transphobia.  

This minor is relevant for everyone. The number of students who identify as LGBTQ+ is rising. In 2018, a Gallup survey indicated that 12% of Gen Z teens described their sexual orientation as something other than heterosexual. Ten million American adults identify at LGBT, about 4.1% of the population. This new area of study will promote understanding and reduce disparity and inequity. 

The Sexuality and Queer Studies minor will be the first of its kind at EWU, but not the first in the region. Washington State University, Western Washington University, Portland State University and the University of Oregon all have Sexuality and/or Queer Studies minors. Students have been asking about a minor like this for years; the Women’s and Gender Studies program at EWU is pleased to be offering it.

The new minor consolidates existing learning that the Women’s and Gender Studies Program facilitates, and signals to employers and/or graduate schools that students have expertise in an important field and knowledge of a marginalized population. It prepares students to be leaders in community organizing, nonprofit organizations, education, social services, youth development, entrepreneurship and new industry.

The Sexuality and Queer Studies minor is part of an ongoing commitment to extend and enhance understanding of EWU-based underrepresented campus constituencies on topics such as gender identity/expression and sexual orientation.

To read more about the new minor and its requirements, visit www.ewu.edu/wgs.

For more information please contact the EWU Women’s and Gender Studies Program at [email protected] or 509.359.2847.