Through programs and services, LGBTQIA+ students are provided with the support, resources, and education needed to be their authentic selves in the communities in which they exist.
Our programs are committed to:
- Advocating for the resources, support, and success of UMKC LGBTQIA+ students.
- Creating an environment in which better understanding of LGBTQIA+ issues can take place.
- Facilitating student development through co-curricular experiences while affirming students’ identities and providing leadership opportunities.
- Educating campus and community on LGBTQIA+ social justice issues.
- Building collaboration where none has existed and continuing to create new collaboration opportunities.
- Providing training and workshops for students, faculty, staff, and community members to create a greater Safe Space network.
- Assisting the University in achieving its retention goals by offering programming and services that promote student success.
- Developing and sponsoring programs that enhance the skills of students and assist in their development as scholars and professionals.
- Serving as a resource for campus, the Greater Kansas City community, and colleges and universities throughout the state of Missouri.
In 1973, gay students at UMKC filed a suit against the University for their right to assemble and become a recognized student organization on campus. In a landmark 1978 case, the United States Supreme Court sided with the Missouri Supreme Court, ruling in favor of the UMKC Gay Student Union. LGBT-friendly history has been progressing ever since.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Resource Office was launched in July 2003 in order to establish a physical presence for LGBT individuals at UMKC. The mission of the LGBT Resource Office is to celebrate and honor the culture, history, and accomplishments of LGBT people.
In 2009, to be inclusive and honor Queer, Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual identities, “Q-I-A” was added to the name. While it may be cumbersome at first, the addition of QIA is more inclusive and aligned with the LGBTQIA Programs and Services’ mission. Now LGBTQIA is much more widely adopted in our community.
In 2010, the new Student Union opened and began housing LGBTQIA Programs and Services in the Office of Student Involvement. The opening of the new Student Union moved the resource space into the Rainbow Lounge. The Rainbow Lounge is UMKC’s designated LGBTQIA resource space, intended to provide resources for LGBTQIA students and opportunities for studying, community building, and support.
UMKC has witnessed many milestones toward greater LGBTQIA+ equity on campus. One of the proudest moments was being part of the UMKC student-organized Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Trans and Asexual College Conference (MBGLTACC) in 2014. The conference brought 1900 college students to downtown Kansas City to celebrate, educate, and empower queer and trans college students from across the country.
Where We Are Today
As part of the Office of Student Involvement, LGBTQIA Programs & Services continues to support sexual and gender diverse students, faculty, and staff through LGBTQIA-centered training, educational workshops and programs, scholarship, student leadership initiatives, and resources in the Rainbow Lounge.