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Queer Without Fear: Pioneering LGBTQ+ Alumni Experiences at Morehouse

Morehouse. A timeless tradition of Black male pride and respect founded to uplift and build Black collegiate age men who choose to attend. For years, this institution has fed the minds of those who chose to enroll and contributed to a unique approach to a powerfully important enigma of academia: the Historically-Black College University.

However, along with reinforcing a sense of Black pride, Morehouse has been notorious for its commitment to homophobia and transphobia from an institutional and social standpoint.

Because of this, many of the queer and trans alumni who have survived the caustic atmosphere of the school have yearned for an opportunity to claim their personal identity as a part of their Morehouse experience. Despite their experiences, they, too, love their H-B-C-U! Despite their experiences, they, too, are determined to make their mark and statement within the Black collegiate space and pave the way for the younger members of the Black LGBTQ+ community to be able to claim their schools with pride.

A collective of concerned LGBTQ+ alumni and friends have begun the intrepid fight against the social ills of the university. Ramon Johnson and MarTaze Gaines, two proud Morehouse alums, have led the charge of creating the dialogue with a powerful open letter to the Morehouse Administration. This letter held no punches, beginning with a well-organized critique of the lack of resources allocated to queer and trans students on campus, how that purposeful omission has caused unspeakable pain to those students who simply desire to belong. This letter, this call to action, also outlined several goals that the Morehouse administration should strive towards in order to end the atrocities against LGBTQ+ students at Morehouse and at the AUC in general.

Ironically, other entities have too, seen the need to bring the LGBTQ+ HBCU alumni together to better campus conditions for the future. Leslie Hall, the current Associate Director of the Human Rights Campaign’s HBCU Program, is part of the spearhead effort to unify LGBTQ+ alum of all HBCU’s together into a collective network to support current students as well as bringing alumni in/keeping them active socially at their respective institutions.

To this end, there is a tangible effort being made to form a formal LGBTQ+ Morehouse Alumni Association. The development of the LGBTQ+ Morehouse Alumni Association is still underway and could use as much support as possible. To find out more about the effort and how you can assist, please contact [email protected]

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