Professor creates Employee Resource Group for LGBTQ+ faculty and staff
For Kira McEntire, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, working in an environment that supports diversity, equity, and inclusion is essential. It’s so important, in fact, that she recently decided to start the process of creating an Employee Resource Group at Queens University for LGBTQ+ faculty and staff.
“I decided to begin the formation of Queer and Questioning so that my colleagues and I will have a community on campus that will provide a space for people who have a shared understanding of our identities,” said McEntire. “Having visibility and letting those who still question where they fall on the ‘queer spectrum’ know that we are here means everything.”
McEntire emphasized that queer faculty and staff have a responsibility to mentor students who share their identities. “Being social and showing students in the Queens University Queer Union (QUQU) that there is a community of support fosters a special bond,” she said. “I’ve had Dean Campbell, the founder of QUQU, as a student and I admire this generation of queer youth, because they know so much more about their own identities than I ever did. I think it’s cool to see how much they know about themselves and make a difference in society.”
McEntire is in the final stages of creating Queer and Questioning and hopes to engage in community outreach, engagement, and advocacy opportunities. “Things have been changing so fast and I find it incredibly valuable to be a part of people’s queer journeys,” said McEntire. “I like being able to just be a voice of another person who understands and supports them.”
Jasmyn Lindsay ’16, MBA ‘20, director of financial aid, agrees. “When I was an undergraduate student at Queens, I always felt welcome and accepted as a member of the LGBTQ+ community,” she said. “I felt that same acceptance when I transitioned to a staff member and as a graduate student here as well.”
Feeling the need to keep their identities hidden, queer people sometimes struggle with being their authentic selves at work. “My wife, who now works at Queens as well, has worked for other organizations where we were hesitant to be out as a same-sex couple,” said Lindsay. “From the time we started dating until the time we got married in Belk Chapel, we always felt accepted and supported. I couldn’t ask for a better work environment. I’m so, so grateful to Queens.”
If you are a faculty or staff member and would like more information about Queer and Questioning, email firstname.lastname@example.org.