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LGBTQ+ Alumni Network Volunteers

A row of empty Adirondack chairs on Parrish Beeach

We hold this space for friends, classmates, and students who support the LGBTQ+ Alumni mission and identify as a member of the network, but are not yet out.
We are with you.

Christen Boas Hayes '16

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Christen Boas Hayes in collegeI’m a recent grad living in Washington, D.C. with my two Swattie roommates. During my time at Swarthmore, I captained the varsity softball team and organized Pub Nite with my best friends. I graduated from the honors program and applied my political science degree to the study of forced migration. Upon graduation, I traveled to Greece to work in a refugee shelter for unaccompanied minors. My last year was spent daylighting as a paralegal and moonlighting as a national march organizer for a prisoners’ rights march. I’m also a proud Legal Observer with the National Lawyers Guild and a new member of the Capital Q queer community-building team in D.C. I love cultivating queer community and connecting old and new friends.

Jay Wu '15

Pronouns: they/them/theirs

I currently live in Washington, D.C., where I have a close network of friends who mostly all went to Swat but weren't friends during our time there. My time at Swarthmore was as defined by my involvement with queer social life and activism as it was by my academic life in the Linguistics, English Literature, and Gender & Sexuality Studies programs. I served on the board of the Swarthmore Queer Union for all four years and was variously involved with the Queer-Straight Alliance, COLORS, PersuASIAN, and the broader Intercultural Center community. After graduating, I served as a political appointee in the Obama administration, working in the press office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Since 2016, I have been doing my dream job working at the National Center for Transgender Equality, where I currently serve as deputy communications director. I live with my feisty cat Malt and am in a relationship with another queer Swattie activist, Margaret Hughes '17.

Laura Hyder '16

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Laura Hyder '16Since my recent graduation, I have been learning what it means to live out of academia, out of the Swarthmore bubble, and out in general. During my time at Swat, I played on the Swarthmore Field Hockey team, while also managing to stay involved on campus with Biology research, the Sexual Health Advocates, Kehilah, the wind ensemble, and somehow more. I came out early at Swarthmore, but didn’t understand the impact it had on each of my relationships (platonic and professional relationships included) until much later. After graduating, I taught Sexuality Education at schools and youth shelters to begin to communicate to young people, and myself, the need for empathy for ourselves and in all our relationships. Currently, I am working in a Biology laboratory at Penn where I am slowly learning how to set workplace boundaries while remaining open and clear about my identity.

Laura Markowitz '85

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Laura Markowitz '85 in 1985Laura Markowitz '85 in 2017I came out to another human for the first time during freshman orientation, and then I came all the way out my junior year. After graduation I had a Watson Fellowship, and then I went into journalism. I became a magazine editor and feature writer, training in family therapy so I could better write about psychology and systems change. For a decade I published a queer family therapy magazine, IN THE FAMILY. After a three-year sabbatical to write novels, I've been working as a book editor and ghostwriter, and as Contributing Producer for Arizona  Public Media, the NPR affiliate in Tucson. My wife and I are celebrating our 30th anniversary in 2018. 


Tim Vaughan '15

Pronouns: he/him/his

A little over two years out of Swarthmore I have the esteemed opportunity to be living in Philly and taking advantage of everything the city has to offer. After graduation, I continue to prepare myself to apply to medical school, which led to the Emergency Department at the University of Pennsylvania where I do clinical research. While at Swarthmore I was involved in various aspects of student life: I was a track athlete, a member of an a cappella group, danced with Rhythm N Motion, and participated in research through the Psychology department in which I majored. Outside of work and my second job (applying to med school) I enjoy all the amazing food in Philadelphia, volunteer with high schools in West Philly, and have kept up with performing in a Hip-Hop dance group at Penn and various sports leagues around the city, including the Philly StoneWall Sports leagues. I enjoyed everything about my time at Swarthmore and find that it has really made the transition to "real life" very manageable. Philly has a great network of Swatties, both those I know well and new folks that I've met along the way. And I've enjoyed familiarizing my self with the diverse communities in the city. 

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