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LGBTQ+ Alum Events

Swarthmore community members gather in the Clothier Intercultural Center Big Room.

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Garnet Weekend
LGBTQ+ Alum Network: Lavender Table Talk
Saturday October 29, 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. 


Being an LGBTQ+ Swarthmore alum comes with a set of unique shared experiences, and sometimes it can feel like there is a lack of space for us to come together in the community to process our complicated, beautiful journeys. In light of this need, members of the LGBTQ+ Alum Network Steering Committee hosted the first Lavender Table Talk at Alumni Weekend 2022 with great success. It's returning for Garnet Weekend!

The Lavender Table Talk provides an opportunity for Swarthmore alumni who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community (during and post-Swarthmore) to converse about their experiences across generations. In addition to sharing stories, attendees will have the opportunity to network and brainstorm ideas regarding how to connect with and foster community across the wider Swarthmore LGBTQ+ alum network. It's a super casual affair, with no set agenda; a member of the Steering Committee will be there to help facilitate. We request that everyone come with an open heart and mind, and maybe some tea to spill!

No cost; register here

Past Events


Cafe on the Crum: Performing Gender

Monday, April 18 on Zoom
8 p.m. ET

Participants enjoyed a powerful theatre performance drawn from All She Has Anita Castillo-Halvorssen '15's one-woman show,  followed by a discussion of the complexities that reproduction of gender has posed in our lived experiences as queer folks. 

Anita Castillo-Halvorssen '15 (she/her) is a queer Venezuelan-Norwegian AEA actor, singer, educator, and film editor based in New York City. Originally from Colorado, she recently graduated from Brown University's MFA acting program at Trinity Rep. She is most interested in the lies we tell ourselves and how to eliminate them. Her work investigates the boundless potential of human identity, often by incorporating a wacky, zany sense of play. Currently, you can catch her in Harlem (Amazon Prime), Law & Order (NBC), or commercials for’s dating app. She’s appeared recently in several of Red Bull Theater's world premiere virtual readings of Spanish Golden Age plays by overlooked women playwrights. NYC stage roles include Grusha in a modern queer adaptation of Brecht's Caucasian Chalk Circle at Artistic New Directions’ Eclectics Festival. Anita has worked as a teaching artist for Rhode Island Latino Arts, Brown University, the Young Actors’ Summer Institute, CUNY Creative Arts Team, the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College, and Swat! Additional training: British American Drama Academy.

Cafe on the Crum: Telling a Life in Bricolage

Thursday, Oct. 28 on Zoom
8 p.m. Eastern | 5 p.m. Pacific
Hosted by Janet Chance '87

Participants reflected and refracted on their own experiences, in response to fragments of Shoshana Kerewsky ‘83's memoir.

Shoshana Kerewsky is a psychotherapist and faculty emerita in Oregon. She will publish her mixed-form memoir Cancer, Kintsugi, Camino later this fall. Excerpts have appeared recently in La Concha: American Pilgrims on the Camino Magazine and  CURE - Oncology & Cancer News for Patients & Caregivers. She is currently teaching a University of Oregon Honors College class on the psychology of pilgrimage. Her co-authored chapter "Rewrite the Script:  A Call for More Queer and Inclusive Couple Enrichment Programs" is in press in Handbook of LGBTQ-Affirmative Couple and Family Therapy (2nd ed.).

Minding the Love

Feb. 14 - March 31

Please consider sending fellow LGBTQ+ Alum some love notes this February as many of us observe Valentine’s Day!  Share a virtual valentine to a particular alum you want to surprise, or to LGBTQ+ alum all together.

Cafe on the Crum: Telling Stories that Matter

Tuesday, April 6
8 p.m. EDT / 5 p.m. PDT
Hosted by Anita Castillo-Halvorssen '15

At this gathering, Broadway Producer Joshua Goodman '85 shared his experience bringing stories he values to life on stage. As a group, we reflected on and discussed the movies, plays, books, television, songs, and other precious media that have shaped who we are.


Curating a Diverse Bookshelf for Kids

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020
8 p.m. EST

Find yourself wanting to buy a kid's book by or about LGBTQ+ people and people of color, but have no idea where to begin? Children's book authors Emma Otheguy ’09 and special guest Lil Miss Hot Mess '06  shared resources for discovering new books for readers age 0–12 years and some of their top book recommendations.

This event was hosted by the Swarthmore Alumni of Color and the LGBTQ+ Alum Network, and was open to all alumni who wished to attend.

Cafe on the Crum: Objects that Mean the World

Wednesday, Nov. 18
8 p.m. Eastern
Hosted by Janet Chance '87

At this gathering, we reflected on and talk about material objects that we treasure: what stories they tell, and why they matter to us. In response to what participants shared, art historian Jeff Ruda '69 provided insights about these objects, discussing how they relate to aesthetic, historical, and/or global trends. 

Cafe on the CrumConnecting through poetry

Wednesday, Sept. 30
8 p.m. Eastern
Hosted by Janet Chance '87

We read aloud works by Jericho Brown, Joan Larkin, Audre Lorde, and Ocean Vuong; reflect on our own personal stories; and learnED about each other by sharing in small groups.  

The first in a series, the LGBTQ+ Alum Network will host arts & culture conversations approximately once every six weeks from September 2020 through August 2021. 


Alumni Weekend

Members of the LGBTQ+ Alumnx Network hosted a mimosa brunch at Sharples during Alumni Weekend on Sunday, June 2, 2019.

Swarthmore LGBTQ+ Alum Community Day

Alums around the globe met in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Tucson, and on a video call to connect during our first worldwide Swarthmore LGBTQ+ Alum Community Day on April 28, 2019.