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LGBTQ+ Alum Events

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

Interested in hosting an event? Want to get involved? Email us at pride@swarthmore.edu.

Upcoming

Swarthmore LGBTQ+ Alums Book Club
starts July 2024

The LGBTQ+ Alum Network Steering Committee will be hosting an informal book club, meeting roughly every other month on Zoom. We welcome any who are interested in joining us.  Our first virtual gathering will be Wednesday, July 17th, at 7-8 pm EST.  We aim to meet every other month, and our first book will be Love and Hot Chicken by Mary Liza Hartong. Please come to the meeting having already read the book! For more information and to RSVP, please click this link. Question? Email pride@swarthmore.edu

Queer Welcome to the city - San Francisco
September, 2024 (Date TBA)

Do you live in or around the Bay Area? Welcome newly-graduated (and other) LGBTQ+ alums who have recently relocated to San Francisco at this casual social event. Date, location and email invite coming soon. Questions? Email pride@swarthmore.edu

guided tour of the gayborhood - Philadelphia
October 13, 2024 - 3-5 p.m.

Join us for a guided tour of Philadelphia's Midtown Village (aka the Gayborhood) with professional tour guide Bob Skiba. We'll end with a brief tour of the archives at the William Way Community Center. End the night with an optional, on-your-own dinner at one of the great Gayborhood restaurants.  Look for an email invite in August 2024 or email pride@swarthmore.edu

LGBTQ+ history month swattalk
October, 2024 (Date TBA)

SwatTalks is an Alumni Council program that brings the talent and expertise of Swarthmore alumni, faculty, and staff to the greater College community through free, virtual seminars. In honor of LGBTQ+ History Month, the LGBTQ+ Alum Network will sponsor a SwatTalk highlighting a topic or theme of interest to the Swarthmore LGBTQ+ community. Speaker and topic TBA; look for an email invite in September 2024 or email pride@swarthmore.edu

Past Events

2024

Alumni Weekend: Lavender Table Talk

Swarthmore alums who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community (during and post-Swarthmore) conversed about their experiences across generations, sharing stories,  networking, and brainstorming ideas about how to connect with and foster community across the wider Swarthmore LGBTQ+ alum network.

Dinner + Brooklyn Pride Parade

Alums, students, faculty and staff gathered for dinner and to watch the only evening Pride parade in the NYC area.

2023

Garnet Weekend: Drag Story Hour with Lil Miss Hot Mess '06

Join Lil Miss Hot Mess '06 for a special Drag Story Hour event in which you'll not only get to listen to fabulous stories, but will be invited to sing and dance along as well, so you can unleash your brightest and boldest self! Lil Miss Hot Mess will read from her children's books If You’re a Drag Queen and You Know It (Running Press Kids, 2022) and The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish (Running Press Kids, 2020), plus other favorites that address themes of identity, creativity, and imagination. Stick around after the stories for a brief discussion about the movement behind Drag Story Hour and what audiences learn from drag performers. 

Lil Miss Hot Mess (aka Harris Kornstein '06) serves on the board of Drag Story Hour and is the author of the children's books If You’re a Drag Queen and You Know It (Running Press Kids, 2022) and The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish (2020). She has appeared on world-class stages like SFMOMA, Stanford University, and Saturday Night Live, and was a founding organizer of the #MyNameIs campaign that challenged Facebook’s “real names” policy. She has published research in academic journals like Curriculum Inquiry as well as essays in The GuardianWiredNBC NewsSlate, and Salon. When not twirling, she is a professor at the University of Arizona.

Garnet Weekend: "Paris is Burning" Film Screening

The Swarthmore LGBTQ+ Alum Network hosted a screening of this award-winning documentary about Ball culture in 1980’s New York City and the African-American, Latinx, gay, and transgender communities involved in it. In 2016, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” C

SwatTalk: Gender-affirming Medical Care with Dr. Kellan Baker

Dr. Kellan E. Baker is the Executive Director of the Whitman-Walker Institute, the research, policy, and education arm of Whitman-Walker, a community health system in Washington, D.C. Kellan is a health services researcher, educator, and health policy professional with wide expertise in health equity research and policy, particularly with regard to sexual and gender minority (SGM) populations.

Alumni Weekend: Lavender Table Talk

Swarthmore alums who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community (during and post-Swarthmore) conversed about their experiences across generations, sharing stories,  networking, and brainstorming ideas about how to connect with and foster community across the wider Swarthmore LGBTQ+ alum network.

Alumni Weekend: LGBTQ+ Alum Network Breakfast

LGBTQ+ alums connected over breakfast, hosted by the LGBTQ+ Alum Network Committee. Families and allies welcome. 

2022

Alumni Weekend: Lavender Table Talk

Swarthmore alums who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community (during and post-Swarthmore) conversed about their experiences across generations, sharing stories,  networking, and brainstorming ideas about how to connect with and foster community across the wider Swarthmore LGBTQ+ alum network.

Garnet Weekend: Lavender Table Talk

Swarthmore alums, current students and a few parents of alums who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community conversed about their experiences across generations, sharing stories,  networking, and brainstorming ideas about how to connect with and foster community across the wider Swarthmore LGBTQ+ alum network.

2021

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 Match.com’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. padlet.com/SwatAlum/MindingTheLove

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.

2020

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. 

2019

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.