LGBTQ+ Alum Network Volunteers
Twan Claiborne '07
Pronouns: all of them
I am based in New York, NY teaching English and Math in special education settings, and performing in drag. Hailing from Lake Providence, LA and raised in Seattle, WA, I majored in Linguistics and minored in Black Studies at Swarthmore. Additionally, I was involved in several different organizations and activities, including Swarthmore College Orchestra, Elizabeth Fetter Chamber Music Program, Rhythm N Motion, Swarthmore Afro-American Student Society (SASS), COLORS (an Intercultural organization for queer students of color), and Dare 2 Soar. Outside of my livelihood, I am an avid activist in many ways. I enjoy dancing, reading. learning languages, dining, and traveling.
Octavio González '97
Octavio R. González ('97) is Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at Wellesley College. His monograph of literary criticism, Misfit Modernism: Queer Forms of Double Exile in the Twentieth-Century Novel, appears in the Refiguring Modernism series at Pennsylvania State University Press (2020). His first poetry collection, The Book of Ours, was a selection of the chapbook series at Letras Latinas, University of Notre Dame (Momotombo Press, 2009). He’s at work on a full-length poetry manuscript, “Limerence: The Wingless Hour.” Some poems from this collection appear in Lambda Literary’s Poetry Spotlight (https://www.lambdaliterary.org/2019/01/octavio-r-gonzalez), ArLiJo, Anomaly, La Guagua Poetry Anthology, La Casita Grande Salon, and an anthology of Dominican poets in the diaspora (Retrato intimo de poetas dominicanos, https://amzn.to/2Sz051V). Other creative work appears in Puerto del Sol, The Latino Book Review, OCHO, MiPoesias, HIV±Here & Now, and Mass. Poetry on the T, among other venues. You can follow him on Twitter @TaviRGonzalez.
AV Lee-a-Yong '21
Originally from Miami, Florida, I majored in Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmore College, with minors in Psychology and Gender & Sexuality Studies. During my time there, I was lucky enough to be a part of and find community in COLORS, a closed group for queer and trans students of color, participate in student and department theater projects, and to establish a background in grassroots organizing and social work. I am currently based in Philadelphia, working in the non-profit sector. In my free time, I love cooking, traveling, and playing video games.
Ed Kamrin '88
At Swarthmore, I majored in English, minored in Religion, worked as an accompanist for the Dance Program, and was active in various causes, including GLU (the Gay and Lesbian Union). After graduating, I worked and studied in Finland, becoming bilingual and writing a graduate thesis on nurse/patient interaction (in Finnish). That time abroad led to a wonderful career in communications. I'm based in San Francisco, where I have my own practice, Kamrin Communications. Giving back through pro bono consulting and board service are deeply important to me. My own experience at Swarthmore was mixed, and my road back has been complex. For me, volunteering with LGBTQ+ Alum Network is a way to navigate that complexity and help claim our community's place in Swarthmore's history -- and its future.
Adrianne Pierce '84
I have taught Classics at Hackley School in Tarrytown, NY for 26 years where I have been Head of the Department for the past 17. I have also directed global education, holding the Allstrom Chair in Foreign Affairs for 8 years. I am finishing my second stint as the Middle School Coordinator of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and will retire from Hackley in June. At Swarthmore I was involved in the chorus and worked in neighboring Chester with the tutorial program. I received my Masters and PhD in Classics from Johns Hopkins where I taught for 10 years. As of June, my wife and I will live in Greene County, NY near Catskill; our two daughters are in college.
Edward Strickler '78
Pronouns: all of them
The difficult, disturbing, and delightful experiences of study and learning at Swarthmore conditioned me to lifelong learning, including three degrees from the University of Virginia, covering religious ethics, clinical ethics, and public health. These disciplines served well for advocating, teaching, and advising through the early decades of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, including with Virginia Department of Health and other agencies, especially in matters of sexual and gender minority (SGM) communities, rural communities, and intersections of class, culture, and lifecourse. Professional work settled down in the School of Medicine, UVA, from which I retired in 2020 (yet continuing in several helpful roles including as a ‘standardized patient’ with medical students). I was able in all that time to help catalyze and sustain some early SGM services (health, youth, and antiviolence programs, liaison with law enforcement, human rights advocacy, etc), assist family and friends in distress, win some ribbons at county fairs, get married (when allowed) to a companion (now of more than four decades), and practice speaking with crows. Crows are strong individuals within groups and so I have tried to be: joining and often co-facilitating many community dialogues on difficult topics, joining and sometimes leading various boards, commissions, and task forces (e.g. American Public Health Association, Diocese of Virginia, Commonwealth of Virginia, etc), and acquiring better skills for listening before doing.
Bobby Zipp '18
When I first arrived at Swarthmore in the fall of 2014, one of the things I was looking forward to the most was being a part of a community where I felt I could express my queer identity without fear of judgement. I studied English Literature, Political Science, and Educational Studies and participated in the Honors program, which was equal parts delightful and daunting. Outside of class, I worked in the call center for the Office of Advancement and as a student worker in Admissions, and spent time as a member of the Phoenix newspaper and in the Student Government Organization. After Swarthmore, I lived in Thessaloniki, Greece for a year and now reside in San Jose, California, where I'm a graduate student in computer science and work as a full-time fundraiser for a local university.