New LGBTQA+ group started for graduate and professional school students

Ellie Rambo, Staff Reporter

This week five students launched QGrad, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and ally (LGBTQA+) group for graduate and professional school students. Although Case Western Reserve University is a welcoming community to anyone regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, some students have noticed a lack of representation for members in certain graduate and professional schools.

“I’m in the physics department, and although there are LGBT people, there’s no organized community,” said Luke Keltner, the group’s social committee chair. “The point is to get people together, and make it more obvious that there is a community here.”

Some of CWRU’s graduate and professional schools have their own LGBTQA+ groups, which are contained within schools and programs. The founding students, who study everything from physics to the social sciences, saw a need for a larger group that could connect all interested graduate and professional students.

“As PhD students we never had an LGBT group, the smaller groups are for the professional schools,” said Michal Bonar, the public relations chair. “We have the LGBT Center, but it’s focused on undergraduates.”

The group plans to host educational, professional and social events. In October, they will sponsor an educational event focusing on domestic violence in the LGBT community, and plan to host a drag show as a fundraising event in November.

Bonar said the group’s ultimate goal is to create a sense of LGBTQA+ community and to show prospective students that CWRU is an accepting environment. “We’re going to work to link members to local resources,” said Bonar. “We’re plugging everyone in to all these different resources that already exist.”