Taught by Brandelyn Tosolt
Interdisciplinary study of a specific topic in women’s or gender studies.
- Professor Brandelyn Tosolt
One of the things I’m most focused on as a course instructor is helping my students recognize and act on their agency, and so the Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project is always a great fit for my courses! This semester, I worked with a group of about 20 undergraduate students exploring queer theory. When the semester started, we worked together to construct a syllabus that included multiple ways to participate, given the many constraints this semester threw at us: virtual learning, quarantining and contact tracing, working in and out of the home, caring for siblings, children, and other family members… the list goes on. Between trying to teach in a way that honored these challenges and supporting students’ agency, it only made sense to have the students co-construct the entire course.
That’s the same approach we took with the Mayerson project. I watched a group of undergraduates haltingly take turns being leaders and listeners, proposing processes and refining them, and ultimately taking ownership over the entire project. My role was to ask clarifying questions and help them implement the structures they designed. I am proud of the care they took in determining how they’d learn more about organizations and how they’d make decisions that worked for everyone in the class, inclusive of both synchronous and asynchronous learners. I am, of course, very pleased that we are able to fund the work of PFLAG Cincinnati, whose mission (as you’ll hear in a moment) really resonated with the class. Thank you for the opportunity to help take the concept of queer theory and translate it into community-based action.
Our class is about queer theory, meaning we’re learning to see and disrupt binaries such as good/bad, male/female, gay/straight, and insider/outsider. We were interested in finding an organization that centered queerness and queer folx, but also an organization that reached beyond the “boundaries” of the queer community. PFLAG Cincinnati was a perfect fit. - WGS 394 Student
We were interested in funding PFLAG Cincinnati because educating and supporting families helps with understanding queer communities. The more understanding we have toward one another, the more inclusion there will be. These issues are not queer issues, they are everybody issues and working together to solve them is priority. - WGS 394 Student
PFLAG envisions a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed, inclusive of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
By meeting people where they are and collaborating with others, PFLAG realizes its vision through support for families, allies, and people who are LGBTQ; education for ourselves and others about the unique issues and challenges facing people who are LGBTQ; and advocacy in our communities to change attitudes and create policies and laws that achieve full equality for people who are LGBTQ
From Tom Jenkins of PFLAG: Activities PFLAG Cincinnati holds two meetings monthly, virtual during the pandemic, which include speakers as well as a support portion where attendees share their stories to support each other. The chapter attends local events and supports local organizations.
PFLAG Cincinnati offers scholarships to students living in or attending college or university in the greater Cincinnati area. Since the program’s inception in 1992, PFLAG has awarded over $212,000 in scholarships to 161 talented and deserving LGBTQ students.
We have not finally decided on how we will use the donation as we are still early in our fiscal year though devoting it to scholarships is a strong possibility.