LGBT Studies Overview
Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Studies (LGBT) has become a growing academic discipline at leading universities across the U. S., and its evolution has been closely correlated with more acceptance of people with various sexual orientations. The first LGBT study program was centered upon the social critical theory (developed by the Frankfurt School), which had been previously used within other social studies. This allowed LGBT studies to became part of all the other social study fields such as critical race studies, women’s studies and so on. The first school to introduce courses in such a program, in the spring of 1970, was the University of California, Berkeley. It was followed by the City University of San Francisco, which introduced it as a full program in 1989.
It is seen as an interdisciplinary field similar to social and cultural studies. It focuses on critically examining the status of these groups throughout history, as well as the current issues affecting them in the present time. Currently there are numerous universities both private and public that offer undergraduate majors, minors and certificates in the field of LGBT studies.
The leading LGBT centers and organizations are affiliated with large reputable universities that conduct research in the LGBT field. A controversial and quite famous example of how these LGBT centers were founded is the story of the famous activist Larry Kramer, who announced a $4 million grant to be offered to Yale to develop a specific program of study in the field of LGBT studies, as well as an LGBT center. Due to various factors, this initiative was short-lived and was canceled in 2006.
However, in recent years most universities that offer LGBT degrees and courses have invested in developing LGBT organizations as well as LGBT support groups that allow students involved in this field to receive scholarships as well raise awareness in their communities and on campus about issues affecting the LGBT community. For an extensive list of LGBT organizations, centers and support groups you can visit this website and find an abundant amount of resources for LGBT communities and their pursuit of LGBT rights.