The Queer Resource Center supports queer and trans students at Portland State University to achieve their educational goals through advocacy, community, and celebration. The Queer Resource Center prioritizes a racial justice framework to improve campus climate through education, policy change, and campus-wide organizing.
The Queer Resource Center strives to provide students with the support they need to persist to graduation through increasing equity and access for queer and trans students at Portland State University.
The Queer Resource Center began in the early 2000s as a series of student organizations under various names (Queers and Allies, PSU LGBT Roundtable).
- 2003-2004: Incidents exposed the need for the QRC to expand its focus from a gathering place to a campus resource and referral agency. Students identified staff and faculty allies, hosted open forums, and convened stakeholders.
- 2005: One graduate student and two student staff members helped to found a speaker series, targeted trainings, a lending library, and a volunteer program.
- 2006: QRC student staff convened their advisory board to define staff roles and expectations, further refine high-profile events, and open the doors of a physical Queer Resource Center space in Smith Memorial Student Union. Increased visibility allowed more students to access the QRC with complex needs around advocacy, advising and crisis intervention.
- 2007: Stakeholders created a plan to transition from a student group to a department within student affairs with a professional staff trained to manage finances, support student staff, provide continuity and institutional memory, and to grow the center as new needs arise.
- 2010: The plan was implemented and fully completed.
- 2011: The Queer Resource Center launched its first Queer Students of Color Conference (QSOCC), one of the first of its kind, now held annually in Spring.
- 2012-2013: The Queer Resource Center supported the creation of the first all-gender bathroom on campus in Smith Memorial Student Union. Now all new building and updates buildings house at least one all-gender bathroom.
- 2018: The Trans Resources and Retention Coordinator at the Queer Resource Center organized the first Trans Action and Care Conference (TACC), now held annually in November.
- 2019: The Queer Resource Center shifts its Queer Students of Color Resources and Retention Coordinator from a part time position to full time, expanding services, programming, and support.
- 2019-2020: Our Queer Students of Color Coordinator hosted our first racial equity analysis and launched our first Queer Student of Color Programming Board.
- Today: The QRC, housed under the Dean of Student Life, exists as the queer and trans student hub, and resource/referral center, and home of Portland State queer and trans event traditions with four full time professional staff members, four specialized student coordinators, and four skilled members of our desk team.
About Our Staff
K has been working within queer communities for ten years and is proud that the past six years have been with Portland State's Queer Resource Center. After graduating with a Higher Education degree in 2016, K feels blessed to work with the engaging student population at PSU as the Director for the QRC. When not at work, K spends their time bouncing around in nature with their pals.
Queer Students of Color Resources and Retention Coordinator
H. Benjamin received his Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Science (2016) and is a current PSU Social Work Graduate Student (2020). He is passionate about working with students, people with disabilities, queer communities, and with other marginalized populations. He has completed two terms of service with AmeriCorps, has worked in Special Education since 2008, currently serves as a non-profit board member, and is affiliated with OHSU. In his spare time, he enjoys dancing, karaoke, concerts, tennis, traveling, spooky movies, and hanging with his cat.
He/Him/His & They/Them/Theirs
Cody is currently a junior and is majoring in Sexuality, Gender, and Queer Studies. He is a proud gay, trans, Aquarian, pet dad and tumbleweed enthusiast. After volunteering for a year, Cody is very excited to be a new member of the Desk Staff. In his off time, Cody enjoys listening to lots of different music, playing with his four rats, buying too many pairs of shoes, and making art of his numerous Dungeons and Dragons characters. Some of his future dreams include having 20 dogs, becoming a gay cowboy, and hugging a baby monkey.
Mena is a queer Latinx who has been a social services champion for the past ten years. Through a trauma-informed approach, she has acted as an advocate utilizing therapeutic practices with underrepresented groups. Mena’s initial work with Camp OUTdoors! and One n ten in Arizona inspired her to continue to work with the queer and trans community. In her free time she loves exploring new places, bouldering, and spending time with friends, her partner, senior-pup and celebrity look alike, little Miss Betty White (she looks just like her!).
Parsa is a trans man who grew up in Tehran, Iran and is now living in Portland, Oregon. His gender identity has motivated his commitment to giving back to the LGBTQ+ community. From fifteen years ago in Iran, he started supporting his community by volunteering to take leadership positions at non-profit organizations. Parsa worked at the PCC Queer Resource Center as a Student Advocate for two years. He has advocated for the access and affordability of community colleges for LGBTQ+ students by piloting new resources, coordinating events, and providing peer education for the ESOL students from other cultures about the LGBTQ+ community. Parsa is attending Architecture School at PSU, is working at the QRC Volunteer Coordinator, and at the PCC Student Learning Center as a math tutor to help students and serve his community. His goal is to advocate for justice for his LGBTQ+ community in the medical system. When he is not busy with school, he enjoys spending time with his wife, traveling, watching movies, and swimming.
She/Her/Hers & They/Them/Theirs
Miette is currently a junior at PSU studying jazz music. In addition to working at the QRC, Miette assistant directs musicals and sings at jazz jams around Portland. Miette is an avid reader, a tea aficionado, and Slytherin.
GP is a multiracial working class butch Libra. GP is a PSU Alum, with a BA in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and research focused in high school Gay Straight Alliances. They have a background in community development, organizing, social media and marketing, coffee, poetry and publishing, and budget management. They are most interested in what is means to be a community member, creating more access, imagining trans futures, and being gay. When not working, GP can be found gardening, making meals and tinctures for loved ones, and reading sci fi.
Jorge has been a student at Portland State University for two years. He is now studying Applied Health & Fitness, and has minors in French and Spanish. This will be his first year as desk staff, however he is very excited to be more involved within the Queer community!
She/Her/Hers & They/Them/Theirs
Inez is a proud bisexual, genderqueer Mexican. She is currently working to get into the Creative Writing major and is a film minor. Aside from being a part of the Desk Staff, Inez is working with the Queer and Trans Student of Color Affinity Group on Fridays to help queer POC find a place where they feel like they belong. Outside of work Inez loves to bullet journal, read, listen to different music, and play minecraft.