Harvard University has added to its growing list of gay student groups, by creating a ”BGLTQ” support group for student athletes “identifying” as gay and transgender, a report says.
The group was founded by members of Harvard’s swimming and diving team, according to the Washington Examiner. One of the founders is reportedly Schuyler M. Bailer, a student who identifies as a transgender man and is the first NCAA Division 1 athlete to openly identify as transgender.
“There’s a lot of groups for queer people, but a lot of them, I think, focus on queer student life,” Bailar said recently. “Being an athlete is a totally different space, especially for queer people, because there’s a lot more of gender performed through sport that can be violated to some degree.”
The group, going by the name QUADS, is described as a welcoming environment “in order to facilitate and strengthen the community of queer athletes.” The group claims to help members fight against Harvard’s “cisheternormative atmosphere.”
Members are also required to sign a non-disclosure agreement before joining to protect the privacy of fellow members.
“Harvard Queer Undergraduate Athletes Do Sports (QUADS) is a social group concerned with connecting BGLTQ athletes with one another, in order to facilitate and strengthen the community of queer athletes,” the school’s website explains. “QUADS provides an environment for BGLTQ athletes to share their experiences and provide support while navigating a cisheteronormative atmosphere at Harvard. Meetings and membership are confidential to non-members.”
The addition of QUADS brings the number of official queer-themed student groups at Harvard to an even ten. Other groups sport such names as BAGELS, the Harvard BGLTQ and Allied Students In the Sciences, the Harvard Queer Asian and Pacific Islander Association, and the Trans Task Force.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.