Image of a white nurse's cap from the 1940s.

L.G.B.T.Q. Button, 2016

Metal and plastic.
Transfer from UofSC Office of Development


Office of Multicultural Student Affairs Safe Zone Program

The University of South Carolina offers free training programs to better understand the needs of L.G.B.T.Q.+ communities on campus. Becoming a Safe Zone Ally lets those who identify as L.G.B.T.Q.+ know that there are safe spaces on campus and people willing to listen. OMSA also offers Trans Advocacy Workshops open to all students, faculty, and staff.

For more information, visit the OMSA homepage.




During the 1970s, students began to express their sexuality and gender identities more publicly, sometimes with the university’s support and sometimes without. In 1973, The Gamecock published a student’s account of temporarily dropping out of school to transition from male to female. Julie explained, “I grew up a little girl in a little boy’s body, and if I have my way, this cruel and unusual punishment is about to come to an end,” so “[I can] finally be happy.” However, that same year, the Vice President of Student Affairs vetoed the Gay Liberation Front’s request to charter a campus chapter.

Several years later, there seemed to be growing acceptance of the L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ community. In 1976, the Student Government Association Speaker’s Bureau hosted Christine Jorgensen, an out transgender woman, to speak about transitioning. In 1977, The Gamecock carried a multi-article series, highlighting students coming out at UofSC.

USC 2020 Vision, a student movement, culminated in a 2016 student walk-out and a list of demands regarding diversity issues. Subsequently, the university strove to be more inclusive. Current efforts include adding gender neutral bathrooms, allowing students to use their preferred name on Blackboard, and offering Safe Zone Ally workshops for faculty and staff.


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