Announcing the 2021 LGBTQ Symposium

Spotlighting the voices, experiences, research, and creativity of the LGBTQ community

The Women and LGBT Center at SMU will present its 7th annual LGBTQ Symposium (formerly known as the LGBT Equality Forum). The LGBTQ Symposium provides a platform to spotlight the voices, experiences, research, and creativity of the LGBT community at SMU and beyond. Every Thursday night during the month of October, we will have a different program, speaker, or panel that will be discussing different aspects of LGBTQIAAP+ identities and lives.

Shangela is Coming Home to the Hilltop!!!

Thursday, October 7th at 7:00 pm in HTCS Auditorium

Guess who is coming home to the Hilltop on October 7th to kick off the LGBTQ Symposium? Proud SMU alum D.J. Pierce, otherwise known and loved throughout the world as “Shangela!!!” Actor and Performer, D.J. “Shangela” Pierce, is best recognized as the first contestant to compete on three separate seasons of the Emmy-award winning reality series “RuPaul's Drag Race” (Seasons 2, 3 and “All Stars” 3). Currently, Shangela can be seen hosting the Emmy nominated HBO series “We’re Here,” which will premiere its second season this October. As an actor, Shangela has appeared in numerous TV roles, Lady Gaga’s drag mother in the Academy Award winning film “A Star Is Born,” and will co-star in the feature film “Lone Star Bull” slated for release next year.

Pierce graduated with Honors from SMU’s CCPA program. While at SMU, D.J. was a Hunt Scholar, a Hilltop Senator, Program Council Chair, M Award recipient, member of The Association of Black Students and most recently selected to serve on the Meadows School of the Arts Executive Board. This will be Shangela's first time performing professionally at SMU and to say we are excited is an understatement.

Register Here

LGBTQ Leaders in Business

Thursday, October 14th at 6:00 pm HTSC Chambers

Join us for a panel discussion with local LGBTQ+ leaders in the corporate world. Panelists will share their experiences in navigating the corporate environment as LGBTQ+.

  • Andy Smith - Director of Giving and Volunteering for Texas Instruments

  • Judy Sherman - Financial Planner, CFBS, CEPA

  • Mario Boffa - Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Product Manager at Wells Fargo

  • Cheralyn Stevenson - Head of Legal Innovation for The Changists

Register Here

LGBTQ State of the State of Texas

Thursday, October 21st at 6:00 pm HTSC Chambers

Join us for this panel focused on all the legislation that has been introduced and/or passed this year as part of the legislative session in Texas. Participants will hear about the changes that have taken place due to this legislation, what it means for LGBTQ+ people, and how we can work to make our state more inclusive of LGBTQ+ people going forward.

  • Jessica González - State Representative for District 104

  • Leslie McMurray - Transgender Education and Advocacy Associate for Resource Center

  • Autumn Keefer - Associate Attorney at Ellwanger Law, LLLP.

  • Patrick Hanley - Public Policy and Advocacy Lead for Resource Center

Register Here

The Coming Out Monologues

Thursday, October 28th, 2021 at 7:00 pm in HTSC Auditorium

The Coming Out Monologues is a powerful opportunity to hear a diverse collection of personal narratives and storytelling from the perspective of people in our community who identify as members of the LGBTQIAAP+ community and heterosexual/cisgender allies. It is an intimate window into the lives, stories, and experiences of LGBTQ people. These inspiring, insightful, and impactful stories are deeply poignant, funny, serious, heartbreaking, embarrassing, creative, painful and hopeful.

Register Here
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