Welcome to "Queer At HSU"!

Humboldt State University is the northern-most California State University, located in the quaint and quirky town of Arcata, CA. Home to almost 9,000 students and 600 faculty members, HSU is abundant with friendly faces, exciting personalities, and exceptionally tall redwood trees! This site, created by a collection of students and supportive faculty, focuses on the dynamic existence of queerness on HSU campus. 

Please begin your exploration of this site by checking out our mission statement below. Continue by selecting an exhibit topic that peaks your interest- exhibits are located on the banner at the top of this page.


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Our mission is to explore queerness as a study, an experience, and an identity at Humboldt State University. We approach this exploration with the knowledge that the term “queerness” lacks clarity; “queer” means something unique for all individuals, and its meanings are always context-specific. Historically, it has been used to denigrate people perceived to be gender non-conforming and/or sexually transgressive. Today in the United States, many people self-identify under the term as a way of re-claiming and transforming its meaning. Although still used to stigmatize and oppress, “queer” has been reclaimed by communities and individuals as a tool for collective organizing and/or self-empowerment, and includes a wide range of people under its aegis who do not conform to gender and sexual norms.   

Hoping to document history, share stories, and inspire access to resources, our researchers and authors, all students in Professor Janet Winston’s “Queer Women’s Lives” class of Spring 2016, have examined multiple aspects of the physical, emotional, and academic elements of HSU. Throughout the process of examining our campus and representing our findings, we have sought to use an intersectional feminist lens: to see sexuality as it intersects with multiple aspects of identity, including race and ethnicity, class, religion, sex, and gender. Our goal has been to represent a diversity of experiences and stories. We recognize, however, that for many of us, our understanding of and commitment to intersectionality is a work in progress. Consequently, our representation of queerness at HSU is imperfect.

As queerness is reproduced, reinterpreted, and reimagined, the stories and pages we exhibit here may become misrepresentative of queerness at HSU in many ways. Because “queer” as an identity and a study is in progress, our exhibit must remain “in progress” as well. We offer this compilation of photographs, stories, documents, and research as a resource for examining the past, contextualizing the present, and shaping the future. We hope that this foundation is used for future classes and researchers to build upon, documenting new and exciting queer experiences, identities, and studies at HSU. 

We envision this site as being a source of empowerment that helps our communities build coalitions, resist oppressions, and encourage activism. We are excited and proud of the time and effort we have dedicated to this exhibit, and we are looking forward to what this site will become in the future.


Written by Grace Conroy


Thank you for reading! Enjoy our exhibit!  


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