Queer Studies

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Queer Studies

QS in the News

CSUN Queer Studies Pride Project Reaches LGBTQ+ Youth Through Playlists and Digital Zines

Collage from “Zine 3” in CSUN Queer Studies project.

At first glance, the image appears to be the desktop screen of a ’90s personal computer — with floating windows and a hovering, pixelated cursor. But a closer look reveals a media widget playing the song “we fell in love in october,” by indie singer-songwriter girl in red, and Pride mantras such as “Love knows no gender” splashed among images of queer icons Ruby Rose, Hayley Kiyoko and Kehlani in the ’90s mockup of the software Microsoft Paint.

This is one of the many bold and colorful collages made by CSUN students in Queer Studies 204: Queer Identity – Pop Music and Its Audience, 1980s to Now. The course’s final project for spring 2020 was to create digital zines — self-published collections of externally sourced text and images — and song playlists to inspire LGBTQ+ youth around the San Fernando Valley and beyond to love and accept themselves, especially during these unprecedented times.

“If I had found something like the zines and the playlists we made when I was younger, when I was in the closet, struggling with my own identity, it would have definitely helped me to feel less alone in the world,” said Jade Edwards, a student in the class. “I’m glad we could make [this project] now, and help whoever is in young me’s shoes with coming out and accepting themselves.”

Collage from “Zine 3” in CSUN Queer Studies project.

QS Statement of Solidarity with Black Lives Matter

The Queer Studies Program stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, and with protestors nationwide who have taken to the streets to demand justice in the face of a white supremacist system that has killed African Americans with impunity for too long. We know only too well the ongoing state violence against LGBTQ+ communities, and trans people in particular, as evidenced by the murder of Tony McDade, a black trans man killed by police on the streets of Tallahassee, Florida on May 28th, 2020. We grieve his loss alongside the brutal killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others that have unceasingly revealed the fatal realities of this country’s justice system.

June is Pride Month, marking the Stonewall uprising in June 1969, which was led by trans women of color standing up to police brutality. Their protests set off a national movement for equality. LGBTQ+ people of all races have had a history of fighting for our right to exist, to be treated equally and to challenge oppressive systems in all forms. The Queer Studies Program denounces historical instances of racism within the LGBTQ+ community and is continually working towards teaching from an anti-racist paradigm for our present and future queer communities. We teach our students to challenge norms, to work for justice and to understand that our struggles are intertwined. When one of us can’t breathe, none of us lives free. We stand in solidarity with all marginalized communities and allies who are joining together to demand systemic change, racial justice and a society where Black Lives Matter, period.

BLACK TRANS LIVES MATTER: Joint Solidarity Statement from Gender and Women’s Studies, Queer Studies and the Women’s Research and

This past week saw the brutal killings of  two black trans women, Dominque "Rem'mie"Fells of Philadelphia, PA, and Riah Milton of Liberty Township, Ohio. These murders came on the heels of the police killing of Tony McDade, a black trans man, on May 27, 2020. Violence against the Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Community, including fatal violence, is an epidemic, with black trans women bearing the brunt of this violence. Since the start of the year, there have been 14 reported murders of trans and gender non-conforming people in the US. Moreover, these killings take place in the backdrop of assaults on LGBTQ+ rights and continued state violence targeting peaceful protesters against police brutality around the country. The Gender and Women’s Studies Department, the Queer Studies Program, and the Women’s Research and Resource Center at CSUN stand in solidarity with protesters on the street demanding justice Dominque, Riah, Tony, and so many others, and we demand an end to the violation and murder of trans and gender non-conforming people at the hands of police and civilians. #ALLBLACKLIVESMATTER.


Pride paradeThe Queer Studies Program at CSUN began offering classes in the Fall of 2008.

Housed in the College of Humanities, QS is an interdisciplinary minor that questions normative constructions of sexuality and gender.

The Queer Studies minor focuses on histories, contemporary experiences, and community-based knowledges of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people, intersexed people, queers, and others who occupy non-heterosexist and non-normative gender positionalities.

The program explores how heterosexism, heteronormativity and transphobia intersect and collide with national, ethnic, racial, class and other identifications, fostering a community of learners who grapple with issues of diversity, gender, sexuality and social justice.

QS at CSUN provides an academic home for those who wish to study the intellectual, cultural and material conditions that have shaped our current understandings of sexuality and gender variation as well as for those who wish to generate new, resistant theories and practices. The program offers an undergraduate minor, sponsors courses, organizes lecture series, and brings together interested students, faculty, and larger Los Angeles communities.

Learning Outcomes

Gay pride participant dressed in colored balloons

The Queer Studies Program has the following student learning outcomes. Minors in the program will:

  • Explore and value the diversities of cultures, thought, perspectives, and literatures of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people and communities, and explore and value the ways in which ethnicity/race, gender (understood here in terms of the different contrasts between women and men, and between non-normatively gendered and normatively gendered people), socioeconomic class shape the diversities of cultures, thought, perspectives, and literatures of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersexed, and queer people and communities;
  • Critically reflect on and analyze multiple dimensions of human identity and experience that are shaped by sexuality and gender (understood here in terms of the different contrasts between women and men, and between non-normatively gendered and normatively gendered people); 
  • Contribute to scholarship and creative production and innovation in the interdisciplinary field of queer studies and closely related fields such as transgender studies; and;
  • Act as responsible global citizens committed to principles of freedom, equality, justice and participatory democracy in ways that value fully lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people and communities.