LGBTQA Student Organizations
Alliance is Murray State's organization for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and ally students. The group meets every other week while school is in session. Alliance provides social activities and support for students. Past activities include pool parties, drag shows, discussions, and game nights.
Advisor, Dr. Peg Pittman-Munke
Ambassadors learn, develop skills, and strive to create a more inclusive space for LGBTQA individuals at Murray State. Membership is by application only. Students must have at least sophomore standing with a 2.5 cumulative GPA. They commit to weekly meetings and two office hours each week.
Ambassadors take on leadership opportunities, either with the office or by their own design. Past examples include Safe Zone trainings, class presentations, mapping single-occupancy restrooms on campus, and alumni outreach.
Eracers is a confidential, peer-support group for transgender and gender nonconforming students. This club is a safe place for those wanting to discuss topics around their gender identity and/or expression. The group meets weekly and requires a confidentiality agreement from all participants. We also maintain a list of single occupancy restrooms on campus for trans and gender nonconforming students, employees, and visitors. You can view the map here.
Meet Our Students
Kelsey Crawford, Class of 2018
Major: Studio Art with an emphasis in Graphic Design
Hometown: Lick Creek, IL
After moving to Murray, KY to attend Murray State University, I searched for a group that I could be a part of. Identifying as gay and a queer person of color, I wanted to find a way to better my community on campus with education, activism, and service. As one of the Student Coordinators of the LGBTQA Ambassadors, we have created a support group for marginalized people, mapped gender-neutral restrooms on campus and created educational programming for students, such as “LGBTQ 101.” My favorite of these would have to be the support group. Overall Murray State should become the home of the student and I strive to create safe spaces, enjoyment, and educational experiences on this campus so all can feel at ease. Creating this space for discussion, company, and more has given back to me as I hope to give back to campus.
Danielle H. Reed, Class of 2020
Hometown: Vine Grove, KY
If you want to get specific about my orientations, I'm a pansexual MTF transgender person. I was forced to come out to my parents around my sophomore year of high school. I had always been a very depressed and feminine kid, but around this time my mom and sister took a trip and I was helping pack their luggage. Up until this point, I knew something had always been off and I always felt like I was missing out on something or not living up to my full potential as a person. So when I saw an emerald and black gown hanging up I decided to borrow it and put it back later. When I put it on I still felt like myself, but a much happier one. I didn’t care if I was "pretty" and I still don't. I felt happy just being me and never wanted to change that. What I didn’t know at the time was that the dress I was wearing was the very same one my mom was going to wear to the ceremony and she spent hours looking for it. I knew what happened to some parents who disowned their children when they come out and had no idea how mine would react so I decided to hide it in my closet and go out with her to look for another dress before she left. I was so nervous about what was happening. It wasn’t until she was halfway across the country with my sister that I decided to send her a text to explain what happened. It took a while to explain it to her, and neither of my parents have really come to terms with it. It was about the same time I realized how many people had similar problems, so I joined Meade County High's gay/ straight alliance. To this day my parents still use my dead name, but they are slowly coming around. Expressing myself has led to wonderful opportunities at a happier life for both myself and those I am lucky enough to call friends. If you walk away from this with any lesson, I want you to know no matter what if you do what makes you happy, life gets better.
Rose Bowman, Class of 2020
Major: Art History; Minor: Theatre
Hometown: Loretto, KY
As someone who’s Queer, living in such a small town was considerably harder based solely on that fact. Thus, when I moved to Murray for college, I wanted to find people who were also Queer so I could express myself in such a way without any hints of fear. As a result of my search, I found the LGBT Programming Office/Alliance, and made a few friends and even participated in their annual drag show (and plan to continue doing so!). Through being a part of the LGBT Programming Office/Alliance, I have become more accepting of myself and more willing to educate those who do not understand the Queer community.
Clover Roberts, Graduate Student
Major: Experimental Psychology
Hometown: Louisville, KY
I've been out as bisexual since middle school, and have always been someone people go to for help when figuring out sexual or gender identity. Although I've only been involved in the Murray LGBTQ office for a short amount of time, I love being able to offer guidance and input to make change within the university. As an Ambassador I have been involved in LGBTQ 101 as well as the LGBTQ relationships pannel. I love to share my knowledge and first hand experience in a relationship with two partners, as well as educating and helping trans individuals on taking steps forward in their transition.
Grace Anderson, Class of 2019
Major: Liberal Arts Degree with concentrations in Legal Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies focused on diversity in education.
Hometown: Huntsville, AL
Murray State's LGBT Programming Office was open and inviting to me from the moment I stepped on campus. As an out pansexual, it meant the world to find my place at Murray and I quickly became involved with the student LGBTQ organization Alliance. My sophomore year I took on the positions of Marketing Officer for Alliance and LGBTQ Ambassador for the LGBT Programming Office. These positions allowed me to work on projects and events such as movie nights, educational programs, the fall and spring semester drag shows, bringing more gender neutral bathrooms on campus, and Gaypril. Gaypril has been my favorite project as it provided a mixture of social, support, and activism for LBGTQ students. I'm excited to continue my work with the office in coming years and am thankful to have such a strong community to support me.
Ashlee Wolfe, Class of 2019
Major: Animal Science Food Production Emphasis
Minor: Nonprofit Leadership Studies
Hometown: Houston, TX
I’m involved with the LGBT Programming Office because it is a support net work for people who might otherwise not have anyone to talk to. My parents are wonderful and allow me the chance to explore who I am and who I like or don’t like. I know others aren’t as lucky and I want to help them know they’re just as valid as anyone else. I’m also involved because I feel as though the office needs to be more noticeable.
When I was a freshman I could have used a few friends who were more understanding than most people. I tried to look for the office, but I wasn’t able to find it and my room mate at the time wasn’t exactly kind. I don’t want anyone to have to go through what I did, especially not in their first year of college. It’s stressful enough without the added pressure of knowing you can’t even be yourself when you get back to your room. Now I’m a part of this organization and I want to make sure we’re known on campus and if someone needs us they’ll know where to look.
Daniel Jessee, Class of 2019
Major: Social Work
Hometown: Murray, KY
I came out for the first time in High School and found out how difficult it can be for someone identifying as LGBT. Throughout my teenage years I was faced with multiple challenges dealing with a lack of acceptance from peers, religious groups and family members. Once I graduated and started college, I made up my mind to do my best to make life a little easier for the community in any way that I possibly could. Its all about being understanding and offering a hand to those around you, so that's what I try to do.
Austin Morrison, Class of 2020
Minor: International Studies
Hometown: Louisville, KY
I've been out as gay since my senior year in High School and was fortunate enough to have an accepting and supportive family and a ton of support with my friends at school. Going into College, I was looking over what student organizations to join and Alliance piqued my interest. I not only wanted to have a space where I felt welcomed, but I also wanted to be able to give back the support I received after coming out to the community which is why I decided to join Alliance back at the beginning of the Fall 2016 semester. As the new Treasurer, I hope to be able to provide support to new and current students whenever they need it. I hope to get more involved with the community as the years go on while at Murray State and give back to the community that has been so welcoming to me thus far.
To learn more about any of our LGBTQ+ student groups, including to apply to the Ambassadors or to connect with Eracers, please contact Michelle Barber, interim LGBT coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 270-809-5040.