The History of the Stonewall Center
A series of anti-LGB incidents in 1984 led to protests and the development of a report on the campus climate for lesbian, gay, and bisexual students at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. This was the first study of the campus climate for LGB students sanctioned by a college in the U.S. One of the report's main recommendations was the creation of the Program for Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Concerns. The program was established in fall 1985 as an administrative office in Student Affairs. We were renamed “The Stonewall Center: A Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Queer, and Transgender Educational Resource Center” in 1995, and added "asexual" and "intersex" to our name in 2014.
When we opened in 1985, The Stonewall Center was just the third center of its kind on a college campus, after centers at the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania. Our center has served as a model for many other colleges and universities, and today more than 150 LGBTQ campus centers and offices exist across the United States and Canada.
For almost 35 years, the Stonewall Center has served the campus, the other Five Colleges, and the surrounding community by providing cultural and educational programming; LGBTQIA+ allyship training sessions; a DVD and book library; information and referrals; support for individuals who experience harassment and discrimination; advocacy for LGBTQIA+ students at UMass Amherst; and community outreach through Queer-e, our weekly listserv of LGBTQIA+ and Allies Five-College and local events.