The Diverse Sexuality and Gender Alliance, or DSAGA, is the LGBTQIA student organization on the Homewood Campus of the Johns Hopkins University. Our mission includes embracing diversity, promoting awareness about LGBTQIA issues and counteracting homophobia and heterosexism in order to create a safe space on campus. Our meetings encourage students to familiarize themselves with all aspects of the LGBTQIA community. We provide a safe environment for students to socialize openly with their fellow students and to explore their own identities.
In order to educate our members about LGBTQIA issues, we organize each meeting around one theme that we explore through activities, presentations and discussions. We play games like Gaypardy and Bingo as a fun way for students to learn terms, LGBTQIA celebrities, etc. Some of our meetings are discussions about situations students face around campus – recently we talked about dating in the LGBTQIA community, how religion ties into identity, and gender stereotypes. Our meetings are a safe space for students to comfortably share their personal experiences so our members can learn from each other. We also bring speakers to DSAGA to further educate our members about different issues or opportunities: we have heard from PFLAG members, Dr. Joffe from the Health and Wellness Center, Michael Varhol from the Counseling Center, and the owner of SUGAR, Jacq Jones.
DSAGA also has a lot of events including Beach Day and s’movie (that’s smoothie/movie) night. We have a lot of Breezeway days to raise money by selling t-shirts in order to support various non-profit organizations. We also have a fundraiser each semester at Nolan’s that includes karaoke and a food-eating contest, and this semester we raised over $600 for Moveable Feast. We also partner with other groups: recently we partnered with the Hopkins AIDS Alliance for World AIDS Days and raised $800.
We always welcome allies to our meetings! An ally is an individual who appreciates and proactively supports the LGBTQIA community by confronting the harmful attitudes of others. Spreading awareness to allies helps increase the visibility of the LGBTQIA community, which will help students better understand and interact with one another. Therefore, our allies are imperative additions to DSAGA because they help create a more diverse and supportive community. No matter who you are or what your background is, you are welcome at DSAGA! So come! Monday nights, at 9 pm, in Mattin 160.