About Us

UMKC is one of 250+ universities in the United States with a professionally staffed LGBTQIA+ program. UMKC LGBTQIA+ Programs and Services strives to provide LGBTQIA+ students with the support, resources and education they need to be their authentic self while attending UMKC.

Our Vision

UMKC LGBTQIA Programs & Services envisions a campus which celebrates, develops, supports, and critically engages LGBTQIA+ students and university community members.

Our Mission

UMKC LGBTQIA Programs & Services seeks to:

  • Create connection and community for all LGBTQIA+ students, including through partnerships with university and community members, to help students develop as citizens in our collective democratic project.
  • Critically educate LGBTQIA+ students and the larger university community about LGBTQIA+ experiences, culture, academic advances, and issues in order to do active allyship both with and within the community.
  • Create a culture of care on campus that routinely supports LGBTQIA+ students’ physical, mental, emotional, academic, and spiritual wellness.
  • Continue our history of advocating for the needs of the LGBTQIA+ student community as well as develop students into self-advocates, with the hope they become leaders outside of UMKC.

Our History

gay-peoples-union-u-news-e1516378327640.jpgIn 1973, gay students at UMKC filed a suit against the university for their right to assemble and become a recognized student organization on campus. In a landmark 1978 case, the United States Supreme Court sided with the Missouri Supreme Court, ruling in favor of the UMKC Gay Student Union.

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Resource Office was launched in July 2003 in order to establish a physical presence for LGBT individuals at UMKC. The mission of the LGBT Resource Office is to celebrate and honor the culture, history and accomplishments of LGBT people. 

In 2009, to be inclusive and honor queer, questioning, intersex and asexual identities, “Q-I-A” was added to the name. While it may be cumbersome at first, the addition of QIA is more inclusive and aligned with the LGBTQIA Programs and Services’ mission. Now, LGBTQIA is much more widely adopted in our community.

In 2010, the new Student Union opened and began housing LGBTQIA Programs and Services in the Office of Student Involvement. The opening of the new Student Union moved the resource space into the Rainbow Lounge. The Rainbow Lounge is UMKC’s designated LGBTQIA resource space, intended to provide resources for LGBTQIA students and opportunities for studying, community building and support.

UMKC has witnessed many milestones toward greater LGBTQIA+ equity on campus. One of the proudest moments was being part of the UMKC student-organized Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Trans and Asexual College Conference (MBGLTACC) in 2014. The conference brought 1,900 college students to downtown Kansas City to celebrate, educate and empower queer and trans college students from across the country.

Where we are today

As part of the Office of Student Involvement, LGBTQIA+ Programs and Services continues to support sexual and gender diverse students, faculty and staff through LGBTQIA+-centered training, educational workshops and programs, scholarship, student leadership initiatives and resources in the Rainbow Lounge. Our staff offices and the Rainbow Lounge are located on the third floor of the Student Union.

Visit the Rainbow Lounge

Our Team

Zachary Parker

Assistant Director of LGBTQIA Programs and Services
Email: zparker@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-1639

Contact Us

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325 Student Union
5100 Cherry St.
Kansas City, MO 64110

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