Students establish Yale School of Music’s first LGBTQ+ affinity group

Joshua Thompson and Antonia Chandler of Yale School of Music
Joshua Thompson and Antonia Chandler

This article originally appeared in Music at Yale magazine.

Students at the Yale School of Music (YSM) have begun the process of establishing an LGBTQ+ affinity group called OutLoud, the first of its kind at YSM.

Spearheaded by Antonia Chandler ’18 M.M. and Joshua Thompson ’17 M.M., ’18 M.M.A., OutLoud held its first meetings in the fall of 2017. The group’s mission is “to create and foster a safe and supportive environment for YSM’s LGBTQ+ students.”

While there are many resources available to students throughout Yale University, Thompson said, it is “important to have a community within the School,” one in which students feel “comfortable and supported by their peers.”

Chandler and Thompson spoke about the importance of community in the context of a stressful degree program. YSM students pursue busy professional careers that often take them out of town. When they are in New Haven, they spend countless hours in the practice room. This makes connecting with peers challenging, said Thompson, who envisions OutLoud as a space in which LGBTQ+ students “have visibility.”

OutLoud was inspired in part by the rich LGBTQ+ communities at Yale’s other graduate and professional schools. The group’s members have received support from other affinity groups on campus and recently attended an LGBTQ+ mixer funded by Yale’s Graduate and Professional Student Senate.

Chandler and Thompson are in the process of drafting a charter and identifying a faculty sponsor as they look to establish the School’s first officially recognized student group. In the meantime, OutLoud is hosting social events for LGBTQ+ students at YSM.

In the future, as part of the group’s mission, OutLoud aims to “provide students with an encouraging community of musicians through holding meetings, distributing resources, and uniting students.”

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