Out of these conversations came an organization with three main goals:
1. To provide a source of community, information, and dialogue exchange between LGBTQ&A veterinary and pre-veterinary students, interns, and residents
2. To aid student leaders at veterinary schools who wish to start LGBT groups at campuses that do not have them, as well as provide a resource and idea exchange for existing student organizations
3. To facilitate the transition between life during veterinary school and professional life for LGBTQ&A students by working closely with the LGVMA
All of this can be distilled into one thought: an inclusive community where gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, asexual, questioning, and allied students can find idea exchanges and support throughout their entire educational career. Because inclusivity is a main goal of this organization, we eventually settled on the name Broad Spectrum to reflect the fact that anyone who falls anywhere on the spectra of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity has a place in the organization.
The energy at symposium was contagious and it has not dissipated. We will be having our first official face-to-face meeting at the AVMA convention this summer, but behind the scenes the board has been working hard. Our current short-term projects are getting a website and Internet presence established to facilitate communication and promote visibility, and to establish a contact at each of the veterinary schools in the US, Canada, and the Caribbean. Longer term goals include an online resource library, developing educational material, and a community forum to help aid in getting students the support and answers they need.
We look forward to being a part of the veterinary community, and hope to see you at the AVMA convention!
Sonia Fang (Western University of Health Sciences, CVM 2013) and William Gilles (University of Wisconsin, SVM 2013)
Broad Spectrum Outreach Coordinators