About Our Organization

Mission Statement
Broad Spectrum Veterinary Student Association’s mission is to connect, support and empower community for LGBT+* students and allies across veterinary education.
*LGBT + will be used as an inclusive acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer,Questioning, Asexual and others who self-identify on the sexual orientation and/or gender expression continuums.

Vision Statement
Broad Spectrum desires greater support and a sense of community for all LGBT+ students and allies throughout veterinary medical education. We actively strive to counter episodes of bigotry and marginalization with positive messages of diversity and inclusion. We have healthy, supportive and encouraging relationships with pre-veterinary, veterinary and graduate students, faculty, staff and administrators. We are known for advocating for the respect and equality of seen and unseen LGBT+ members in the academic veterinary community and beyond. We contribute to the development of safe and welcoming veterinary school environments for pre- and current veterinary students. Broad Spectrum makes veterinary schools more inclusive for all students, especially LGBT+ students. We accomplish this by starting important and courageous conversations about LGBT+ inclusion, in addition to maintaining much needed support for LGBT+ students in veterinary medicine.

Our History

We were founded in 2011 at the SAVMA Symposium hosted by UC Davis. The name 'Broad Spectrum' came out of a calculated attempt to be as inclusive as possible to any student who falls anywhere on the spectra of sexuality, sex, or gender. We welcome all students no matter their sexuality, gender identity, or gender expression. And yes, allies, this means we welcome you, too!

Our Links

Monday, November 21, 2011

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance, an internationally observed event (and the culmination of Transgender Awareness Week) which commemorates the victims of transphobic and anti-transgender violence and hate crimes.  The day was founded in 1998 by San Franciscan trans activist Gwendolyn Ann Smith following the murder of Rita Hester, a trans woman of color.  Trangender Day memorials often encompass reading of the names of those lost in the previous year.

Even in 2011, trans* people are routinely attacked, bullied, harassed, and ridiculed, and discriminated against in schools and at work. According a report by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, transgender women accounted for nearly half of all anti-LGBT murders last year. Trans women of color, in particular those who are attracted to men, are especially at risk.  --Annika from her article on Autostraddle: OPEN THREAD: Transgender Day of Remembrance
Transgender Pride Flag via Kiquemoran on Photobucket
The Human Rights Campaign's video on TDoR

For more information:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Interview with Dr. Larry Carbone, D.V.M., Ph.D., Dipl. ACLAM

We are very excited to present to you our interview with Dr. Larry Carbone!  Hopefully this will be the first of many interviews!

Dr. Carbone, left, with his partner David in Morocco

Dr. Carbone is a laboratory animal veterinarian and self-styled veterinary ethicist in San Francisco.

Hi Dr Carbone!  Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed.  Please introduce yourself.  Where did you grow up?  Where did you go to school?
I grew up in Boston, and fell in love with Cornell on a visit there --- at Cornell, I got my BA in evolutionary biology, then worked as a lab animal technician (while my BF at the time was starting vet school), then became a vet student, then stayed on as a staff lab animal vet, and moonlighted as a grad student (History & Philosophy of Science & Technology - the closest I could get to grad work in veterinary ethics).  4 Cornell degrees and 20 years in Ithaca, I finally relocated to California.

Tell us about your job.  Did you always know you wanted to be a laboratory animal veterinarian, or what made you decide to pursue this career?
I was a teenage zookeeper in Boston, but worried that pursuing zoo work would mean having to move wherever the jobs were, a compromise that never felt good to me, especially in more homophobic times.  In retrospect, decisions made from fear never seem like the decisions we should make.

I fell into lab animal care simply because it was available in Ithaca when my BF was starting vet school, and it got under my skin.  It's intellectually challenging, gives a chance for species-diversity (especially in my Cornell days, with vampire bats, and goats, and reptiles and all sorts of things complementing the dog-mouse-monkey repertoire of common lab animal practice).  Beyond that, I have this missionary streak - I felt, in the late 80s, that lab animals needed committed welfare-focused vets, like my first mentor Fred Quimby, and I hope, me.  It's a great job for someone who needs to feel he's doing good in the world.

How do you identify in terms of the LGBTQ/Ally community?  How (if any) do you feel that your identity has affected your school, job, and living location choices/opportunities?
Gay as can be, but got a rocky start in high school/college accepting that.  That may be part of why I've made life decisions more on whom I want to be with, and where we want to be, and then found work that fit, than on going where the job of my dreams might lead me.  I'd rather be doing the job I do now (which I love; a solid A-minus) in San Francisco, than the job of my dreams, which would be at some vet campus somewhere.

I've been as out as possible since my technician days --- I got that job because my BF had previously worked for my boss and introduced us, and it was pretty obvious to everyone that we weren't just roommates.  When I stayed on as a staff vet, with so few out faculty (none, at the time, which was 1987), I definitely knew I had an obligation to be out, for students and for co-workers.