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

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Tips for Navigating the Holidays

Below you will find some tips for navigating the holiday season and LGBTQ+ issues.
Please note, these might not fit everyone’s experiences, but are general guidelines to help navigate sometimes challenging issues.

If you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or Queer...
Don’t assume you know how somebody will react to news of your sexual orientation or gender identity — you may be surprised.
Realize that your family’s reaction to you may not be because you are LGBTQ+. The hectic holiday pace may cause family members to act differently than they would under less stressful conditions.
Remember that “coming out” is a continuous process. You may have to “come out” many times.
Don’t wait for your family’s attitude to change to have a special holiday.
Recognize that your parents need time to acknowledge and accept that they have a
LGBTQ+ child. It took you time to come to terms with who you are; now it is your family’s turn.
Let your family’s judgments be theirs to work on, as long as they are kind to you.
If it is too difficult to be with your family, create your own holiday gathering with friends and loved ones.
If you are transgender, be gentle with your family’s pronoun “slips.” Let them know you know how difficult it is.
Before the visit...
Make a decision about being “out” to each family member before you visit.
If you are partnered, discuss in advance how you will talk about your relationship, or show affection with one another, if you plan to make the visit together.
If you bring your partner home, don’t wait until late into the holiday evening to raise the issue of sleeping arrangements. Make plans in advance.
Have alternate plans if the situation becomes difficult at home.
Find out about local LGBTQ+ resources.
If you do plan to “come out” to your family over the holidays, have support available, including PFLAG publications and the number of a local PFLAG chapter.
During the visit...
Focus on common interests.
Reassure family members that you are still the same person they have always known.
If you are partnered, be sensitive to his/her/hir/zir/their needs as well as your own.
Be wary of the possible desire to shock your family.
Remember to affirm yourself.
Realize that you don’t need your family’s approval.
Connect with someone else who is LGBTQ+—by phone or in person—who understands what you are going through and will affirm you along the way.
If you are the friend or family member of someone LGBTQ+…
Set up support for yourself. It is important to realize you are not alone. Find the phone number of the nearest Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) chapter.
Take your time. Acceptance may not come instantly, but be honest about your feelings.
Don’t be nervous about using the “correct” language. Honesty and openness creates warmth, sincerity and a deeper bond in a relationship. If you are not sure what is appropriate, ask for help.
Realize that the situation may be as difficult and awkward for your LGBTQ+ loved one as it is for you.
Before the visit...
Practice in advance if you are going to be discussing your family member’s sexual orientation or gender identity with family and friends. If you are comfortable talking about it, your family and friends will probably be more comfortable too.
Anticipate potential problems, but do not assume the reactions will always be what you expected.
Consult with your LGBTQ+ loved one when coordinating sleeping arrangements if he/she/sie/ze is bringing home a partner.
If your family member is transgender or gender queer, practice using the correct pronouns.
During the visit...
Treat a LGBTQ+ person like you would treat anyone else in your family.
Take interest in your family member’s life. He/she/sie/ze is still the same person.
Don’t ask your LGBTQ+ family member to act a certain way. Let them be their natural selves.
If your LGBTQ+ family member is bringing a partner, acknowledge them as you would any other family member’s partner.
If your LGBTQ+ family member is bringing a partner, include them in your family traditions.
Ask your LGBTQ+ family member about his/her/hir/zir partner if you know they have
Source: PFLAG Holiday Tips Worksheet
National Resources/Hotlines:
(Youth serving youth through age 25)

The National Runaway Switchboard
Crisis Text Line Serves anyone, in any type of crisis, providing access to free, 24/7 support and information via text. Simple text 741-741 from anywhere in the USA, anytime, about any type of crisis. A live, trained Crisis Counselor receives the text and responds quickly, helping you "move from a hot moment to a cool moment." Please note that this Crisis Text Line is not specific to LGBTQ+ people.

The following sites have information about family relationships and tips for interacting with family and friends:

HRC guide for coming out to your family and friends

Want to Know Common Questions Parents Ask?

Travel Related Resources:

Other Helpful Resources:

Find Resources where you are: