Welcome to the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo website for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, and questioning students and their allies! Respecting the rights and dignity of all people, the University strives to maintain an inclusive and safe campus for all students regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Traditional Hawaiian culture prior to colonization and the introduction of Christianity was characterized by an openness and acceptance of relationship diversity, including same-gender relationships; in the spirit of honoring the indigenous culture and LGBTIQ students, UH Hilo attempts to honor this tradition.
If you're an LGBTIQ student considering attending UH Hilo, know that the University strives to provide a welcoming and safe environment for you. This welcoming environment is demonstrated from the time you first come to UH Hilo. For example, during the week of orientation the New Student Programs office organizes a special social gathering for LGBITQ students and their allies.
LGBTIQ students will find that many of their needs can be met through existing programs, services, and organizations offered on campus. The University of Hawaiʻi President's Office also sponsors a Commission on the Status of LGBTI Equality. The Commission promotes a safe and inclusive environment by creating a culture of equality, acceptance, and respect throughout the UH system, and advocates for the creation, implementation, and adherence to Hawaiʻi State and University policies that serve the needs of LGBTIQ students, staff, and faculty. UH Hilo is represented by at least two commissioners.
Many University staff members have been trained in providing a safe zone for students. Safe zone training raises awareness of LGBITQ concerns, enables University faculty and staff to better understand the concerns and experiences of LGBITQ students, and encourages them to provide a comfortable place for the LGBITQ population on campus. They are your allies. If you see a Safe Zone symbol on an office door on campus, it identifies a person you can trust: someone who will be understanding, supportive, and helpful. Click here for a map of gender neutral restrooms on campus.
In addition, the University has had an active LGBTIQ student organization for many years, called Pride Hilo. Pride Hilo is comprised of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and questioning/queer (LGBTIQ) student, staff, and faculty members and their friends and allies. The organization (first called the Gay & Lesbian ‘Ohana) was formed in 1991 as the first organized campus-based support network for the LGBTIQ people on the island of Hawai‘i. The mission of Pride Hilo is to nurture, educate and advocate for LGBTIQ issues across UH campuses and the greater Hawai‘i community. It helps coordinate outreach activities that increase awareness, understanding, and tolerance of LGBTIQ issues.
Knowing your rights as an LGBITQ student on campus and being aware of available resources can help you develop, grow, and protect yourself. Through the University's policy on non-discrimination, we are committed to prohibiting discrimination against individuals based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. This covers admission, access, participation, treatment, and employment in all University programs and activities. The UH Hilo Student Conduct Code also promotes the value of respect that all students should demonstrate toward each other, and prohibits harassment. In the event of harassment or discrimination, students should contact the Dean of Students office at (808) 933-0859.
For more information or concerns you might have, some places at UH Hilo to start include:
- Pride Hilo
- UH Hilo Representatives on the UH Commission on the Status of LGBTI Equality
- Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs (932-7445, Student Services Building 210)
- Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Office (932-7641, email@example.com, Trailer E behind the Business Office)
- UH Commission on the Status of LGBTI Equality: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Counseling Services (932-7465, Student Services Building 2nd floor)
- Women’s Center (932-7381, email@example.com, Campus Center 312)
- University Housing (932-7403, firstname.lastname@example.org, PB 11)
Below you will find links to additional resources, both in the community and online, on a wide range of topics, such as coming out, health and wellness, LGBTIQ studies, sports and athletics, straight allies, spirituality and religion, and national LGBTIQ organizations.
Pride At Work Hawaii: PAWH’s mission is to mobilize LGBITQ workers and their supporters for full equality in their workplaces and their unions, and to build mutual support between the labor movement and the LGBITQ community
Hawaii Island HIV/AIDS Foundation: Free HIV testing, information & referral, support, education/prevention, food pantry, housing, free condoms, youth programs, emergency financial support. Two offices plus community outreach workers to help support you.
ACLU LGBT Project: The LGBT Project fights discrimination and moves public opinion on LGBT rights through the courts, legislatures and public education.
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives: World's largest research library on GLBT heritage and concerns
The Trevor Project: A leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among LGBTQ youth. The Trevor Lifeline phone number is 866-4-U-TREVOR.
Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD): Promotes fair and accurate representation of LGBT people in the media
Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network: GLSEN works with educators, policy makers, community leaders and students on the urgent need to address anti-LGBT behavior and bias in schools
Human Rights Campaign (HRC): The nation's largest LGBT political organization working for LGBT equal rights
Lambda Legal: Committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of LGBT people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work
LGBT Humanist Council: Forum for LGBT humanists to exchange ideas on local organizing, find support in coming out as LGBT (and a humanist), and to speak out with once voice on issues of concern to the LGBT-humanist community
Consortium of LGBT Resource Directors in Higher Education: Aims to achieve higher education environments in which LGBT students, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni have equity in every respect
Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG): Promotes the health and well-being of LGBT persons, their families and friends through support, education, and advocacy
National Center for Transgender Equality: Social justice organization dedicated to advancing the equality of transgender people through advocacy, collaboration and empowerment
International Foundation for Gender Equality: Advocates for freedom of gender expression and promotes the understanding and acceptance of all people
FTM International: Resources for the female-to-male community
Transgender Guide: Online community and resources for transsexuals, crossdressers, intersexed, and transgendered folks
TransGender Care: Large archive of health information for the transgender community
Transgender Law and Policy Institute: Dedicated to engaging in effective advocacy for transgender people in our society, bringing experts and advocates together to work on law and policy initiatives designed to advance transgender equality
Bodies Like Ours: Intersex community forums
Intersex Society of North America: Devoted to systemic change to end shame, secrecy, and unwanted genital surgeries for people born with an anatomy that someone decided is not standard for male or female
Gay Straight Alliance: Portal with educational information updated daily and dedicated to each person who strives for human rights
Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools: Envisions educational systems where all students thrive regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression
GSANetwork: The national Gay-Straight Alliance Network empowers youth activists to fight homophobia and transphobia in schools
Human Rights Campaign: Includes a collection of coming out guides to help you meet the challenges and opportunities of living openly, stories about coming out, and FAQs.